In-Depth Non-Biased review of W.C. Jameson's Discovery of L.A.D.

Ironwill

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Jul 2, 2013
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First of all, hello again to all you treasure hopefuls out there. I decided to do a review on W.C. Jameson's book The Lost Canyon of GOLD, in which he claims to discovered the Lost Adams Diggings and its location. Part of doing this is to educate people in the community on fact vs fiction, and to help alleviate boredom :D The other is there is a searcher who asked on my thoughts on the author's claims. I looked and found that I actually had his book (Mass ordered about 6 back a few years ago when infatuated with the treasures out west). I read most of it, but had to stop at one point due to reasons I'll explain later. But I read enough of what mattered to be able to critique these claims for those interested.

Before I start, let me say this is a non biased view from someone all the way on the East Coast. I do not know the author personally nor do I have anything against him personally. Everything I share will be my opinions based off of research on the subject matter and logical assumption thereof. With that being said let's begin...

From the very beginning, I'd like to state as a matter of fact... W.C. Jameson DID NOT discover the alleged Lost Adams Diggings. A man named Jim Peterson discovered the spot described in the book and led Jameson there. From a logical perspective I can assume that Jameson was doing his research on writing this book, and posted out into the ether sphere for anyone who thought they might know where the Adams Diggings were, and Jim Peterson contacted him and it went from there. The definition of "DISCOVER" is to find something "unexpectedly" or in the course of a search. Since this was not a search and it was not unexpected(due to Jim Peterson leading him there), the author did not discover it.

I will address the diggings from here on as LAD for ease of space. Also, I will try to chronologically cover Jameson's opinions and offer my assessment as numbered points as C1 (claim 1) and R1 (rebuttal 1). Feel free to traverse them at your desire as you read....

C1. Jameson(or representative) has stated on forums that this spot was his special and elusive spot. While walking down through the canyon, he explained how he crossed streams over and over. He stated that in another hour he'd know if he had indeed found the LAD.

C2. He states in his introduction that what follows is the true story of the Lost Adams Diggings, beginning with Adams being informed of the gold from Gotch Ear.

C3. Throughout the history since Adams all we have is their word and testimony as to the possible location of the LAD. Testimony from Adams, John Brewer, Gotch Ear's involvement(via Adams). All the newspaper articles reporting on possible findings, or recorded stories. Then there are the books written, each I'm sure had exhaustive research to retell the story of LAD. The author Jameson, in his analysis, wants you the reader to... FORGET ALL OF THAT.... WITH ONE EXCEPTION...JAMES B. GRAY.

C4. The author urges us, the reader, to believe that all other authors' stories cannot be trusted because they tell inaccuracies or flat out untruths in order to create a more riveting story. In The Lost Canyon of Gold, Jameson lets us know that he discovered and found the LAD. He states that John Brewer escaped the massacre on horse heading east, but had no idea of his direction. He states that John Brewer escaped and rode over 100 miles in order to reach the Rio Grande.

C5. Jameson goes at length to show us all pictures of the site with 3 that stand out as inaccurate or suspect. A picture of the line shack that he says sits atop the old ruins of Adams cabin. A photo of his pan with the enormous Adams nuggets in it. And last but not least, a picture of the rear of the fireplace/hearth with a secret compartment.

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R1. This information is highly inaccurate. The spot was not "elusive" nor should it take what seems an hour and half to get through the canyon wash. The location is literally UNDER 1 MILE from the main highway. I could walk that now at 54 yrs of age in 30 minutes from the road. This seems to be just Storytime fluff to make it sound more magnanimous.

R2. This is the most confusing part of the book, because it encompasses so much. The author states that what follows is "true", but then immediately in Part III Analysis... Jameson refutes any veracity of it it as akin to utter garbage.

R3. Jameson has a reason to discredit all but James Gray. Grays version lines up with the spot where Jim Peterson led the author to. Let me make this painfully clear as well. Gray's version is the ONLY version that can put LAD in the author's alleged location. When an author spends as much time as Jameson did in discrediting not only Adams and Brewer's accounts, he then says that Gotch Ear was probably incorrect as well. A half breed Apache guide is wrong about directions?!? lol Then to add insult to injury he implies that many of the other authors are wrong, inaccurate, telling lies for the purpose of story fluff, and that even the newspapers in the past are all wrong that they're just trying to sell a copy. Rarely have I ever seen such a concentrated campaign to coax a reader into not believing anything about a subject except ...HIS VERSION. I will use this rebuttal point to fully address James Gray because, whew, its a WHOPPER! James Gray, as told by interview with Dobie, Gray was chief of scouts on an Apache Res. in Az., Worked for the Three H outfit, was a gun runner for a Yaqui chief, a military tactician laying ambush for Mexican soldiers, was with the Rough Riders, an artist, a photographer by trade, fought with the Japs at Peking, He travelled across Algeria and Arabia and has a complete file of the National Geographic. But we're not finished! He found the ruins of Yucatan, would roam months at a time exploring Indian ruins, has read everything on the Island of Mu and the lost Atlantis, was in Belgium when world war I broke out, was in the military service with the French (winning a medal of service), and wrote a book on world war 1 which may or may have not been published. WHEW! That's a lot! He seems to be a historical Davy Crockett, Indiana Jones, and John Rambo all wrapped up into one man. Men who have this many accolades only told by one person, are either a fictional character designed to exude ultimate confidence in detailing events, or is just an olden days George Santos. Either way, his story is wrought with inaccuracies.
A - He states that Adams, 10 miners, and Gotch Ear headed out of Tucson, with 20 burros. Also Adams and the men must've road his 12 stout western horses with the burros in tow, since he had just delivered freight there in Tucson (freight delivery actual truth by Adams). What the heck do you need 20 burros for?? at 100 lbs of provisions per mule thats 2,000 pounds of beans, rice, jerky, and hard tack. And 100lbs per mule is a conservative number. The can normally carry about 150 lbs.
B - He states they travelled at a rate of 8 to 15 miles per day. Hell I could casually walk 8 miles in the mountains in 4 hours easily at 2mph (which is slow). I did some digging and found that Donkeys have a travel rate of 3.5 mph avg. Given grazing time morning and evening I would guess the party travelled 8 hours each day. Even at 3 mph thats 24 miles per day, far higher than Gray's insistence. If anyone else has different numbers or actual experience in this field I'd love to hear from you.
C - He said that Adams never crossed the Colorado River and Black River, but they were the Gila River and San Pedro River. I don't know about the rest of the world, but if I took freight from California to Tucson and stayed at Gila Bend, I think I'd know, when telling my story, if I'd crossed the Gila River. For Grey to say Adams was wrong, is ludicrous.

R4. I think we've already covered who is responsible for the location...Jim Peterson. In the El Paso Herald 1927, John Brewer's entire account of the escape was put in a 3 part article by Tenney. In Brewer's own words, he contradicts Jameson outright. This is probably why the author wants the reader to forget the veracity of Brewer's testimony. Brewer escaped the massacre on foot, not on horse. He travelled for roughly 3 1/2 days before finding friendly Indians. During the entire ordeal he roughly points out all distances of his travel and time. I assigned a minimum and maximum to his words like "few" or "several" in order to encompass all possibilities of travel, and then even added 10 more miles for obscurities in moments of his retelling to allow for a greater range. The "accurate" figure I calculated in that 3 1/2 day ordeal was 38 miles travelled on the low side or 75 miles travelled on the high side. To put that in straight line perspective, straight line distance is approximately 75% of travelled distance, given that you don't travel east for an an entire day then North for an entire day. So given that, 75 miles would translate to 56 miles straight line distance. The problem with this is that Jameson's retelling of Gray's version of Adam's trek beckons us the reader to trust that some how 56 straight line miles is the EXACT same as the 125 straight line miles that you would need to follow east to end up at the Rio Grande from the Author's alleged LAD. To put that in the amazing perspective that you should understand, 125 S.L. miles is the same as just a little bit over 165 travelled miles with NO WATER OR FOOD! In 3 1/2 days Brewer travelled (by foot mind you) at a rate of 47 miles per day! lol...that is if you wish to believe the author's location. This was the major red flag that flew out to me as easily the incorrect location, not for just the distance, but for 2 other reasons....
A- Brewer had no water or food in that time, yet from the author's location of the LAD, Brewer guaranteed, would've crossed the San Francisco River 5 miles east. Then later he would've travelled across the Gila River tributaries. And there are the multitudes of creeks and springs in the mountains headed eastward to the Rio Grande.
B- John, by taking this path from Jameson's alleged LAD, would've almost certainly ran smack into Altos Pinos by trekking east. The author implied Brewer was unreliable in his direction, yet John told us that he followed the morning sun to get east to the Rio Grande. Doesn't sound unreliable to me. Also I should note that East is not what most of you think it is. In that area an easterly direction is actually 107 degrees (instead of the norm accepted 90). That's why he would instantly be within a mile or two on either side of Pinos Altos and see visible signs of trails to get into town. Also, if John would've missed Pinos Altos in that MONUMENTAL, SUPER HUMAN TREK... he'd still been walking right into patrols of Fort Cummings, Fort Seldon, and Fort McRae all of which were in that same direction almost on the Rio Grande.
Brewer 107 Degree East approach from Jameson LAD to R.G..png

So if these are Jameson's untruths and inaccuracies then we should not, by his very own standards, believe his story? I'll leave that up to you all.

R5. In his book he states the cabin was 16 x 18 feet in dimensions. However I could not find any reference on where he got this from. Does anyone else have that data maybe from a book source I did not read? I wonder if someone went to his location and measured that line shack in the picture...what are the odds it just happens to be 16 x 18 feet? ;) Wonder why he didnt't show us a picture of the ruins inside the line shack? ;) Also, if you look at the size of the gold pan, you can easily see that those are not nuggets. They are pickers at best. But I guess "nuggets" make for a better story. As for the secret compartment at the rear of the hearth? I'm a bushcraft enthusiast and I've made rock and mud fireplaces before. What you're looking at in that photo is the broken down mud/rock chimney on the back of the hearth...not a secret compartment. what happens thru time of use, fire overheats and breaks down the stability of the chimney if not properly "clayed" it then crumbles from the weight above it, the breaking point being the vertical spot just outside of the fireplace (being as its the hottest). If you look at the line shack, that chimney would've went up to the top and that flue cap would've sat on it. I believe this is why he took the picture so zoomed in as to not give you a wider view to discern it was a broken chimney.

There are more inconsistencies and inaccuracies but I feel like I would just be beating a dead horse at this point. However, you are free to interpret your own conclusions from his book or any other. And since I have not found the Lost Adams Diggings, I cannot tell you with 100% certainty that Jim Peterson's location of LAD (as described in Jameson's book) is completely false. I can only offer you factual and true evidence, and hope that you can use judgement to arrive at your own personal outcomes.

Thank you all for your time with this LOOOOOONG READ :D

Iron Will
 

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Crow

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Gidday Iron Will

Welcome to the asylum.

I have no opinion either way on the Lost Adams story. I have not researched it personally. But I do not put much faith in 20th century treasure book authors words or newspapers. They are only words given in context of their time.

Treasure book authors their treasure is how many books they sell. They had an artist license to add things to story and copy from other works the adding their opinions as fact. Some times changing story out context from the original story. However once again you got to understand the context of the time pre internet days. To really research such stories was hard. Access to data bases archives etc was very hard.

Newspaper journalist their treasure is how many newspapers they sell. Newspapers tended to be more factual before 1860's before slow decent into tabloid journalism. this happened because as more people became literate there was profusion competing newspaper sprang up and the more outrageous stories became printed to sell more papers.

While it true many of these stories sprang up in era of no welfare. If you managed to live to old age and had no family and too lame or sick to work you was destitute. There was no retirement pension. if you had no family or friends you was out in the gutter to die.

in the late 19th and early 20th century after the publication of treasure island there was renewed interest in treasure stories. it captured the imagination of people and the press. there was many desperate individuals out there that used such stories to their advantage either to get money shelter food offering to sell a dream to some one slightly more richer than you.

That said each treasure tale has to be accessed for what its own merits with what can be ascertained. Some will have more truth to them others will be total fabrication.

Such is the whims of the asylum amigo.

Crow
 

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Ironwill

Ironwill

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Jul 2, 2013
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Primary Interest:
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While it true many of these stories sprang up in era of no welfare. If you managed to live to old age and had no family and too lame or sick to work you was destitute. There was no retirement pension. if you had no family or friends you was out in the gutter to die.
Yeah this one really hit me. You're so right about that. Imagine back in the olden days if you had no family or friends. Wow...sad way to die :(
 

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