Lost Adams Diggings Found!

Ironwill

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Probably the closest we have is the Jason Baxter account, in which Baxter calls the placer deposit the "Snively Diggings". This is based on an encounter Baxter describes in which he and two others met Snively in Pinos Altos in 1863. Snively was reportedly carrying $10,000 in placer gold (30 pounds!) from a rich deposit that he had just left because of Apache trouble. Baxter was a well-respected frontiersman of the day whose integrity was apparently unchallenged. It's all in Black Range Tales, written by another solid participant of the times, James McKenna.

What if the timing of the encounter is wrong. What if Snively was the German, and it was 1865 not 63. Perhaps Pinos Altos is where Snively came to town with his near 60 pounds of gold from Adams diggings when he left their party before the Apache slaughter. 60 pounds of gold would be about 14-15 dollars an ounce and around 10,500 or so back then. When selling gold to an assayer, usually you give up 20% for the assayer's cost of smelting and filtering out impurities. It was 18.90 / ounce back then and 20% cut would be around 15.00/ ounce. I think that would put poundage near 55 pounds...which is almost identical to what the German left Adams party with before they were slaughtered. If only we had a newspaper clipping of when that Snively actually came into Pinos Altos, that could clear up the date issue.
 

sdcfia

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[Responding to Ironwill's post 211 above]:

Actually, the official price of gold fluctuated considerably higher, never lower, than its long-standing $20.67/troy ounce beginning during the Civil War and ending in the early 1880s, when it returned to $20.67/troy ounce. It held this value until the traitor FDR devalued the $US in 1933. In those days, gold and silver was stable money (not paper IOUs).

My calc for the Snively account: $10,000 / 20.67 $/tr oz / 14.5 tr oz/lb = 33 pounds. What he sold it for later is unknown. In any event, I agree Snively was the Dutchman. For many reasons, I'll stick with the 1863 date. Your mileage may vary.

https://onlygold.com/gold-prices/historical-gold-prices/
 

Clay Diggins

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12 Troy ounces to the Troy pound... 41 pounds Troy.

I lived in, rode, hiked and prospected the area for several years. There are several well developed placer deposits in the area in question but no one ever seems to mention the obvious possibilities. Several of these deposits were big enough that towns developed around them.
 

Ironwill

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[Responding to Ironwill's post 211 above]:

Actually, the official price of gold fluctuated considerably higher, never lower, than its long-standing $20.67/troy ounce beginning during the Civil War and ending in the early 1880s, when it returned to $20.67/troy ounce. It held this value until the traitor FDR devalued the $US in 1933. In those days, gold and silver was stable money (not paper IOUs).

My calc for the Snively account: $10,000 / 20.67 $/tr oz / 14.5 tr oz/lb = 33 pounds. What he sold it for later is unknown. In any event, I agree Snively was the Dutchman. For many reasons, I'll stick with the 1863 date. Your mileage may vary.

https://onlygold.com/gold-prices/historical-gold-prices/
Yeah that was my bad on the price...that was world gold council which I think was in Europe maybe in pounds. I saw another that confirmed the 20.67. I get where you arrived at 33 pounds, and I wasn't trying to correct you. I'm just saying that if some guy in a town said a man came in and sold his placer gold at estimated 10,000...then that's with a 20% cut. That was part of the estimated business of valuing your mining produce back then. And I believe Clay is right about the 12 troy ounces per pound unless that was not the case in the olden days. At 16.53 (20% cut price), 10,000 would be 50 lbs of placer gold. I even read in another article that it was 13,000 that Snively brought into town, not 10k. Its just normal evolution of rumors and stories to have so many different pieces of data in them depending on who the teller is :P
 

Clay Diggins

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Yeah that was my bad on the price...that was world gold council which I think was in Europe maybe in pounds. I saw another that confirmed the 20.67. I get where you arrived at 33 pounds, and I wasn't trying to correct you. I'm just saying that if some guy in a town said a man came in and sold his placer gold at estimated 10,000...then that's with a 20% cut. That was part of the estimated business of valuing your mining produce back then. And I believe Clay is right about the 12 troy ounces per pound unless that was not the case in the olden days. At 16.53 (20% cut price), 10,000 would be 50 lbs of placer gold. I even read in another article that it was 13,000 that Snively brought into town, not 10k. Its just normal evolution of rumors and stories to have so many different pieces of data in them depending on who the teller is :P
So a few simple questions arise. That old demon common sense is raising it's head again.

Do you know what form of money men were willing to accept in exchange for mined gold? It's my understanding that the only forms of money were silver and gold coin. It would be foolish to exchange the mined gold for silver because the silver would weigh 16 times as much as the gold and would be 16 times as large. If they were to accept gold coin for their mined gold I'm puzzled what the advantage would be? The U.S minted mined gold into gold coin at no cost. In the west people would gladly accept mined gold in exchange for goods and services.

Who (specifically) would have had $10,000 dollars in gold or silver money to "buy" Snively's mined gold during that time and what would entice them to exchange their gold or silver money for mined gold?
 

Ironwill

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So a few simple questions arise. That old demon common sense is raising it's head again.

Do you know what form of money men were willing to accept in exchange for mined gold? It's my understanding that the only forms of money were silver and gold coin. It would be foolish to exchange the mined gold for silver because the silver would weigh 16 times as much as the gold and would be 16 times as large. If they were to accept gold coin for their mined gold I'm puzzled what the advantage would be? The U.S minted mined gold into gold coin at no cost. In the west people would gladly accept mined gold in exchange for goods and services.

