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TOPIC: Captain Bellamy's hidden pirate treasure hoard

Captain Bellamy's hidden pirate treasure hoard 8 years 7 months ago #4316

  • Kanacki
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Anyone interest in possible pirate loot?

The story of the two pirates Samuel Bellamy and Paulsgrave Williams, circa 1716-1717, has been written before, but my version comes from a book dating to before 1900 and contains information which I have not found in any other publication.

It was not at the mouth of the Machias River where the two pirates had their stronghold, but further upriver. They did dig a subterranean treasure house, but it was not inside the fort. There is little doubt but that the vault holds a large hoard of what we call treasure today. The story of Bellamy and Williams started out as what could have been just another instance of illegal salvaging in the West Indies. After several years of wrecking ships from the shore, the two men decided to try it at sea by becoming pirates.

Now, for piracy, they needed a ship, which they did not have. But the problem was shortly solved with the appearance of the British merchant vessel Whidah near their headquarters. The Whidah, her holds bulging with precious metals, ivory, and gems, took shelter in a small West Indian cove. Here the British proceeded to replenish their water supply before starting the long voyage to England. A few hours later, the land-bound pirates were rowing toward the unsuspecting ship. In a matter of minutes, every member of the crew was dead. Bellamy and Williams immediately commissioned the Whidah as a pirate ship and headed north.

After looting a number of ships along the way, the pirates arrived at a destination selected by Captain Bellamy, the only navigator on board. The spot was near the mouth of the Machias River, far from any civilized community at that time. It was here that the two leaders put into action a plan they had had for some time. They reasoned that the cargo which their ship carried should be hidden before they sailed again.

The two decided to build a permanent headquarters, which took the form of a large log fort with defensive fences and earthworks. Close by, a large vault was excavated to serve as a treasure house. Here the spoils of their pirating were secreted.

When all of this was done, and the Whidah had been overhauled, Bellamy and Williams set sail again. For several months their piratical deeds were the byword from New England to the Carolinas. After several forays, the treasure house was filled. So extensive was the wealth that Bellamy and Williams decided they could afford to quit pirating.

However, the temptation to make one more trip was too much, and on the last trip out, near-disaster occurred in the vicinity of Fortune Bay. The pirates spotted a wealthy-looking vessel, which, when they came within range, was a French corvette with 36 guns. In the battle that followed, most of the crew of Bellamy and Williams were killed, although the battered Whidah did manage to elude the French vessel and sailed back to their pirate headquarters. When the Whidah was repaired, they again set sail on one last trip.

Near Nantucket Shoals, Massachusetts, the pirates captured the Mary Jane, an outbound whaler from New Bedford. It carried nothing of value. Bellamy appointed the Mary Janes captain to lead the Whidah through the unfamiliar shoals until the tip of Cape Cod was passed, and then Bellamy himself would navigate.

The captain of the Mary Jane, threading his way through the reefs, led the Whidah around, and both vessels were torn apart. All the men onboard both ships were drowned except the captain of the Mary Jane, who finally made it to shore. Seven pirates who were following the two vessels in a small sloop also reached the shore, but they were swiftly captured and hanged by the angry townspeople of Eastham, Mass.

Barry Chifford did amazing work on the discovery of the pirate ship Whidah. But as far as it is known, no one has searched for this alleged vault?

The headquarters of Bellamy and Williams, near the mouth of the Machias River, has just about disappeared. But somewhere nearby is possibly hidden one of the richest pirate caches in North America, one that has never been reported found?

Kanacki
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Re: Captain Bellamy's hidden pirate treasure hoard 7 years 2 months ago #11857

  • cache n rum
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Hi,
just a query , if he was further south prior to Wydah , From Jan 1717 onwards,once the Frenchman parted company with Bellamy and Williams , is it not unreasonable to assume he may have had another area to secrete away any gains , say half way , around the Charleston area , South Carolina before reaching the Machias River approx 1000km away.

