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Offline hardluckTopic starter
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« on: March 19, 2011, 07:04:53 pm »
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Hello All

This is a topic I have been itching to kick off for some time.

If there is one treasure story to chose as the most persistent retold treasure legend then it would be the San Saba Treasure story. It has become an Icon of treasure legends in Texas.

So what is the truth behind this icon of a treasure story? Was it just a legend or is there a real story behind the lies and half truths?

Did the Spanish really mine silver and gold during the 1700?s in the red hill country of Central Texas? Or, did they use explortory shafts to store silver bars mined somewhere else?

 Did Jim and Rezin Bowie truly search for legendary mines? I don?t know for sure, some say they did, some say?not. There?s a considerable amount of written documentation, oral accounts, and some outright lying, surrounding the legendary Los Almagres or Lost San Saba Mine (or mines).

 Some historians contend there was more than one mine, while others argue there was but one. Because of Jim Bowie and Rezin Bowie?s alleged search around 1831, the mine has also come to be known as the Bowie Mine and cemented its place into Texas history.

Interesting all the same.

I am interested to hear peoples thoughts on the matter as there is many versions to this story.

Hardluck

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Offline seldom
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2011, 07:24:43 pm »
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Funny how great mines think alike hardluck. I have been kicking the San Saba around for a week or so, but like what happens many times I ran into new leads that drag me away from the Lost Bowie mine.
As for Bowie I am sure they researched and searched for the mine/mines if they found them I don't know. Years ago when I first researched it I felt there were 7 mines now if put on the spot would say only one. I will reread Dobies Coronado's Children to night and see if he ever put a number on it.
As I have said before not a big believer in lost mines but the San Saba is one of several I do believe have enough facts to make it true if not it is one he$$ of a legend.

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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2011, 08:58:45 pm »
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Hello Seldom

It gets like that being side tracked. In fact I was side tracked when I noticed on the following chart of Texas land grants dated 1835.

Part of the San Saba Area was part of grant to a man called Beale. Sounds familiar?

At first I thought Thomas Beale of Beale code treasure story? However after a little digging I found a pioneer of Texas with the same last name. It seems this Beale had quite an interesting life.

Still I still wondered if there was a family connection between them?

Hardluck

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« Last Edit: March 19, 2011, 09:05:05 pm by hardluck »
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2011, 09:10:24 pm »
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The San Saba area is definitely an interesting area.  Camped in the general vicinity a few times about 40 years ago.  From what I remember there are lots of places "mines" or at least diggings could be lost.  And there was enough known Spanish activity in the area that it's possible the Presido was there for mor than just border control.

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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2011, 09:46:24 pm »
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Quote:Posted by hardluck
Still I still wondered if there was a family connection between them?



Good possibility Beale is not a very common name.
I got side track where I found some notes I had made from a book by Francis about Jim visiting Padre Island in 1829 or 30 its got me wandering what he was doing there?

And there was enough known Spanish activity in the area that it's possible the Presido was there for more than just border control.

You right about that BA and there is lots of Spanish artifacts that have been found in the area. I have seen several old hand forged picks and spurs of the right age. Years ago there was a rumor that an old rancher had a room in his house full of Spanish armor and mining tools  never could locate anyone who had actually saw  it so probably just a rumor. As lots of Bowie's info came from Indians I am thinking of looking into old Indian legends am sure its been done but fresh eyes and all that.   

 

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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2011, 11:50:36 pm »
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Quote:Posted by seldom
As lots of Bowie's info came from Indians I am thinking of looking into old Indian legends am sure its been done but fresh eyes and all that.



Let's not forget that Bowie married a daughter of the vice-governor of Coahuila y Tejas.....so it is possible that he could have had access to at least some of whatever official documents existed concerning the "lost" Los Almagres.

BA

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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2011, 04:03:12 am »
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Hello All

Thanks for the great comments made.

The earliest account from Don Bernando Miranda, Lieutenant General of Texas in 1756:

He claimed to have found large amounts of silver at a hill in Llano region in which he name Cerro Del Almagre near a place called Honey creek. He petitioned the Spanish vice Royalty to build a Presidio in the Area.

But the Spanish authorities were not exactly convinced of the tale, suspecting Miranda was engaged in a little private expansionism, called his bluff, requesting he return with more samples from the hill. Miranda set once again with a small party to recover more samples and was never seen again. Most likely killed by the Indians.

