Somewhere on lonely Assateague Island, just off the coast of Maryland, a pirate cache valued at $1,000,000 or more lies hidden.
Made up of silver, gold, diamonds, and other jewels, this immense trove has lain unfound since the early days of the 18th century, when Charlie Wilson, Southern sea demon, preyed on unwary ships of commerce along the eastern coast.
In 1730, at Charleston, Wilson, once a law-abiding South Carolina sea captain, fell in with men of ill repute and was lured into the ways of piracy. Roving far and wide in his long freebooting career, he soon amassed a sizeable fortune from plundering English vessels. Like most of his kind, he stored a considerable portion of his ill-gotten gains in natural banks, burial sites picked with the utmost security in mind, usually on uninhabited islands.
Finally, however, fate caught up with him, and in 1750, he and his ratty crew were cornered and captured by British naval units. Taken to England, they were promptly tried by the British Admiralty Court, convicted, and sentenced to hang.
While lounging in his dank cell awaiting his turn on the scaffold, Wilson wrote a letter to his brother, George, a respectable resident of Charleston. In the letter he told of burying, in ten iron-bound chests, bars of silver, gold, diamonds, and jewels somewhere near three creeks lying 100 paces or more north of the second inlet above Chincoteague Island, Virginia. This would put it inside the Maryland state line. He gave the exact spot as being at the head of the third creek to the northward on a bluff facing the Atlantic where three cedar trees grew, each about one and one-third yards apart. At this place, known as Woody Knoll, Wilson buried the treasure between the trees, and he admonished his brother to go to Woody Knoll secretly and remove it. The treasure, said Wilson, was then worth 200,000 pounds sterling.
Today, the contents of these ten chests would be worth $1,000,000 or more, a fact verified by William H. Worten, Jr., Assateague historian, in his work Assateague, printed in 1970.
That George Wilson never received his brothers letter is a certainty, for it is a known fact that it lay in British naval files for 198 years before being discovered and made public in 1948.
Dr. Reginald V. Truitt, Assateague research expert for the Natural Resources Institute, University of Maryland, says, Wilsons brother, George, died in this country as a pauper. There is no evidence that the chests were ever recovered, and certainly not in recent times. Finding the exact spot indicated in the letter is complicated by the fact that the cedar trees have apparently been destroyed for a long time by the invading sea, and inlets have come and gone since Pirate Wilsons time.However, Woody Knoll, covered by pine trees, into cedars, still persists near North Beach.
I would be interested in hearing if anyone has searched for this treasure?
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