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Thread: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

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  1. #1
    um
    Dec 2008
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    Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    2.0: My apologies! I did not spell Lieut. Emmet's name correctly in the original title of this post.

    In John D. Mitchell's Lost Mines of the Great Southwest; Including Stories of Hidden Treasures (Mesa, Arizona: 1933).

    there is the following account:

    Nearly twenty years ago a man named Adams with seven others came from California into Arizona prospecting. They stopped at Camp Apache for rations and continued east. A few days march from Apache they found a great deal of gold in a small canyon. One of the men, a German, after working about ten days, became alarmed about the Indians and left, carrying about ten or twelve thousand dollars in gold as a result of his labor. This is shown by the books of the Post Trade at Fort Yuma who bought the gold from him.

    The remainder of the party built a cabin and continued work till rations were low, when all but two, Adams and another man, started back to Camp Apache for supplies. The gold they had already mined was buried under the floor of the cabin.

    Adams and his companion waited till they thought the others should have returned when becoming quite alarmed at their long absence, they started in search of them.

    Looking back from the mountains on which they were climbing they saw the cabin in flames and their comrades, who had come in from another direction being massacred by the Indians. They concealed themselves till after dark and escaped.


    - From a letter of Robert T. Emmet, then 2nd Lt. of Ninth Cav., U.S.A. Dated March 5th, 1882.

    I recently contacted the National Archives and asked if they had this document. They were kind enough to reply - an excerpt from that letter follows.

    "This is reply to your request which we received on June 1, 2011, concerning Robert T. Emmet's letter, 'Gold on the Black River' dated March 5, 1882.

    "Based on the information you provided to us, we examined the series, 'General Index to Names and Subjects 1789-1889' (entry 291), in Record Group [RG] 77, Records of the Office of the Chief of Enginners, but were unable to find reference to Robert T. Emmet or the Black River. In addition, we also checked our automated Archival Research Catalog (ARC), under both terms, but again were unable to locate mention of either.

    "It is possible that we may have pertinent records in our custody; however, without an exact location locating this letter may prove to be difficult as any further researching will likely require in-depth research, which we do not provide..."

    I am quite interested in locating the entire letter. Unfortunately, this attempt was fruitless. Any suggestions will be quite welcome!

    Good luck to all,

    ~The Old Bookaroo
    Do you have good books in good condition you are never going to re-read? Clean 'em out!
    Operation Paperback collects gently used books and sends them to American troops.

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  3. #2
    pw
    Apr 2003
    New Mexico
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmett, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Camp Apache was established May 16, 1870, so, according to the Emmet letter, the Adams Incident could not have happened prior to 1870. This contradicts all other versions of the legend which give a timeline ca 1864, more or less. I believe it is the Williams version that mentions the year 1858, which in some ways is preferable, IMO. Anyway, except for the supply fort, the Emmet letter describes the events in familiar terms. Perhaps Emmett was confused about which fort was visited. Or perhaps Mitchell's 'letter' source was flawed. Please keep us posted on your progress.
    "The gods were smiling when you were born. Now they're laughing."​ Chinese fortune cookie

  4. #3
    um
    Dec 2008
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmett, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Springfield:

    Forgive me if I repeat myself. I think "Camp Apache" may not have been "Fort Apace" or the Camp Apache you cite.

    Then as now, many military camps had informal names. I'm guessing that over the years there were a number of military encampments with the name "Camp Apache." After all, that is a very logical name for that time and place.

    This is not to disagree with your theory. I suggest it to add another element - and, I hope, not more confusion.

    Good luck to all,

    ~The Old Bookaroo
    Do you have good books in good condition you are never going to re-read? Clean 'em out!
    Operation Paperback collects gently used books and sends them to American troops.

  5. #4
    pw
    Apr 2003
    New Mexico
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmett, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Bookaroo
    Springfield:

    Forgive me if I repeat myself. I think "Camp Apache" may not have been "Fort Apace" or the Camp Apache you cite.

    Then as now, many military camps had informal names. I'm guessing that over the years there were a number of military encampments with the name "Camp Apache." After all, that is a very logical name for that time and place.

    This is not to disagree with your theory. I suggest it to add another element - and, I hope, not more confusion.

    Good luck to all,

    ~The Old Bookaroo
    Actually, there were 70 named Arizona military sites (46 locations with 24 name changes along the way) established between 1849 and 1887. Camp Apache was renamed Fort Apache April 5, 1879, but was also known as Camp Mogollon, Camp Ord and Camp Thomas in earlier times. I'm using Frontier Military Posts of Arizona, by Ray Brandes (1960), a great reference.

    While it's certainly possible that there may have been some temporary 'generic Camp Apaches' in Emmett's experiences, these types of bivouac campsites would not have had the resources to sell supplies to large groups of civilians, such as an established 'permanent' location would. Of course, the 'supply trip' is an integral part of nearly all LAD legend versions. If this event occurred, it's my opinion that the fort described was either Camp Grant (established 1860 on Arivaipa Creek in AZ) or Fort West (established 1863 on the Gila River at Bear Creek in NM).

    While anything is possible, especially with the LAD legend, it sure seems there's an error of some sort with the Mitchell material. As you say, confusion seems to rule the LAD.
    "The gods were smiling when you were born. Now they're laughing."​ Chinese fortune cookie

  6. #5
    pw
    Apr 2003
    New Mexico
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Bookaroo

    ......"Based on the information you provided to us, we examined the series, 'General Index to Names and Subjects 1789-1889' (entry 291), in Record Group [RG] 77, Records of the Office of the Chief of Enginners, but were unable to find reference to Robert T. Emmet or the Black River. In addition, we also checked our automated Archival Research Catalog (ARC), under both terms, but again were unable to locate mention of either.

    "It is possible that we may have pertinent records in our custody; however, without an exact location locating this letter may prove to be difficult as any further researching will likely require in-depth research, which we do not provide..."
    Lt. W.H. Emory (military man with a similar name - odd coincidence), in his 1848 report, makes it clear that the 'Black River' was the name used in earlier days for the stream now known as the 'Rio San Francisco'. This may be one of the reasons for confusion. Of course, there is a 'Black River' that flows westerly into the Salt River and forms the boundary between the San Carlos and Whiteriver Apache Reservations. This is rough remote country, and presumably would be a potential LAD location. However, it's not clear when the Anglos began using that name for that river.

    Place names that have changed over the generations add much confusion for the researcher. Not only that, narrators from historical times have also been known to inadvertently refer to locations (mountain, canyon, stream names) incorrectly to begin with, which doesn't help either.

    "The gods were smiling when you were born. Now they're laughing."​ Chinese fortune cookie

  7. #6
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Tag post, please do continue,

    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
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  8. #7
    mx
    Nov 2004
    Alamos,Sonora,Mexico
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Now you are 'it' Oro, so post.

    Don Jose de La Mancha
    "I exist to live, not live to exist"

  9. #8
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Quote Originally Posted by Real de Tayopa Tropical Tramp
    Now you are 'it' Oro, so post.

    Don Jose de La Mancha
    Well the only thing I would point out was that Mitchell wrote what stories he heard, in his travels around the southwest treasure hunting while working as a railroad employee. In the case of the Lost Adams, he spent a fair amount of time looking for it himself, some have even theorized that he in fact found it and removed the 'pot o gold' stashed in the ruins of the cabin, leaving behind a short piece of RR rail as a calling card. It is odd that he is listed as a "wealthy mining man" in the book intro, when he was simply a retired RR employee - how did he suddenly become a wealthy mining man, so quickly after retiring from the RR?

    The trouble with that kind of source material is that in passing down verbally, details get garbled and that verbal source is the main type Mitchell had. So I don't throw too many stones at his work, as he was merely passing along what he had.

    It is possible that the Adams scenario really occurred much earlier than so many of the stories indicate, and it is also logical for it to have happened in the late 1840's-early 1850's due to the Mormon emigration, CA gold rush and the Oregon emigrants though most traveled much farther north. Then identifying what fort is being referred to becomes quite a challenge however.
    Oroblanco

    PS - OK Don Jose', tag now it is your turn to post!
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
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  10. #9
    mx
    Nov 2004
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    K Oro, so it is in the afore mentioned barranca way down south then eh? zigzag entrance, waterfall to your right with a gold placer field etc/\.,

    Tag, now your turn

    Don Jose de La Mancha
    "I exist to live, not live to exist"

  11. #10
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Quote Originally Posted by Real de Tayopa Tropical Tramp
    K Oro, so it is in the afore mentioned barranca way down south then eh? zigzag entrance, waterfall to your right with a gold placer field etc/\.,

    Tag, now your turn

    Don Jose de La Mancha
    Major problem with a location SO far south, remember what chief Nana told Adams about the name of the place, "Sno-ta-hey" came from a subtribe of Navajos. As far as I know, no Navajos were living quite that far south at any time. Can you place a branch of the Navajos in that barranca? Thank you in advance,
    Oroblanco

    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  12. #11
    mx
    Nov 2004
    Alamos,Sonora,Mexico
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Undoubtedly a few were roaming about snicker However, the Apache certainly were there.

    As I once mentioned, most lost mines, treasures, etc., etc., that are still lost, despite many documents, simply means that everyone is just trying to fit a legend into where they 'think' that it 'should' be, not necessarily where it actually is. or to adapt a proposed area etc. to fit their documents.

    A La The Lost Dutchman

    Don Jose de La Mancha
    lastleg likes this.
    "I exist to live, not live to exist"

  13. #12
    pw
    Apr 2003
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Quote Originally Posted by Real de Tayopa Tropical Tramp
    Undoubtedly a few were roaming about snicker However, the Apache certainly were there.

    As I once mentioned, most lost mines, treasures, etc., etc., that are still lost, despite many documents, simply means that everyone is just trying to fit a legend into where they 'think' that it 'should' be, not necessarily where it actually is. or to adapt a proposed area etc. to fit their documents.

    A La The Lost Dutchman

    Don Jose de La Mancha
    I think that's true to a great degree, but except for the Nino Cochise book (thought to be fraudulent by many), there is virtually nothing in the Sierra Madre that matches any of the many LAD legends.
    "The gods were smiling when you were born. Now they're laughing."​ Chinese fortune cookie

  14. #13
    mx
    Nov 2004
    Alamos,Sonora,Mexico
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Afternoon springfield: I am stretching things quite a bit, but the Arroyo Barbarrocos is entered by a series of zig zags, and has placer gold. Then further up has a waterfall of sorts on your right with gold, then it curves to the left where up above is a hidden cave that played a prominent part for the Apaches. They stored weapons and dried meats, as well as sacks of rich ore in back, now empty.

    As for another famous lost mine 'El Naranjal', this supposedly lies in the enormous, extremely rough, unknown barrancas of Durango, yet similar descriptions fit it into another piece of land near Tayopa.

    There is a deep barranca called Naranjal in which supposedly a Mexican Grandee was working a gold mine with orange colored gold in the 1800's , called El Naranjal" . Yes oranges are also found in there.

    I sincerely doubt that either of these are as represented here, butttttt Why haven't the originals ever been found with so much supposed data?

    This is what makes treasure hunting so fascinating, solving the supposed impossible.

    on Jose de La Mancha

    K, tag oro and springfield.
    "I exist to live, not live to exist"

  15. #14
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Don Jose la gringo de la Mancha wrote
    As for another famous lost mine 'El Naranjal', this supposedly lies in the enormous, extremely rough, unknown barrancas of Durango, yet similar descriptions fit it into another piece of land near Tayopa.

    There is a deep barranca called Naranjal in which supposedly a Mexican Grandee was working a gold mine with orange colored gold in the 1800's , called El Naranjal" . Yes oranges are also found in there. Huh

    I sincerely doubt that either of these are as represented here, butttttt?Huh?? Why haven't the originals ever been found with so much supposed data?

    This is what makes treasure hunting so fascinating, solving the supposed impossible.

    on Jose de La Mancha

    K, tag oro and springfield.
    First point, the re-use of names could be one answer to this dilemma. There could very well be more than one mine called "Naranjal" based on either the orange color of the ore, and/or an orange plantation.

    Second point, Durango? I was under the impression that El Naranjal was really in Sinaloa? The border area is right where the location was supposed to be, so could be Durango, but I thought that most treasure hunters (of the past anyway) were looking in Sinaloa rather than Durango.

    Without the linkage to Navajos, I don't think I can place the lost Adams in that barranca. However, a rich gold mine is a rich gold mine - who cares what people call it?

    Tag back your turn,
    Oroblanco

    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
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  16. #15
    mx
    Nov 2004
    Alamos,Sonora,Mexico
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    HI MI compadre Oro: You posted -->There could very well be more than one mine called "Naranjal" based on either the orange color of the ore, and/or an orange plantation.

    ************
    Absolutely no argument here.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    you also posted -->I was under the impression that El Naranjal was really in Sinaloa?
    ***********
    Nah.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You posted -->I thought that most treasure hunters (of the past anyway) were looking in Sinaloa rather than Durango.
    ********
    True, prob why they didn't find it.

    The barranca country that we are talking about starts about the Sinaloa / Durango border, but really comes into it's own in Durango, the border can be considered as merely a door to it.

    go to google 24* 38' 59.10 N 106* 42' 16.32 W. This is the present entry of the rio Comendero into Durango. It drains the baranca country of Naranjal's location.

    The "S" turns at the border are where that extremely rich Au placer grounds, that I mentioned, were found in 1940, ran over $1:00 a yard in those dollars, now, perhaps $9:00 + of today's dollars in purchasing power. but they cannot be worked due to the damn. Want a repeat of the story?

    The Mesa de Rodeo, which lies just to the north, inside of Durango, is where we had our little siege by the Indians for three days. Las Colorados Mine.

    Don Jose de La Mancha
    "I exist to live, not live to exist"

  17. #16
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    OLA amigos,
    <Aren't you proud I spelled it right for once?>

    At the risk of drifting even farther off topic, if El Naranjal is well within Durango as you propose amigo Tropical Tramp, how do we account for the royal road sign found by the German prospector, naming Naranjal and De Arco, in a canyon that is within Sinaloa? Elevation is another problem (for the orange orchard to survive) but as you said they are successfully growing oranges in Durango, that must not be an issue. Thank you in advance.

    To tie this back into the topic, that name Sno-ta-hey being at least allegedly of Navajo origin I think is an important clue. The branch of Navajos which Nana named as the origin of the name lived in territory that is well outside the current boundaries of the Navajo reservation, I do not know of any map that delineates it but their presence has been mentioned well south, southwest and southeast of the reservation. How did Apaches come to be claiming it as their own land? I had a Navajo friend (a real, professional sheepherder) who told me that name is indeed Navajo, and isn't really what people think it means ('there it lies') but is a play on words that does not translate well. I know that others insist the name is Apache and not at all Navajo, but other info <geographic> from the same source has proven to be 100% accurate, even though quite far from the Navajo reservation.
    Oroblanco



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  18. #17
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Roy,

    I looked into "Sno-ta-hey" and believe I posted my conclusions on this forum. I am, somewhat, familiar with a few of the Apache dialects, and don't believe "Sno-ta-hey" fits into any of them.
    There is some justification for your Navajo conclusion.

    Nino Cochise, IMHO, was a complete fake. I have a signed first edition of his book, and found many things that don't fit into the Apache culture, something I am passing familiar with. I have seen what many Apache, as well as the better known and respected white Apache historians have said about Nino. None are flattering for him.

    On the other hand, there are probably many places in Mexico that fit the story......minus the gold mine. My guess is that if Grenville Goodwin didn't find and write about the camp it didn't exist, as described by Nino.

    Believe I am with you on this one.

    Take care,

    Joe

  19. #18
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Joe - I can't prove what I was told on that name Sno-ta-hey at all. I have not read Nino Cochise's version so cannot comment in either direction, but what I have heard on his veracity is not reassuring.

    As a side note, that friend became so, due to a simple favor I did him once. He had had too much to drink at our bar, and asked if I would give him a ride home. I happily agreed, and drove him out to the range where his camp was. From that moment on, he was my friend - he gave Beth a leg of lamb, several eagle feathers to me, and talked freely of some of the treasure legends that have held my interest for so long. As most of that info passed over the mahogany ridge, lubricated with Coors, I don't know how much dependence could be put on it, but of the things he told me I have never found a single falsehood. He was very much, "old school". One doesn't expect to find Navajos in northern Wyoming, but they do work as sheep herders and are very good at it. I have often heard that many lost mines exact locations are well known among a few Indians, and while I strongly doubt that to be true (they can use money just as we can) I do think that the zigzag canyon may well be one site that is known but since it is outside the reservation will not be revealed.

    One point I am fairly certain of - something that Bob Shoose mentioned, Adams couldn't find that mine because he was very definitely searching too far Sorth.
    Roy

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  20. #19
    mx
    Nov 2004
    Alamos,Sonora,Mexico
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Hi Oro, you posted-->I do think that the zigzag canyon may well be one site that is known but since it is outside the reservation will not be revealed.

    ********
    Of course not, it is in Chihauhua. snicker Just where the Apaches found and left it with a mispronounced or explained name..

    Since no one has found it where it is supposed to be, then it must be where it is not supposed to be. Brilliant no snicker.

    As for a stone indicating a road, just how far away from it's destination could that be? Also on which side of the stone is it engraved? Remember I have one in northern Sinaloa that says "Camimo al Fuego de Barras", a reputed lost mine of Pb with Extremely high Ag. found while I was searching for the Gloria Pan mine, also known as "La Mina de peligro" due to it's access trail.

    This lies beyond the western side of the old graveyard of Tubares, the base for the formerly lost, but actually now known location of the 'Gloria Pan' mine..

    Don Jose de La Mancha

    p.s. If Bob Shoose claims this to be true, may I ask how he knows this? (sorth) south / north ??
    "I exist to live, not live to exist"

  21. #20
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
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    Re: Letter from Robert T. Emmet, and the Lost Adams Diggings

    Gentlemen,

    Bob Schoose is a partner of Ron Feldman. Ron and another partner, Mic McPherson wrote a book called "Zig Zag Canyon". In the book, Ron and Mic find the Lost Adams. You would need to talk to Ron to judge if the book is fiction......or not.

    Take care,

    Joe

 

 
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