The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), June 2, 1859

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The Old Fort Treasure Again. - Most of our citizens are familiar with the interesting legend of the Old French Fort at Oswego, concerning the treasure said to have been buried there. The tradition as handed down to the present time, is to the effect that the French garrison at Fort Oswego, when surprised by the English in superior numbers, were obliged to make a hurried retreat, and having in charge a valuable treasure consisting of specie and plate, it was deemed prudent by the commanding officer to secure the prize from the British by burying it in the ground.

As to the precise locality where the treasure was concealed the tradition is very vague and contradictory. By some it is supposed to have been dropped into the well and then filled in, but up to this date we believe no one has succeeded in finding the prize in the well, for the plausible reason that no one could find the well. However, the vicinity of the Old Fort has been well ploughed up by different parties, at various periods during the present generation, notwithstanding the uncertainties in the case which should be taken into consideration - whether the treasure was buried in the interior of the fort or not, whether some enterprising soldier did not mark the spot and return to the grave of "buried worth;" or, after all, whether the Frenchmen did not find a spare corner in their traveling bags for so convenient an article.

Within the last few years the last traces of the Old Fort have been erased and the locality built up with residences, and it was thought probable that the buried treasure would rest in peace for ever more. Such, however, we are informed, is not likely to be the case. Several days since two gentlemen arrived in the city, designing to renew the search. They claim to have discovered an ancient document relating to the buried treasure, of undoubted authenticity. The document purports to be a record by "LeSage Muneau" a officer of the French garrison, and also, as is claimed by them, an ancestor of one of the gentlemen.

The writing is in the French language, giving the bearings of the spot where the treasure was buried by several land-marks, the date and other particulars, and an inventory of the treasure, which amounts to a very large sum in specie and other valuables. The gentlemen mentioned have been engaged with surveying instruments for a day or two, have identified several land-marks referred to in the record, and finally brought their anticipations to a focus at about the center of a fine garden of one of our citizens.

The spot staked out for operations is some distance from the locality of the fort, and has not been disturbed by former treasure seekers. Further operations, we believe, depend somewhat on the amount of credulity that may be incited in the gentleman who owns the garden, with regard to the document. The parties who propose to do the digging are disposed to be liberal in case of success, but as the matter stands a reasonable compensation for damaged onion beds, &c., is desired in advance.

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June 2, 1859
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Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), June 2, 1859