Lieut. Col. William Emorys "Notes" and The Lost Adams Diggings

Oroblanco

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Re: Lieut. Col. William Emory's "Notes" and The Lost Adams Diggings

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Gork

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Old Bookaroo said:
.... “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....."

A theory pioneered by Jack Purcell identifies Jacob Snively as a likely candidate for the role of 'the Dutchman' of the LAD legends. Snively allegedly rode into Pinos Altos in 1864 with $10,000 worth of placer gold, and later sold it in Yuma ... or so the story goes. However, I haven't seen any solid documentation explaining the source of this story. Snively also supposedly claimed the placer came from a place 125 miles 'north of Pinos Altos', but again, this statement would be hard to hang your hat on.

I wish there was more written about Snively- his life was remarkable, what little we know about him.

You might note that an excellent article concerning this subject was written by Paul Harden titled "The Lost Adams Diggings: Part One" in the El Defensor Chieftain newspaper, Socorro, NM, September 4, 2004. Part two was published October 9, 2004.
You will note that the Apache Chief Nana allowed them to remain in what he called Sno-Ta-Hay ("Where it Lays") canyon and dig for gold and could not pass beyond the waterfall at the end of the canyon.
There is a fair amount known about Jacob Snively. My interest has been mostly with the stage station he ran for the Butterfield Overland Mail Company at Gila City, Arizona. He was responsible for starting the first placer gold rush in Arizona in November 1858. This was in the mountains just south of the Butterfield stage station. His first interest was in prospecting but he made a buck on the side operating the station. Sometime in 1864 he wandered off to the Pinos Altos.I have written about this period of his life in my recently published book The Butterfield Trail and Overland Mail Company in Arizona, 1858-1861.
 

Springfield

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You might note that an excellent article concerning this subject was written by Paul Harden titled "The Lost Adams Diggings: Part One" in the El Defensor Chieftain newspaper, Socorro, NM, September 4, 2004. Part two was published October 9, 2004.
You will note that the Apache Chief Nana allowed them to remain in what he called Sno-Ta-Hay ("Where it Lays") canyon and dig for gold and could not pass beyond the waterfall at the end of the canyon.
There is a fair amount known about Jacob Snively. My interest has been mostly with the stage station he ran for the Butterfield Overland Mail Company at Gila City, Arizona. He was responsible for starting the first placer gold rush in Arizona in November 1858. This was in the mountains just south of the Butterfield stage station. His first interest was in prospecting but he made a buck on the side operating the station. Sometime in 1864 he wandered off to the Pinos Altos.I have written about this period of his life in my recently published book The Butterfield Trail and Overland Mail Company in Arizona, 1858-1861.

Unfortunately, the well-known 'Nana/Sno-ta-hay' rendition of the LAD legend, a particularly popular one in the Socorro area, is one of many tellings of the tale, many in conflict with each other. That problem (too much conflicting information) is, of course, a serious burden for the curious.
 

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Gork

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Unfortunately, the well-known 'Nana/Sno-ta-hay' rendition of the LAD legend, a particularly popular one in the Socorro area, is one of many tellings of the tale, many in conflict with each other. That problem (too much conflicting information) is, of course, a serious burden for the curious.

I have only heard about the Lost Adam Diggings from interested friends. The article I mentioned that this was in was passed on to me by a researcher with the National park Service. I guess this stuff about old legends gets kicked around a lot and therefore gets distorted like many lost treasure stories. Have you seen the article? I am curious about your take on it since you seem to be an expert in that area.
 

Springfield

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Yes, I've read the article. It recaps several talking points debated for many years concerning the LAD, and identifies a number of landmarks key to the legend. However, in our fractal world, landmarks such as described in the tales can be found in a number of locations all over the southwest, depending upon the accuracy of the landmarks' descriptions and the eye of the beholder. Not only that, but the landmarks vary considerably among the many versions of the legend. I've got a couple dozen LAD versions, many of them favoring the 'northern' LAD location, ie the west-of-Magdalena towards Alamo/Datil/Zuni vicinity. Many other versions, well-known and not-so-well-known, favor other parts of New Mexico or Arizona. Most of the popular versions are third-hand information at best, some possibly second-hand. None are first-hand. Confident arguments have been made for years that the LAD has been located, but so far, nobody has provided a location where gold has been found. "I've found the LAD, all the clues are there" is not good enough. We need to see the gold.
 

Gork

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Yes, I've read the article. It recaps several talking points debated for many years concerning the LAD, and identifies a number of landmarks key to the legend. However, in our fractal world, landmarks such as described in the tales can be found in a number of locations all over the southwest, depending upon the accuracy of the landmarks' descriptions and the eye of the beholder. Not only that, but the landmarks vary considerably among the many versions of the legend. I've got a couple dozen LAD versions, many of them favoring the 'northern' LAD location, ie the west-of-Magdalena towards Alamo/Datil/Zuni vicinity. Many other versions, well-known and not-so-well-known, favor other parts of New Mexico or Arizona. Most of the popular versions are third-hand information at best, some possibly second-hand. None are first-hand. Confident arguments have been made for years that the LAD has been located, but so far, nobody has provided a location where gold has been found. "I've found the LAD, all the clues are there" is not good enough. We need to see the gold.

Your explanation is very good. Your expertise needs no other qualification as you have noted "None are first-hand." This is the primary element in most credible research.
As stated before, my only knowledge is of Jacob Snively concerning his relationship with the Butterfield Overland Mail Company. This thread extends to the LAD and is interesting to me, but only as a secondary interest. Thank you for your clairfication.
 

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gpg

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After reading Col. Brown's report, I wondered if there was a map prepared as part of it. I looked in the Atlas section of the Records, and to my surprise found the Map of the Military Department of New Mexico, Drawn...by Capt. Allen Anderson...1864.

I was acquainted with this famous work from Jack Purcell's book. I had not realized it was from The War of the Rebellion.

For the benefit of those who don't have ready access to this wonderful work of cartographic art, here is the portion showing the country related in Col. Brown's report.


Good luck to all,

~The Old Bookaroo


Thanks for the map. Rivers meeting near Clifton are again switched around from Emory. This is more like now. Bonito is as is now, but says "or San Carlos", the San Carlos is farther west. "Negrito or Prieto" is now Eagle Creek(again, not the Black as now in N. AZ). Azul is as now, the Blue. "Rio Nutrioso" is the San Fran. now. Never seen it as the Nutrioso before.
 

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gpg

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It's a great resource. It's interesting that place names and locations change over the years.

I suspect in this case and Emory's map it was more of a case of the explorers not being quite sure where they were. The names are mostly the same, and the geograpy is somewhat accurate and similarly drawn, but the names have just been switched around with other close names.
 

Springfield

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Well, this isn't exactly LAD stuff, but I ran into an acquaintance recently who had a good story to tell. He's an independent geologist and drilling industry inventor for the most part, and a boots on the ground prospector and treasure hunter in his spare time, which is plentiful. His education was at one of the west's school of mines. He's sharp and over the years has developed a network of capable buddies in different fields.

He showed me a vial of what looked at first like placer gold nuggets, but they were all flat platelets. He explained that he found two old adobe furnaces buried in a hillside up in the mountains. He had begun uncovering the smaller of the two and had scraped the black burnt sides of a few bricks into a bucket and panned out the gold. The furnaces were crude smelters. There was no other human sign anywhere nearby in all directions.

His plan is to return, totally uncover both furnaces and recover all the gold that he can. Then he will attempt to find the mine which apparently produced the ore that had been smelted, plus the arrastra site and any evidence of encampments, if possible.

Now the interesting point of the story - how he found the area where the smelters are buried. Somehow (he didn't say how, exactly) he obtained copies of Col Emory's original field notes, which were significently edited prior to the publication of the Report. Included in the notes was an observation of the apparent smelter site, with lat/lon coordinates and elevation. No mention was made of the mine site in the notes, just the furnaces. My acquaintance simply hiked to the listed coordinates and began searching, and by a stroke of luck finally discovered the hillside where bricks were showing at a spot that water had eroded the dirt covering them. My friend didn't mention whether Emory's notes indicated whether his people had buried the furnaces, or that they found them in a similar state that my friend did. None of this information is included in the published Report.

I'll pass on new info if I hear any.
 

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Springfield

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Springfield, were you able to obtain copies of those field notes?

I haven't seen the guy since the day he told me the story - I think he's out of town. Besides, I didn't get the impression that he was sharing the good stuff - he didn't even reveal which mountains he was in.
 

Ironwill

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A theory pioneered by Jack Purcell identifies Jacob Snively as a likely candidate for the role of 'the Dutchman' of the LAD legends. Snively allegedly rode into Pinos Altos in 1864 with $10,000 worth of placer gold, and later sold it in Yuma ... or so the story goes. However, I haven't seen any solid documentation explaining the source of this story. Snively also supposedly claimed the placer came from a place 125 miles 'north of Pinos Altos', but again, this statement would be hard to hang your hat on.

