THE IRON BOX: Now its mentioned, now its not
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  1. #1
    ECS
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    THE IRON BOX: Now its mentioned, now its not

    "In the spring, about this time, he (Beale) again left, but before doing so, handed me (Morriss) the box".-The Beale Papers

    The iron box, with the ciphers , according to the job print pamphlet was in the possession of Robert Morriss when he was at his niece's (Anzoletta Saunders) home when he told the story to the "unknown author".
    "the required promise was given, and the box and contents were placed in my ("unknown author") hands".

    This "unknown author" had possession of the iron box, ciphers, and letters since the "2nd year of the Confederate War", then he contacted James Beverly Ward:
    "The gentleman whom I have selected as my agent...was ignorant of this episode in Mr Morriss' career, until the manuscript was placed in his hands".

    Ward only received the finished manuscript written by and from this "unknown author", but never saw the iron box, the ciphers the letters-
    What became of the iron box and this "unknown author"?

    N H Hazelwood involved the Hart brothers by having Clayton Hart copy papers covered with numbers, without mentioning Thomas J Beale...
    ...and most important, NO MENTION of the iron box, and the HART PAPERS never mentions the iron box.

    Then in the early 1960's, George Hart introduces Pauline Innis to a member of the Otey family, who shows Innis an iron box with that numbers covered torn slip of paper.

    When did George Hart learn about this iron box considering that an iron box was never mentioned in the HART PAPERS, how did the Otey family come into possession of this iron box, AND, most important, is this the iron box the "unknown author" received from Robert Morriss as mentioned in the Beale Papers.

    If this is "THE IRON BOX", there are several missing links in the chain of possession before it was shown to Innis.
    ...AND, as with anything claimed to be connected to the Beale story, whereabouts unknown.

  2. #2
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    What is an iron box? How common during the era?
    Maybe a sadiron box for storing a cloths iron?
    I worked in a foundry,lots of iron.
    Watched blacksmiths elsewhere ply their trade but am not recalling any iron boxes. Bet I could open one real fast though.
    Easier than old time safes where the dial could be popped off and the dog driven through the gearbox. Until some one wised up and used a soft dog.
    Then it was a matter of pounding on a corner of the door and fracturing laminations till a large enough hole existed. ( Note ,heavy non portable safes are better than easily carried ones.)


    Needing a " key" to break the cipher , why not store info in non rusting bank safety deposit prepayed box or use the hotel safe? Assuming the hotel had a safe.

    The horse was probably relieved of the box going away ,(though it's not like bungee cording a Wells Cargo box on one to transport it.)

    Maybe iron represented longevity ,or false sense of security?
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  3. #3
    ECS
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    While Sarah Mitchell Morris surely had knowledge of the letters, iron box and ciphers, having served Thomas J Beale all those fabulous meals which he acknowledge, she never mentioned these items to her niece, Harriet Emmaline Otey Ward at whose home she was cared for before she died- then 20 years later the "unknown author" contacts her husband, James Beverly Ward with the finished manuscript based on what he was told by Robert Morris who was in the care of his niece, Anzoletta Saunders.
    Why would Robert and Sarah Morris keep this information from their relatives that were caring for them in their final years only for Robert Morris to tell this story to as the story implies, a total stranger, and providing him with the letters, and the ciphers in the here again gone again iron box?
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECS View Post
    While Sarah Mitchell Morris surely had knowledge of the letters, iron box and ciphers, having served Thomas J Beale all those fabulous meals which he acknowledge, she never mentioned these items to her niece, Harriet Emmaline Otey Ward at whose home she was cared for before she died- then 20 years later the "unknown author" contacts her husband, James Beverly Ward with the finished manuscript based on what he was told by Robert Morris who was in the care of his niece, Anzoletta Saunders.
    Why would Robert and Sarah Morris keep this information from their relatives that were caring for them in their final years only for Robert Morris to tell this story to as the story implies, a total stranger, and providing him with the letters, and the ciphers in the here again gone again iron box?
    A total stranger? I do not think so. Robert Morris would have entrusted this with next of kin and someone that was good with ciphers, and the youth to search it to break the codes. You remember the author stating about keeping it in the family or it was a family affair. Also, JBW would have received a share of the treasure if the author had been successful in finding the "KEY." He would have only given a share to JBW if he were kin.
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  5. #5
    ECS
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    That would possibly be an Otey family member, but most of the Oteys served the CAUSE during the Confederate War, many did not survive.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ECS View Post
    "In the spring, about this time, he (Beale) again left, but before doing so, handed me (Morriss) the box".-The Beale Papers

    The iron box, with the ciphers , according to the job print pamphlet was in the possession of Robert Morriss when he was at his niece's (Anzoletta Saunders) home when he told the story to the "unknown author".
    "the required promise was given, and the box and contents were placed in my ("unknown author") hands".

    This "unknown author" had possession of the iron box, ciphers, and letters since the "2nd year of the Confederate War", then he contacted James Beverly Ward:
    "The gentleman whom I have selected as my agent...was ignorant of this episode in Mr Morriss' career, until the manuscript was placed in his hands".

    Ward only received the finished manuscript written by and from this "unknown author", but never saw the iron box, the ciphers the letters-
    What became of the iron box and this "unknown author"?

    N H Hazelwood involved the Hart brothers by having Clayton Hart copy papers covered with numbers, without mentioning Thomas J Beale...
    ...and most important, NO MENTION of the iron box, and the HART PAPERS never mentions the iron box.

    Then in the early 1960's, George Hart introduces Pauline Innis to a member of the Otey family, who shows Innis an iron box with that numbers covered torn slip of paper.

    When did George Hart learn about this iron box considering that an iron box was never mentioned in the HART PAPERS, how did the Otey family come into possession of this iron box, AND, most important, is this the iron box the "unknown author" received from Robert Morriss as mentioned in the Beale Papers.

    If this is "THE IRON BOX", there are several missing links in the chain of possession before it was shown to Innis.
    ...AND, as with anything claimed to be connected to the Beale story, whereabouts unknown.
    GREAT QUESTIONS! I don't know...

  7. #7

    Jun 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECS View Post
    While Sarah Mitchell Morris surely had knowledge of the letters, iron box and ciphers, having served Thomas J Beale all those fabulous meals which he acknowledge, she never mentioned these items to her niece, Harriet Emmaline Otey Ward at whose home she was cared for before she died- then 20 years later the "unknown author" contacts her husband, James Beverly Ward with the finished manuscript based on what he was told by Robert Morris who was in the care of his niece, Anzoletta Saunders.
    Why would Robert and Sarah Morris keep this information from their relatives that were caring for them in their final years only for Robert Morris to tell this story to as the story implies, a total stranger, and providing him with the letters, and the ciphers in the here again gone again iron box?
    GREAT QUESTIONS; I don't know...

  8. #8

  9. #9
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    No iron box.

    A steel box. Iron chests ,iron safes....no iron box.
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  10. #10

    Dec 2006
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    right, language terms diff then? who knows
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cw0909 View Post
    right, language terms diff then? who knows
    Even ductile iron is brittle when thin.
    Thickness to have reasonable strength adds weight enough to reconsider box material. In small boxes anyway.
    Iron was used for small containers no doubt. We see water for humidity containers on old stoves , mailboxes , and more... but they lack a common portability due to fragility.
    Then too there is the rust factor and corrosion if paint is scratched off.

    Before steel was well understood ,it was recognised as valuable in the iron works.
    Tin was more common for portability and afford ability. Not saying any character was cheap in selecting a box , but a fancy one or uncommon one would attract attention maybe when the plan is to shelve it for a decade. Stand out ,get noticed.
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  12. #12
    ECS
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    Quote Originally Posted by cw0909 View Post
    right, language terms diff then? who knows
    "And you know sometimes words have two meanings"- Led Zeppelin
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  13. #13
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    There is absolutely ZERO evidence that an iron box ever even existed at all, just more empty claims of such. Yes, yes, so and so had it and showed it to so and so and it's all just more he-said-she-said, but still ZERO evidence that any of it really ever happened or that an iron box ever existed at all. No pictures, no physical descriptions, just a few proposed letters and some bogus ciphers to reel everyone in. And just like that, "Poof!" Another unverifiable treasure legend is born. The entire story is just another, "You fill in all the blanks however you want."
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  14. #14
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    Louisiana State Museum has a reference on page 24 of the biennial report.
    So.....they did exist despite my ignorance.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=y_...%20box&f=false

    And another reference...
    https://books.google.com/books?id=If...%20box&f=false
    Last edited by releventchair; Jun 13, 2017 at 09:52 PM.
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  15. #15
    ECS
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigscoop View Post
    There is absolutely ZERO evidence that an iron box ever even existed at all, just more empty claims of such. Yes, yes, so and so had it and showed it to so and so and it's all just more he-said-she-said, but still ZERO evidence that any of it really ever happened or that an iron box ever existed at all. No pictures, no physical descriptions, just a few proposed letters and some bogus ciphers to reel everyone in. And just like that, "Poof!" Another unverifiable treasure legend is born. The entire story is just another, "You fill in all the blanks however you want."
    ...and James Beverly Ward applied for the copyright with ONLY the title, not the alleged finished manuscript that was given to him by the "unknown author"...
    ...and he applied for copyright on a borrowed letterhead from ADAMS BROS & PAYNE, a firm where his son-in-law, William Johns, was employed.
    It seems Ward took these measures as agent, applying on borrowed stationary with only the title and not the manuscript was an overt effort to remove himself from consideration as the author of these "authentic statements" in the event any legal problems arouse from the publication of this job print pamphlet.
    Last edited by ECS; Jun 14, 2017 at 08:45 AM.
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