Cache n rum
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Re: Captain Bellamy's hidden pirate treasure hoard 7 years 2 months ago #11858

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Hello Cache u rum

It is possible. One thing to keep in mind some of early sources were recorded from hearsay and perhaps only a small part of the story has a grain of truth in it. However working out the fact from the fiction can be a challenge.

There was another story of treasure being buried on an island in a river from memory somewhere I think South Carolinia? That might be related to that story. But I have not had the liberty to dig deeper on that possible connection.

Kanacki
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Re: Captain Bellamy's hidden pirate treasure hoard 7 years 2 months ago #11860

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apologies , that was not from any book or official document.
Just a hunch am playing with in relation to the Frenchman`s time while he was around, that and the Texas coast , but not further than Corpus Christie.
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Re: Captain Bellamy's hidden pirate treasure hoard 7 years 1 month ago #11982

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hello Cache u rum

Perhaps your frenchman was in Louisiana in new Orleans? But only a guess. I personally suspect Tortuga off Haiti if that might help. Interestesting that you are looking back so far.Have you made some interesting discoveries?

kanacki
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Re: Captain Bellamy's hidden pirate treasure hoard 7 years 1 month ago #11998

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Hi Kanacki,

Louisiana? In respect to the French man being there it is possible , i assume you talking about the time of M de Salle 1699. There was a Major Levasseur there , but was Canadian , but at the time they where also trying to persuade the crew of a ferryboat to join in a battle , of which there where about 4/5 Levasseurs one being a cabin boy. Who scarpered at thought of joining the local battle.

Tortuga off Haiti? I would guess Isla Catalina near La Romano.

Like i mention i am just following a hunch and would not know if its right or wrong , or what i am suggesting , be it Levasseurs stuff from 1716-1718 or that of Bellamy`s or that of another pirate aquainted with them.

Also the following , who where the other pirates expected to be following Bellamy near Virginia in May 1717

Calander of State Papers Colonial , America and West Indies Vol 29 jan 1716 - july 1717
595 i ; 31st May , Virginia

595. i. Information of Andrew Turbett, Master, and Robert Gilmor, supercargo of the Agnis of Glasgow, 17th April, 1717. The Agnis was taken and sunk by a pirate, Saml. Bellamy, five leagues off Cape Charles, 7th April. On the same day they took the Ann galley of Glasgow and the Endeavor pink of Brighthelmstone, and on the 12th a ship belonging to Lieth, all bound for Virginia. The greatest part of the pirates crew natives of Great Britain and Ireland (some names given), and 25 negroes taken out of a Guinea ship. They declared they intended to cruise for 10 days off Delaware Bay, and 10 days more off Long Island, in order to intercept some vessels from Philadelphia and New York, bound with provisions to the West Indies. They then designed to careen their ship at Green Island, to the Eastward of Cape Sable. They expect several others to follow them to the coast of Virginia, and said there were 10 sail of them in all about the West Indies and the coast of America. Signed, Andw. Turbett, Rob. Gilmor.
595. ii. Deposition of John Lucas, Master of the Tryal of Brighthelmstone, sworn before Governor Hart, Maryland, 13th April, 1717. On the 9th April, he was taken by pirates off the Capes of Virginia, and his ship plundered; but they, spying a ship coming out of the Cape, put him back on board and bad him follow them, but he ran into the Capes and so got away from them. The pirate was a sloop of New England built. The crew about 40, mostly English etc. Signed, John Lucas.
595. iii. Deposition of Joseph Jacob, mate of the Tryal (v. preceding). Nos. i.–iii. Copies. The whole endorsed as letter. 4 pp.

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Re: Captain Bellamy's hidden pirate treasure hoard 7 years 1 month ago #12003

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Hello Cache un rum

I have to digest your comments for the moment. Finding the evidence to prove so is no easy task.

Kanacki
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