NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. II, No. 3, August, 1946
TALES OF BURIED TREASURE IN ROCHESTER
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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