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New York Folklore Quarterly, Vol. II, No. 3, August 1946

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NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. II, No. 3, August, 1946

TALES OF BURIED TREASURE IN ROCHESTER
Dorothy Dengler

DURING the pioneer period of New York State, many ancient relics were uncovered, inciting an interest in digging for buried treasure. The lack of accurate scientific knowledge of the origins of these remains opened up a lucrative field for seers and soothsayers, whose mystic revelations proved strangely gratifying to the pioneer’s thirst for secret and hidden knowledge of the universe about him.

In addition to such a propitious time to exercise their talents, the soothsayers in the Rochester region had the backing of recent historical facts to make their tales credible. It is said that many of those who had been in the Genesee country during the French and Indian War were firmly convinced that English and French traders, as well as military expeditions from Canada, had hidden valuable stones and gold and silver coin near the navigable watercourses on their journeys through this wildrness. Then, too, many of the early settlers had been here as soldiers of General Sullivan’s army in 1779 or had been carried here as captives of the Indians. These men reported that Indians and Tories had brought into this area a large quantity of gold and silver plate as well as other valuables they had plundered from the inhabitants on the frontiers of New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. These tales, handed down from person to person, make clear the eagerness with which people snatched at any clue that gave hope of finding these treasures, and the faith they had in those who were in any way psychic and might reveal the location of such treasures.....


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