I wish there was more written about Snively- his life was remarkable, what little we know about him.

Springfield, I had been plotting information on Google Earth for a few years now trying to ZERO in on an LAD site. I must be honest that I have not read all of the information that is listed here, however I will make it a point to thoroughly look through everyone's information (whether it seems credible or not). I must say what you say about Snively shocked me, because that "supposed" story about him actually puts me within 5 miles of a probable site that I had marked on the map. Appreciate that information. :)
 

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sdcfia

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Springfield, I had been plotting information on Google Earth for a few years now trying to ZERO in on an LAD site. I must be honest that I have not read all of the information that is listed here, however I will make it a point to thoroughly look through everyone's information (whether it seems credible or not). I must say what you say about Snively shocked me, because that "supposed" story about him actually puts me within 5 miles of a probable site that I had marked on the map. Appreciate that information. :)

Bear Creek, perhaps?
 

Ironwill

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Bear Creek, perhaps?

No SDCFIA, what I was referring to is the 125 miles northerly direction of Pinos Altos. My location is near that distance, one way in one way out. The entrance in would fit the adams map.png
There is no secret door, but halfway up the canyon, near that Y ridge spot where the little door is, there is a bouldered up area that looks as you could not continue from Google Earth, but it does continue. And then it does go over a slight ridge and into a long valley with a box area on the left looking like it could "house" a water fall. I see evidence of a small stream on the right side as the valley goes up there.

However it is at direct odds with the 1916 account of Adam's journey, because that journey which is the closest accounting I have seen to 1864 time period (the closer the story is to the actual time period, the less devoid it is of gossip or rumor "MODIFICATIONS" of the story tellers. And this journey has Adams going North East from Gila Bend (the Pima Village the story refers to) to West of the Malpais, then turning up and then North West direction skirting up by the bottom side of the Zuni Mountains for about 15 miles. Then the article indicates Gotch Ear stating the spot is in the ledge that runs near those two small peaks, another 16-18 miles assumedly NW as that is the direction they were traveling. This would put the BIG GOLD end of expedition near Pyramid Rock above the Old Ft. Lyon(which of course they never continued that way due to finding gold there in that stream that they camped in and were slaughtered). It's like the traditional tail you read today in Wikipedia and a few others make it sound like he went thru the plains and then into the Datil Mountains, which somewhat backs up with the Snively expedition as well. However the 1916 account from that paper shows this...
1916 route.png

The craziest thing about that 1916 article and Adams recounting of it... They travelled 290 miles in 3 days to cross the Divide and that road. That's just impossible to do, so something in that article has to be incorrectly stated.
 

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sdcfia

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Ironwill, it will take an iron will to follow the LAD rabbit hole. The first major obstacle is the number of versions of the story to consider. As a group, they are extremely conflicting. Here's a start:
Screen Shot 2021-01-20 at 5.49.25 AM.png
I've got more unpublished material that isn't on the lst. Which version to rely on? Any of them? I drove to the El Paso Public Library back in the 70s to get a copy of that 1916 version, which I assume is the one you're citing. It was the go-to version for years and I bought into it - even made a couple scouting trips trying to verify the landmarks. I rejected the several 'Fort Wingate scenarios' for numerous reasons. Your mileage may vary.

The second major obstacle is Adams, who was obviously an unreliable witness. His name has forever been associated with the "lost diggings", but it's not clear that he was actually part of the prospecting party. Most believe he was. If so, he certainly was unable to locate the prize later, no matter how hard he tried.

Snively is the key player, IMO. I also reject his well-known '125 miles' allegation.
Screen Shot 2021-01-20 at 6.32.49 AM.png
 

Ironwill

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YOU ARE THE MAN! I have 4 days off tomorrow, and I'll read each version :) Curious to see how they differ and match :)

I don't understand the Page 2, Page 7 and all that. I can't find what pages you're speaking of.
 

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sdcfia

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YOU ARE THE MAN! I have 4 days off tomorrow, and I'll read each version :) Curious to see how they differ and match :)

I don't understand the Page 2, Page 7 and all that. I can't find what pages you're speaking of.

Those page numbers refer to a document that I compiled from the 12 listed versions. The 12 versions are from various sources, transcribed and compiled.
 

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