June 2nd, 1864
Lodge2 PDF, p. 8
W.H. Blake, Esqre.
I am in receipt of your labor dated from April 21st 1864.
I have also seen your letters Lt. Capt. Fletcher & J.W. Barber both dated April 2nd 1864. There is very little alteration in the state of things in connection with the Golden Gate treasure since I last wrote you.
Smiley is still held to answer for stealing it & will probably be tried before the criminal court this month. There is also a civil suit against him that will be tried before the U.S. Admiralty Court as soon as possible. In the meantime I cannot trace any of the treasure with certainty. Jwt. Bock could doubtless give us some valuable information but it is too costly to send a Californian to Manzanillo to examin (sic) him without first discovering what account of information he is possessed of. The same apply’s to bringing him up here to be examined & it would be requisite to consult his own wishes on the subject for we could not take him from his business counter to his inclinations.
I did not know before receiving your letters that Smiley had any Mexicans employed on board his vessel otherwise I would have indeavoured to get one ofthem here. I may here remakr that your letter (referral to above) only reached San Francisco on the 29th of May. Where could they have been all this time? You will doubtless wonder why they have not been adknowledged sooner.
You have doubtless heard of the success that attended the Irelan party in Jany. & Feb. 1863. The facts are very simple. Irelan with a part of about 12 men in one vessel & 8 in another recovered about seven hundred sixty thousand dollars worth of treasure paid to Irelan without reduction of any kind. Upwards of two hundred thousand dollars & yet we hear many say that the salvor’s were not dealt liberally with last year.
But it is hard to conceive what they call or understand liberally. I have spoken to many who declare that giving salvors all they recover is poor payment and insinuate that anyone who recovers one dollars worth of property should retain it for his own use & demand another dollar for having recovered it.
Irelan’s party this year are worse than Smiley’s for they have not only kept every cent of the money they recovered but have not paid the money that was advanced to enable them to go to work. Whereas Smiley had paid all his liabilities & merely keeps all he recovered. With much thanks for your letters & trusting to hear from you soon.
I am sir your obedt. sert.
Francis W. Lodge