Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

March 5, 2014

Treasure

We, too, have our lost hoard of buried gold

Who doesn’t love a mystery, especially when it involves gold.

Theories are springing up around a $10 million trove of gold coins found on their land by a Northern California couple who wisely have chosen to remain anonymous.

 One idea is that the gold was hidden by outlaw Jesse James and his gang in the hope of financing another Civil War. Jesse and his brother, Frank, were Confederate guerrillas. After the war, they shifted their aim from Yankees to banks, stagecoaches and railroads. The problem with this theory is that Jesse James died 12 years before the last coin was struck in 1894.

It’s also been suggested that the loot belonged to Charles Edward Bowles — a former Union soldier — who went by the name of Black Bart and was considered a “gentleman bandit” because he was courteous, used no profanity, asked the stagecoach driver to “Please throw down the strongbox” and on at least two occasions left poetry behind. This theory doesn’t fit either because Bowles went to prison in 1883, 11 years before the last coin in the hoard was dated.

Our region’s legendary lost treasure is that of “Braddock’s Gold,” said to be the payroll of British Gen. Edward Braddock’s army that was lost when he and about 1,400 men were waylaid and wiped out by the French Army on their way from Fort Cumberland — in what is now Cumberland, Md. — to Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War in 1755.

What today is called Braddock Road in Cumberland was the first improved road to cross the ridgelines of the Appalachian Mountains. His men had struggled to build about two miles of the road when an easier route west was found through what we now know as the Narrows.

Some say Braddock’s gold was buried beneath a long-vanished walnut tree somewhere near the Youghiogheny River, possibly stuffed down the barrel of a cannon. One of Braddock’s officers was George Washington, and it was said that his coat was riddled with bullet holes.

The trove was said to be $25,000 in gold ... however ... there were no dollars in 1755. What today are our states were colonies of the British Empire, which counted its money in pounds sterling. $25,000 in 1775 dollars would amount to approximately $750,000 today.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Get involved Get involved

    Cumberland residents who want to make an impact on their community have an opportunity in that the city is seeking applicants for five of its boards.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • If we don’t sell it to them, somebody else will

    The front page article on coal exports by AP writer Dina Cappiello is one of the most asinine and biased “news” articles I’ve read (“Not in my backyard: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad,” July 29 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 30, 2014

  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where is it?

    Once upon a time, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce held its annual conventions at the Bedford Springs resort hotel near Bedford, which is in Pennsylvania.

    July 28, 2014

  • Korean War Korean War

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sloppy lawmaking is to blame

    July 27, 2014

  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo