Feb 25, 2012, 05:02 PM
Jean Lafitte and the Neches River Treasure
I just read a legend about Jean Lafitte and his crew burying treasure at the mouth of the Neches River.
As the legend goes, he was being pursued by a Spanish galleon after looting millions in gold and silver. Gaining a lead and knowing the Spanish would pursue to the ends of the earth decided to bury the loot for safe keeping.
Allegedly the pirate anchored his ship to a tree using a very heavy chain. Apparently the galleon came into view and after only digging a shallow pit, he ordered the crew to bury the treasure and reboard the ship. They cut the chain loose and after cannon battle and losing his ship, Jean Lafitte managed to escape.
The legend states that Jean placed a curse on the treasure cursing anyone getting his treasure that isnt worthy.
A Mexican peasant came into possession of a crudely drawn map. Despite it crudeness, it was very apparent to anyone around the area that it was the mouth of the Neches River. The peasant went to the area and found the tree with the chain still attached. He dug and before he could find the treasure, he saw somthing that terrified him. He apparently lost his voice and died in a week. Another man came into possession of the map from the mexicans widow. Not told of the legend or the events with the Mexican, the caucasion man went to find the treasure. He too found the tree and chain and started digging. He too saw something that terrified him and he too lost his voice and died within a week. Shortly after the Civil War, the widow of the farmer gave the map to a man named Meredith and told him what befell her husband and the Mexican peasant. Meredith didnt seem concerned and he enlisted a friend named Clawson and they went in pursuit. They found the tree and chain and started digging for the treasure. They found a skeleton in typical pirate attire in a shallow grave. They removed the skeleton with the intent to re-bury it after they recovered the treasure. Apparently the treasure was deeper than the legend stated and the two men started working in shifts. Meredith was resting while Clawson dug. All of a sudden, Clawson started screaming a bluud-curdling scream. He came out of the hole and according to Meredith, Clawson looked 20 years older and was stammering that he had seen the depths of hell and seen all of its horrors. He implored Meredith to leave and refused to allow Meredith to look down in the pit. They left the area and later, Meredith returned to recover their tools. Some rains the week before washed some mud down in the hole and Meredith never saw what Clawson was so scared of. The skeleton was still on the ground where they placed it. Meredith replaced the skeleton in the hole and buried it. He gathered their tools and left. Several years later, he saw Clawson in Baeumont and tried asking him again what it was he had seen. He refused to answer and even implored Meredith to never ask him about again. Whatever he had seen, it left him shaken for life. Every sudden movement or noise caused him to jump in fear for the rest of his life.
I am looking at the area on Google Earth. I am trying to determine if the Neches River existed before Sabine Lake or if it had ran all the way to the gulf. The Sabine River runs all the way to the gulf after it passes through Sabine Lake and the Neches ends at the lake.
Feb 25, 2012 05:02 PM