The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 244
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
classification. There is a striking similarity among all the legends;
or perhaps, it would be better to say that there is nothing peculiarly
sectional about any of them, save those of the Gulf region.
Preceding the hundred pages of treasure legends, the editor has
an able and scholarly article in which he undertakes "An Inquiry
Into the Sources of Treasure Legends of Texas." This article,
buttressed by an array of footnotes which sometimes covers more
than a third of the page, sets forth the various sources from which
legends of buried treasure in Texas may have sprung. Professor
Dobie finds that the "ultimate source" of the people's legends of
buried gold and hidden silver is Spanish. He points out that the
actual basis for Spanish and Mexican wealth in Texas is very
weak, both Spaniards and Mexicans having been always hard up
in Texas, and having maintained themselves in it chiefly for mili-
tary purposes. Nevertheless the Spaniards in America connote
gold seekers, and where there are seekers for it there will be gold,
at least in the minds of men. The Mexicans, who inherited the
Spanish reputation and tradition, continued the idea that there
was gold about. Professor Dobie makes his point perfectly clear
when he says, "I do not mean to assert that the treasure legend
is peculiar to the Spanish-tempered Southwest; I do mean to
assert that the treasure legends of this Southwest are peculiarly
of Spanish origin."
Another source from which legends spring, says Professor Dobie,
is the discovery of gold in California. But the most fertile source
is doubtless those figments of the human heart and mind, hope
and credulity, which have given rise to a lively traffic in maps,
platas, and verbal directions for locating lost treasure. Finally,
Professor Dobie declares that occasionally some buried treasure
is brought to light and he so declares after thumbing all the docu-
ments, writing hundreds of letters, and making himself the highly
valuable clearing house for Texas legends. In the end he seems
to be somewhat more credulous than his co-laborers. At least he
is the only one among them who claims knowledge of buried treas-
ure. "I myself," he declares, "know of a few small finds. I
know of eight hundred dollars having been found under a mesquite
tree in Atascosa County many years ago; I know of about four
hundred dollars in Mexican coin that were rooted up by hogs in
Frio County forty years ago. Doubtless other actual finds over
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925, periodical, 1925; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101087/m1/248/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.