The LEGEND talks about how it is valued at over $350,000 or probably more given the recent spike in the price of gold and mentions how the Native Americans knew the “Cross on the Rock” story passed down from their elders. Also known as Borie’s Lost Treasure, it is conjectured to be one of America’s little-known caches of hidden wealth yet to be found in the center of a wooded paradise known as God’s Country, Potter County, USA.

Could this treasure still exist?

Intrigued by the legend, I embarked on a voyage of discovery in search of the source of the tale; I determined that if it existed it would be mine.

When this treasure was hidden, America was still a vast desert in the 17th century. Few other than the hardiest explorers and fur trappers had ventured inland beyond the coastal colonies. However, when Louis Frontenac arrived in 1672, Canada was no longer the infant colony it had been when Richelieu founded the Company of One Hundred Associates. Through the efforts of Louis XIV and Colbert, it had assumed the form of an organized province and Frontenac, as the new governor, sought to create regulated parishes and business opportunities from Montreal to New Orleans in “New France”. Through armed conflict, Frontenac drove out the English settlers and subdued the Native Americans claiming a vast territory for France which was later marked by lead plates buried in the ground as identified by Celoron de Beinville and charted by Father Pierre Bonnecamps, a “Jesuit mathematician”. The fur trade in particular flourished creating the wealth that Frontenac sought and the expansion of “New France” proceeded apace.

My research found that in the mid-1680s, nearly a century before white settlers began to permanently occupy what is now Potter County, a small group of French-Canadians from the fur-trading establishment owned by Louis Frontenac and Robert Cavelier left New Orleans by ship. , for the return trip to Montreal. I quickly discovered errors in the legend recorded by others. I had been disappointed in the details of the trip; more deliberately by someone keen to keep this treasure a secret to himself.

The original tale says [The planned route was up the Mississippi to the junction of the Ohio and then up the Beautiful River, as the Indians call it, to the Allegheny and then northward to the mouth of the Conewango near present day Warren. From that point, a short run would bring the expedition to Chautauqua Lake near the present day Jamestown, New York. From this point, the party could practically roll down hill by the way of Prendergrast Creek and then home free by the way of Lake Erie into Lake Ontario and Northward to Montreal. Nearly the entire trip would be made by water, without the danger of long overland, backbreaking portages.]

I soon realized that a trip down the Mississippi was a one-way ticket to the late 17th century. It’s crazy to think that one could pull rafts or rowing canoes upstream over 3000 miles back to Montreal in an expeditious manner through a hostile and unstable desert! Return voyages were always by sailboat from the port of New Orleans to the port of Baltimore and then canoeing up the Susquehanna River to the West Branch and Sinnemahonning rivers and on to Jamestown NY to the Great Lakes to Montreal . . The rivers were the highways of the 1600-1700s and the only trails were those of the Native Americans; no roads had yet been created in any of the inland colonies.

[And so the coureur de bois left New Orleans on rafts loaded with provisions and a number of small kegs, each of which were loaded with gold coins covered with a thin film of gunpowder, and anchored securely to the crude log transports by means of ropes and iron nails. The gold was to be delivered to His Most Gracious Majesty’s Royal Governor in Montreal, (Gov. Frontenac) and the party was instructed to guard the valuable cargo with their lives. Under no circumstances was it to fall into the hands of the English, the Americans nor the hated Senecas, who were always at war with the French. ]

The group made the uneventful journey around the tip of Florida and up the US East Coast to the Chesapeake Bay and began the second leg and most arduous part of their journey. The Susquehanna River is a relatively shallow body of water that meanders languidly through Pennsylvania interspersed with rough water and rapids that have been known to wreak havoc on northbound trips depending on the season. The dangers of ascending rapids, hauling small waterfalls, and evading hostile Indians through the Wyoming area of ​​Pennsylvania were well documented. As the rivers narrowed, avoiding the Indians became increasingly impossible. Heavily outnumbered and pursued across the desert, the French grew increasingly wary as they realized they had become prey in much more than a game of cat and mouse along the West Branch River.

With the position fixed and mapped by the Jesuits, the exasperated French buried their treasure for safekeeping near the confluence of two rivers and decided it was safer to hide it temporarily and return for it with a larger expeditionary force than risk losing their possessions. lives and treasure. to the Seneca war party. The Jesuits marked the exact location of the treasure by chiseling a large cross into the rock under which it lay.

The Jesuits led by Étienne da Carheil, well educated as a mathematician, religious scholar and cartographer, and Father Ernest Laborde, decided to stay behind to deceive and convert the savages to Christianity while the travelers advanced under cover of darkness up the Sinnemahoning River towards NY. eluding his enemies and escaping to Montreal.

Louis Frontenac was recalled to France shortly after his group of fur traders arrived in Montreal; unable to get the money from him, and Cavelier died in 1687 at one of the trading posts he had helped establish.

Frontenac returned to Quebec in the fall of 1689, just after the Iroquois massacred the Lachine people and just before they descended on the de La Chesnaye. The universal mood was one of terror and despair. Putting down the warring Redmen and securing their outposts from English squatters led Frontenac into a military campaign that lasted several years. Upon his victory, he immediately sent soldiers into the Pennsylvania woods to obtain the gold from him. With his health failing, Louis Frontenac was unable to accompany his men and on November 28, 1698 Frontenac died at Château St Louis. His fortune now destined to remain underground.

Frontenac’s enemies liked to say that he used his position to make ill-gotten gains from the fur trade. Undoubtedly, he traded to some degree, but it would be hard to charge him with venality or embezzlement on the evidence that exists. There is a high probability that the king appointed him with the expectation that he would increase his income from sources outside his salary. As a member of the King’s Court, it was hoped that in order to carry out such a desolate rendezvous in the new world it would not be said that any wealth that could be obtained would be to be kept. Public opinion varies from time to time regarding the freedom that a public servant may be allowed in such matters. Under a democratic regime the standard is very different from that which has existed, for the most part, under autocracies in past ages. Frontenac was a distinguished man who accepted an important position for a small salary. We can infer that the king was willing to allow him some of the gratuities. If so, your profits from the fur trade become a matter of degree. As long as he stayed within the bounds of reason and decency, the government made no objection. Frontenac was certainly not a governor who pillaged the colony to fledge his own nest. If he took profits, no one considered it excessive, except Duchesneau, who was Frontenac’s rival at the king’s court and had been rejected for the governorship. The king had called Frontenac not because he was venal, but because he was a quarrelsome, and he had sent him back realizing that he was precisely the man for the job.

Native Americans knew of the rock and conjectures about its significance created its legend to explain its existence.

Near Keating until the railway was built in 1901, one could see the “Cross on the Rock”, a great natural wonder, a perfect cross of heroic proportions carved out of rock along the river. Fortunately, an excellent photograph of the remarkable natural curiosity exists, as it has since come off.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *