True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 199
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 199
and a scar from a sabre or knife cut across his cheek. His
looks were sufficient to have proven him an ex-pirate, but in
addition to that he always brought with him a lot of gold and
silver coins of ancient date, Mexican and Spanish money. He
was watched carefully, but no one ever discovered where he
came from or went to. No one ever doubted his having been
one of Lafitte's men and I am confident that every boy in
Houston had implicit faith that this old fellow was the last survivor
of Lafitte's gang and knew where all the treasure was
buried. After a while the old fellow's visits ceased and as time
wore on interest in him and his treasure ceased also. There was
too little information about Lafitte's movements and none at
all to show that he ever buried any treasure at all, so when
the old pirate ceased to visit Houston, the people soon forgot
him and all he was supposed to represent.
Now, while the existence of the Lafitte treasure was merely
a matter of supposition, there was another treasure which was
known to exist and which is known to exist today. That is the
$600,000 in Mexican money known to have been buried somewhere
on the Santa Fe trail between the San Jacinto River and
the Brazos River. I don't know the exact date, but it was some
time in the early 30's that a party of Mexicans started from
East Texas for Mexico over the Santa Fe trail. They had with
them $600,000 in Mexican money, government money. At some
point between San Jacinto River and Brazos River this party
was attacked by Indians. They took refuge in a sweet-gum
island (a clump of trees on the prairie called an island) near a
creek. They buried the money in a hole and then put up a
fight against the Indians. The Indians were in strong force and
the result was that all the Mexicans except one were killed. One
escaped, though he was so badly wounded that he died soon after
reaching a settlement and telling the story of the disaster,
though he could not give the location of the fight nor any definite
information beyond the fact that it was in an "island" on the
banks of a creek.
Hundreds of people have searched for that "island," but its
location has never been found. At one time it was thought that
it was found, when some cowboys discovered a lot of arrowheads
sticking in a sweet-gum tree on Cypress Creek, in the west part
of Harris County. Those cowboys got spades and shovels, but
though they literally tore the earth up for hundreds of yards
all through and around that "island," they found nothing. On
another occasion a German farmer while out hunting for cattle
found a Mexican dollar sticking in the bank of Cypress Creek
not far from where the Houston and Texas Central Railroad
crosses that creek. He showed the dollar, told where he had
found it, and some of his auditors who had heard the story of
the buried treasure, spoke of it and at once there was another
rush of diggers. The search was very thorough, but nothing
was found and the treasure remains today where the ill-fated
Mexicans buried it four score years ago.
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/199/: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .