[QUOTE]The Inscribed Stone
Sunday, 19 July 2009 14:38 | Author: Administrator |
The time line for the money pit?s inscribed stone has never been completely identified in any single book. You might be surprised to learn of some details, especially of quickly unfolding series of suspicious events which happened during the 1860s.
The implied historic time line which takes us to 1864 is the following:
A stone is found at the 80 ft level. Specific year and by whom is unknown; however is thought to be in 1805 by the Onslow Company. (Ref Halifax Sun and Advisor dated 2 July 1862)
John Smith comes to possess the stone, specific year is unknown. (Ref: PANS microfiche 10599)
John Smith places the stone in an outside course in the back part of his fireplace during the building his new home in 1810. (Ref PANS microfiche 10599)
John Smith supposedly tells George Cooke of the stone and where it is located during 1849. (Ref: PANS microfiche 10599)
John Smith dies in Aug 1857. (PANS MG 100 Volume 230 #32-32E microfiche 9809 - Descendants of the Smith and Floyd Families)
After John?s passing, the property and house falls into the possession of Anthony Graves, but is used as a treasure hunting headquarters by the Truro Group, then by the Oak Island Association. Neither Anthony Graves nor anyone except for George Cooke, knows of the stone?s location. (ref PANS microfiche 10599)
THE RECORD of EVENTS:
Liverpool Transcript 1857
does not mention the inscribed stone.
Liverpool Transcript Sep 1861
?The digger, Patrick? letter does not mention the inscribed stone, but does describe in detail the Onslow work, specifically them sinking a crowbar at 93ft into a wooden platform. Patrick self proclaims himself as ?one who knows?.
Liverpool Transcript Aug 1861
does not mention the stone.
Nova Scotian 20 Sep 1861
does not mention the stone.
Liverpool Transcript Dec 1861
does not mention the inscribed stone.
Halifax Sun and Advisor dated 2 July 1862
This paper contains the first mention of the inscribed stone. The author was J.B. McCully who drafted the letter on 2 June 1862. While offering information which described conditions as supposedly found during the 1805 excavation, McCully mentions the following:
?Some of them [layers] were charcoal, some putty, and one at 80 feet was a stone cut square, two feet long and about a foot thick, with several characters cut on it?.
No further details are provided other than this fleeting mention.
This above disclosure by McCully does not appear to have gained any interest.
Rambles Among the Blue noses Aug 1862 by Andrew Spedon
McCully is interviewed by Andrew Spedon for his book,. McCully does not mention the stone to Spedon.
Halifax Colonist 2 Jan 1864
Additional details of the stone are revealed through an anonymous letter detailing the history of the treasure hunt. The letter is signed by ?A Member, Truro Dec 20th 1863?. Research comparing the manuscript letter against a subsequent letter by George Cooke, Secretary of the Oak Island Association, found a positive match in hand writing style. George Cooke says he personally spoke with Smith about 14 years early, thus 1849 (Ref: PANS microfiche 10599). The only additional information contained in this article is the following:
?As it was preserved in the family of Mr. Smith it may be seen by the curious at the present day.?
A letter from John Hunter Duvar, Secretary to the Historical Society of Nova Scotia, to George Cook - 2 Jan 1864
John knows that George is the anonymous author and asks ?May I beg, in the name of the Society, to be informed with the name of the person in whose possession this stone is??
A letter by George Cooke to John Hunter-Duvar, replying to the letter of 2 Jan 1864, dated 27 Jan 1864
?Our making inquiries since receipt of your letter, I find that the chimney has been boxed around by a wooden partition, and that a flight of stairs back up near where the stone is inserted. I was not aware of this before. This may prevent the stone being got at without trouble?
George also discusses deciphering the stone and it is very important to the Oak Island Association.
George concluded the letter with the following:
?At the time I saw the stone, I noticed that there were some rudely cut letters, figures, or characters upon it. I cannot recollect which, but they appear as if they had been scraped out by a blunt instrument rather than cut by a sharp one.?
George also provides testimony from John Smith about the stone's discovery. Smith merely saw the stone come from below ground with Smith implying he was not present below ground on that day.
After the date from the above letter, the exact chain of custody for this inscribed stone is clouded.
James DeMille's "Treasure of the Sea? 1872
DeMille is a summer resident of Chester Basin during the later 1860s, he lived on Oak Island for a summer, and possessed firsthand knowledge of the underground workings through his own observations. (In October, 1865, James DeMille, M.A. was added to replace McCulloch who had died in March, 1865, and James Leichti was added as tutor in Modern Languages. DeMille remained until his death in 1880 and Leichti until 1901 [Ref: Dalhousie University - Earth Sciences - About Us - History - Chapter 2
James Leichti is thought to have (at some point) translated the stone which read: "Ten feet below are two million pounds buried."
DeMille was kind enough to note the stone was already removed from the fireplace when he arrived on the island. DeMille also mentioned that up until this point, no person was able to decode the stone. Considering DeMille?s interest in the island, and for DeMille to have been Leichti?s boss at Dalhousie University, DeMille ought to have known if Leichti translated the stone prior to 1872.
Undated letter by William Blair (private collection)
?Jefferson W. McDonald, who first mentioned Oak Island to me in 1893, worked there under George Mitchell?.Mr. McDonald, who was a carpenter by trade, also told of taking down a partition in Smith?s house, in order that he with others might examine the characters cut on the stone used in the jamb of a fire place in the house. The characters were there all right, but no person present could decipher them.?
George Mitchell was the superintendant of works for the Oak Island Association, formed 3 April 1861 and ceased before 29 March 1865. RV Harris wrote ?About 1865-1866 the stone was removed and taken to Halifax. Among those who worked to remove the stone was one Jefferson W. MacDonald.?
1894 Prospectus ? Oak Island Treasure Company
This is the first instance in print to mention a translation of the stone. It implies for someone (an expert) of Halifax made the translation.
?Afterwards, it was placed in the jamb of a fireplace that Mr. Smith was building in his house, and while there was viewed by thousands of people. Many years afterwards, it was taken out of the chimney and taken to Halifax to have, if possible, the characters deciphered".
One of the experts gave his reading of the inscription as follows: "Ten feet below are two million pounds buried." We give this statement for what it is worth, but by no means claim that this is the correct interpretation. Apart from this, however, the fact remains that the history and description of the stone as above given have never been disputed.?
The Oak Island Treasure CHARLES B. DRISCOLL, (1929:Jan./June) p.685
?The stone was shown to everyone who visited the island in those days. Smith built this stone into his fireplace, with the strange characters outermost, so that visitors might see and admire it. Many years after his death, the stone was removed from the fireplace and taken to Halifax, where local savants were unable to translate the inscription. It was then taken to the home of J.B. McCulley in Truro, where it was exhibited to hundreds of friends of the McCulleys, who became interested in a later treasure company. Somehow the stone fell into the hands of a book binder, who used it as a base upon which to beat leather for many years. A generation later, with the inscription nearly worn away, the stone found its way to a book store in Halifax, and what happened to it after that I was unable to learn.?
27th March 1935 Letter of Harry W Marshall to Fred Blair and RV Harris
The stone was on display until 1919 in the store of Creighton and Marshall, which his father was a partner. Harry says one of the Creightons who was interest in the Oak Island Treasure Company brought the stone to Halifax, but no characters could be seen except for the initials JM which were carved into the stone in more recent times. Considering the Oak Island Treasure Company was in existence from 1893 to 1899, this can only mean a Creighton brought the stone to Halifax between 1893 and 1899.