Who (specifically) would have had $10,000 dollars in gold or silver money to "buy" Snively's mined gold during that time and what would entice them to exchange their gold or silver money for mined gold?
That's a good question....and I figured out his 14.5 troy ounces...he was trying to translate the weight to a STANDARD pound instead of a troy pound which is 14.6 troy ounces.
 

sdcfia

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12 Troy ounces to the Troy pound... 41 pounds Troy.

I lived in, rode, hiked and prospected the area for several years. There are several well developed placer deposits in the area in question but no one ever seems to mention the obvious possibilities. Several of these deposits were big enough that towns developed around them.
Yeah, it's gets confusing because the US always has used, and still uses, avoirdupois weight measurements for 99+++% of everyday life. The troy ounce/pound system is a throwback to the Roman days but is still used worldwide, including in the US, for precious metals calculations. True, there is a Troy pound (12 Troy ounces), but that's just an obscure historic anomaly, not a distinction needed when mentioning weight. My assumption is that if Snively or any of us buys 3 pounds of potatoes, we don't check to be sure we're getting US pounds or Troy pounds. He was reported to have had about 30 pounds of nuggets - about US$10,000 worth in the day. Whatever he traded it for later (US legal tender paper money went into use in 1862), or if he did at all, doesn't weigh (no pun intended) on the discussion of how or where he got it.
  • The troy ounce is a metric used in weighing precious metals.
  • The troy ounce is the equivalent of 31.1034768 grams.
  • A standard ounce is the equivalent of 28.349 grams, or around 10% less.
  • A troy pound (12 troy ounces) is lighter than a standard pound (14.6 troy ounces).
  • The troy ounce is the last remaining metric still used in the troy weighting system.
 

sdcfia

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12 Troy ounces to the Troy pound... 41 pounds Troy.

I lived in, rode, hiked and prospected the area for several years. There are several well developed placer deposits in the area in question but no one ever seems to mention the obvious possibilities. Several of these deposits were big enough that towns developed around them.
Yeah, I live in one of them - Pinos Altos. I'll bet we could exchange some interesting stories. Anyway, no one mentions the obvious because it kills the mystique of the "Lost Adams". The only one lost was Adams himself.
 

Clay Diggins

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Pinos Altos was already well known but there are several other possibilities.
mogollon_nm.jpg
 

Clay Diggins

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The Troy pound is still used exclusively in precious metal commerce. Gold and silver weights are always calculated in the Standard Troy system. The fraction of a Troy ounce still is used also. It'd the pennyweight (dwt) and there are exactly 20 of them to the Troy ounce.

The only real reason to convert between Troy ounce and Avoirdupois is to calculate large amounts of silver and gold in a way that can be understood by those Americans only familiar with the old French Avoirdupois system. It's useful to know how much weight a horse, wagon or a man can carry in Avoirdupois pounds when discussing these legends.

I know some readers are wondering why anyone would still use the Troy system. A little perspective might help. The entire world agrees that the Troy standard should be used for silver and gold. The Troy system and the Avoirdupois system both were created in France in the Middle Ages. The Avoirdupois system was mostly abandoned across the world in favor of the metric system but the U.S. held on to the Avoirdupois system and finally in 1959 weight standards were set for the American Avoirdupois system. It's the Avoirdupois weight system that most people in the world wonder why it is still being used - not the Troy system.
 

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Ironwill

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Yeah, I live in one of them - Pinos Altos. I'll bet we could exchange some interesting stories. Anyway, no one mentions the obvious because it kills the mystique of the "Lost Adams". The only one lost was Adams himself.
I'm coming out that way in about 3 years. Gonna quit my job at 57 and live out of my Ultra 4Runner...affectionately named "Ironclad" Maybe we can meet up then and share some ADAMS FANATIC info :D
 

Ironwill

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Jul 2, 2013
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Probably the closest we have is the Jason Baxter account, in which Baxter calls the placer deposit the "Snively Diggings". This is based on an encounter Baxter describes in which he and two others met Snively in Pinos Altos in 1863. Snively was reportedly carrying $10,000 in placer gold (30 pounds!) from a rich deposit that he had just left because of Apache trouble. Baxter was a well-respected frontiersman of the day whose integrity was apparently unchallenged. It's all in Black Range Tales, written by another solid participant of the times, James McKenna.

What if the timing of the encounter is wrong. What if Snively was the German, and it was 1865 not 63. Perhaps Pinos Altos is where Snively came to town with his near 60 pounds of gold from Adams diggings when he left their party before the Apache slaughter.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Getting back to this post I made ... Dobie's book states that the German left when the party went for supplies with 9-10,000 dollars in gold, another reference was 8 to 10,000 from another source (can't remember). What if the Year was actually 1864 not 1863 and Snively was the German who left the party and then travelled south arriving at Pinos Altos instead of going back SW through Apacheria (sp?) in eastern AZ. Besides, he was travelling east from Cali anyway so it would make sense he would not be going back west. Regarding the date mistake, I think its fairly easy for them to have gotten it wrong. Look at my original post where I put 1865 by mistake, instead of 64. If this is indeed the German who left Adams with his share, then this is HUGE in helping to I.D. a possible area to search...IMO

Will
 

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