Never less the Spanish did decide to build the Presidio


On February 28, 1758, Colonel Diego Ortiz Parrilla (commander of the presidio), wrote the following account:

            "A quantity of ore was brought to me by Don Jose de Guzman, who stated that it had been taken from an outcropping discovered near the Chanas (Llano) River. I examined and tested this greenish silver ore mingled with lead." (The 25 pounds of ore yielded one and one half ounces of silver).

Clearly from these accounts we can see that there was a reason for the Spanish to be there to mine silver and subjugate the Lipan Indians. However the Indians had other ideas.

Colonel Diego Ortiz Parrilla made repeated request for extra men for garrison because of fear of Indian attack and was ignored. On the 16th of march 1758, 2000 Comanches attacked the Mission  miles away from the fort and slaughtered every one in the mission.

The Spanish struggled on always under maned until 1766. The Marques De Rubi, Charles III inspector General Commented that..

The San Saba Fort affords as much protection as one his Majesty ships anchored in the Atlantic.

The Spanish soon Abandoned the Fort and the region.

In 1810 a Lieutenant Juan Padilla visited San Saba and Cerro Del Alamagre and claimed the area was very rich in silver. Ignacio  Obregon collected impressive ore samples from the area in 1812 and recommended the San Saba Presidio be reoccupied by the Spanish. However it was never acted upon because of the Mexican revolution against the Spanish.

So BA could be right that Bowie could of found out about the Silver Deposits through marriage to the daughter of the vice-governor of Coahuila y Tejas.And through his dealing with the Indians which it was claimed they came into San Antonio twice a year to barter silver.

from all accounts we know the Bowie Brothers were not successful as on 29th November 1829 the expedition to find the silver was attacked by Lipan or Comanche Indians and through the use of superior fire power beat off the attack. There was rumor of second attempt by the brothers to find the mine. It is not known if they were successful or not.

When I first heard this legend I thought It was one great mine but I think the more you read into it, it is a series of mine workings and that is perhaps why we have some times conflicting directions?

If you can find a map by a surveyor in Texas called Elias Wightman dated 1828. It is alleged to give the approximate location of the San Saba mine.I have been trying to find his map but have not been lucky enough to have found it.

I suggest to any of you out in that part of the world should keep your eye out for that map, as I am sure there are still copies in existence somewhere in Texas or perhaps even Washington Library on congress?

Another thing on wish list. Grin

Hardluck

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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2011, 08:17:52 am »
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You guys always have the most interesting stories filed away. Smiley

I found this site while looking into this since I was unaware of San Saba till Seldom brought it up in the lost mine thread. It has a compilation of news articles (unverified as to authenticity)

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Sounds like all kinds of good times to be had there. With that many different stories something must be there...  Wink

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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2011, 09:02:09 am »
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Bowie meet and fell in love with Ursula before he went to Mexico City in fact it was thru her he got a letter of introduction from Veramendi to the authority's in Mexico City where he found Miranda report. Up until Bowie went to Mexico he was looking for the mine in the Cerro del Almagres but after finding Miranda report he came to believe there were several mines. One that had been worked by the Indians one worked by the Spanish in the 1500 then several Miranda claimed to have found.
In Mirandas report he guaranteed a full share in a mine to all settlers in my opinion he was more interested in settling the country then in mining silver. Was he just using the mines as a poly to get a fort built to protect his settlers?

In Colonel Rip Fords unpublished memoirs he reports that Cephas Ham is the one who was adopted by the Indians and shown were the mine was not Bowie

Seldom

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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2011, 06:49:53 pm »
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Hello All

Idaho Jones: Thanks for the link. It seems like there was a bit of a mineral rush of claims at the end of the 19th century.

It would not surprise me that the legendary mine site or sites has already been found and mined.

Some time legends are too strong to die as they become for ever entwined into the history of a place. Especially when their connected to such a legendary figure such as Jim Bowie?

Seldom: In Colonel Rip Fords unpublished memoirs he reports that Cephas Ham is the one who was adopted by the Indians and shown were the mine was not Bowie.

It was most likely the truth behind the Legend. I can imagine many parts of the story was incorrectly connect to Jim Bowie.

And of course I agree with your comments about Miranda about his interests in his settlers. Perhaps he had a genuine reason to fear the Indians and the safety of his colony. These reason seen justified when reading about the mission being massacred.

The more I think about the legend the more I feel there was several mines.

There are a couple of other stories related the San Saba mine legend.

The rancher called grumble was told the location in 1857 but was shot dead in a bar.

A woman called Carlotta who allegedly found documents in Mexico.

And a Mexican who had a map but was murdered at the turn of the century.

How or if they are connected to the legend remains a mystery?

Hardluck

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