1780 Sir John Johnson Buried Treasure Near Crown Point, NY

CreakyDigger

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I ran across this in a book of area history this morning and am wondering if anyone has heard of it and knows anything about it.

"In May, 1780, Sir John Johnson stole through the woods from Crown Point to Johnson Hall, for the purpose of removing a quantity of treasure which he had buried on the occasion of his first flight to Canada, and to punish some of his old neighbors. He appeared at Johnstown on the night of the 21st and the next day swept the country between that point and the Mohawk. Several persons were murdered, others taken prisoners and buildings were burned. The property of the Tories was not injured." - H. P. Smith, History of Broome County (1885).

I suppose that if he went to get his treasure, he got it. Makes one wonder what is still out there buried though.
 

Crow

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I ran across this in a book of area history this morning and am wondering if anyone has heard of it and knows anything about it.

"In May, 1780, Sir John Johnson stole through the woods from Crown Point to Johnson Hall, for the purpose of removing a quantity of treasure which he had buried on the occasion of his first flight to Canada, and to punish some of his old neighbors. He appeared at Johnstown on the night of the 21st and the next day swept the country between that point and the Mohawk. Several persons were murdered, others taken prisoners and buildings were burned. The property of the Tories was not injured." - H. P. Smith, History of Broome County (1885).

I suppose that if he went to get his treasure, he got it. Makes one wonder what is still out there buried though.

Gidday amigos

I have document of a court case dating back to 1798.

Legal documents prepared for a potential very high profile court case and documents dating circa 1798. Herman Leroi, William Bayard & Gerrit Boon James Jackson, Peter Smith, William Laight & John Jacob Astor are some plantiffs. The documents refer to the eligibility of a group of men in Canada to make claim for losses due to land confiscations in the American Revolution. Most plantiffs were United Empire Loyalists who left the Mohawk Valley of New York from land owed by Sir William Johnson.

Sir John Johnson, was a soldier, Loyalist, public servant (b at Mohawk Valley, NY 5 Nov 1742; d at Mount Johnson, near Montr?al 4 Jan 1830). He was the son of Sir William Johnson and heir to the Johnson family's massive Mohawk Valley estates. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, he moved to Montr?al and organized and commanded the 2 battalions of King's Royal Regiment (KRR) of NY, a Loyalist Provincial corps. In March 1782 Johnson was appointed to command the British Indian Department, a position he held until 1828. He assisted in resettling the Loyalists, especially along the upper St Lawrence. Appointments to the legislative councils of Qu?bec in 1787 and Lower Canada in 1796 followed. During the War of 1812, he commanded the Six Township Battalions of Qu?bec Militia


These legal documents are primarily drafts and final depositions from men who swore that the petitioners did not own the land on which they resided in the Mohawk Valley as they were actual tenants on land owned by Sir William Johnson.


Included is the depositions is Sir John Johnson, Sir William's son. One of the pivotal questions which arose was the existence of the tenancy agreements and/or title deeds to these lands. Sir John noted that these vital papers were placed in a trunk and buried in the garden behind Johnson Hall when the family fled to Montreal. When they returned several years later, the trunk was full of water and the papers beyond salvaging. This was attested to by at least the gardener who had buried them. The outcome of the case is not included nor the claim of the claimants. In this file there is none of the claimants providing documents supporting their land ownership claim.

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Perhaps the 1885 story was a gabled suspected treasure version 108 years later of that is claimed 14 pages of documents in 1798? What was dug up was documents pertaining to land ownership and tenants.

By 1885 it was taken out of context as legends do? But indeed perhaps there is more to the story?

It appears silver plate was also recovered from Johnson property?

Upon Johnson’s return to Fort St. John’s on the Richelieu on June 3 he reported to Governor Haldimand, pragmatically listing the considerable destruction and killings that had occurred. Noteworthy was the one hundred and forty-three men who had come away as recruits.

Sir John failed to mention a little side-adventure, which was detailed in a deposition of a Tryon militiaman, Thomas Sammons, who had been captured at his family home. He and the other prisoners were marched to Johnson Hall, where he witnessed an interesting event. “I then saw About 40 men

March from the Hall and marched direct to Sir John Johnson. There was 3 or 4 Bags with silver plate which had been Buried in the Cellar formerly belonging to the Family of the Johnstons had been buried in 2 Barrels. The Bags were opened throwed on the Ground and every man was Handed some to put in his knapsack and his name put down & then Marched off.


It appears that the silver plate arrived in Quebec intact; however, Sir John’s ill luck continued. Legend has it that he decided to ship the service to Britain, perhaps for safe keeping, or to be liquidated to raise much-needed cash. Historian John Watts DePeyster offers three theories concerning the plate’s demise?

One, the vessel foundered in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the plate was lost. Second, the vessel was intercepted by a Massachusetts’ privateer and the plate taken. Third, the interceptor was a French letter-of-marque. Whatever the case, Sir John had suffered more bad luck and lost the family’s silver plate..



Crow
 

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CreakyDigger

CreakyDigger

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Wow! What a great answer!
 

jeff of pa

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The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) 13 Nov 1971, Sa

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Crow

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Gidday Amigos

Johnson hall still exists. It is great survivor of the passage of time and today regarded as a national monument.

Cool to think the grand old house during the war of independence had silver plate hidden in the basement?


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Crow
 

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