Costa Rica en el Chicago Tribune. 1901. Costa Rica Threatens War Against Seekers of Treasure Buried by buccanieers

Tomado de: Chicago Tribune, Noviembre 3 de 1901

Texto en inglés resultado del OCR del documento original. Algunas palabras podrían no ser coherentes.

Costa Rica Threatens War Against Seekers of Treasure Buried by buccanieers.

WAR over a pirate treasure may be the outcome of an expedition that Is about to sail from Vancouver. B. C.. W to explore Cocos Island for buried gold and silver. August Gissler, Governor of the Island. who has an eye on the treasure himself. will be the other party to the conflict. and will go Into It with a Costa Rican man-of-war and a few hundred sol- diers from that republic.

jt is doubtful at that if either of them cou!d And the coveted funds even without Interfer- ence. But that Is because of the concealing powers of tropical vegetation.not bcause the money Is not there. There is plenty of evi- dence that Cocos Island contains the richest treasure that a pirate ever buried-the wealth Spain In the new world, and was captured by the buccaneer Captain Don Pedro Benito In 1820 when it was being trans- ported to Europe. A gold crown inlaid with precious stones, a cask of Jewels. 7:t3 gold bricks, and 150 tons of silver make but a part of the he captured and could not take with him when he died.

The expedition which Is to find It has been organized in Vancouver with a nominal cap- ital of $10,000. It proposes to fit out a ship and sail to the Island. which lies In the Pacific Ocean 800 miles from the coast of Central America, and there to follow a map It has bought from the widow of a Norwegian sailor who found the treasure but could not carry St away.

Costa Rica Threatens War.

The knowledge that this expedition will soon he with him has aroused bitter resent- ment In the breast of Governor Gissler. Al- though Cocos Island has a fine harbor and plenty of water, being Governor or It Is not the greatest job In the world. But August Gissler had heard of the treasure and be se- cured the Governorship as an addition to a concession from the Costa Rican govern- ment allowing him to dig-for Benito's gold and silver. As he is to give the government a large share, arms and men and even gun- boats will be furnished him to keep In- away. So he bag written to the Consul General of Costa Rica, In San Pran- cisco, to head off the treasure seekers-, with a promise that war awaits them-It they come. In his letter the Governor writes at of the treasure and Its history.

In 1820 Captain Don Pedro Benito. he says, commanding the brig Relampago, found the waters of the Caribbean Sea too warm to continue his piracies. so he took on board of his vessel a lot of gold and silver; the rest he left buried on an island In the West Indies. sailed through the Straits of Magellan, and off the northern part of Peru fell In with a Spanish government galleon bound for Spain, loaded with a particularly 93cn lot of treasure, *h!ch the Spanisn government wished to ship to Spain on ac- count of the revolution against Spanish dominion which was then beginning.

Ship Captured and Sunk.

They alongside of the galleon, board. ed it, and overcame the crew. They trans- ferred the treasure from the galleon to their own vessel and then sunk the Span- iard. Heaving this immense treasure on board, estimated at many millions, the Cap- tain did not know of a suitable place wlt,. It might be landed.

The Captain came to the conclusion that Cocos Island, being 300 miles off the coast of Central America and out of 'he beaten track of vessels, would be the most suitable place to go to.

Then they learned that the richest Spanish people of the City of Mexico, high govern-

ment officials, and others, were coming down with pack mule trains, carrying all their he- longings, money, and treasures, to embark on two vessels at Acapulco.

The pirate vessel lay outside of the port of Acapulco, cruising up and down. wait- Ing until these two vessels should come out One morning, about six weeks after the pirate vessel first arrived off Acapulco, the confederates on shore notified their Captain that the two vessels were heaving up anchor and ready to sail'.

Captain Benito stood In and met them as they came out. He poured shot Into them and captured them one at a -time; killed alh on board, secured all the treasure from one and as much as he could from the other before they both . They then shaped their course for Cocos Island and moored their vessel there. One gang was sent on shore with the mate to dig a cave In sand- stone on the side of a , and one party of men wa.s sent to the point where the brig was moored to make a large - . In this excavation they put more than 150 tons, or more than 300.000 pounds of si- ver and silver dollars.

Blew.Up the Mountain.

This they hoisted up from the vessel by a derrick and dumped It Into the excavation. Then they put some kegs of powder above It to cover the hole And blew up the mountain: They -left certain marks cut In the rocks which are there to this day.

In the other excavation which the mate had made they put 733 gold bricks, 4 by 3 Inches and 2 inches thick. and. alongside of them they put 273 gold hilted swords, inlaid with jewels. Further up the river on the island they buried several Iron filled with gold coins. and covered up these caves in the same way as they did the large one.

The Captain and two men buried a gold crown, Inlaid with priceless jewels, and In the same hole put a small cask of precious stones. He then killed the two men who helped do the work. However, the Captain was watched by one of the boys who sur- vived all of the pirates.

Meantime the pirates had lost many of their number in the various fights, and the Captain made a proposal to the rest of the men left on the Island to return to the West Indies and to get the treasure left there. then return to Cocos, divide there, and dis- band. ,Some of his crew, dissatisfied wilth this,. started a fight right on the Island and more than twenty men were killed then and there. The survivors consented to go with the -Captain to the West Indies and carry out the plan.

A British man-of-war was In the West Indian -harbor when the Relampago. the vessel of Captain Bjenito, came Into the har- bor. shorthanded and . Be- fore Benito knew where he was he was right under the guns of the man-of-war Magician. Captain Benito blew out his brains.

The rest of the crew were captured and were tried for piracy at langston. Jamaica. and eighty-one of the pirates were hanged on the yardarm of the -war. While they were In prison two of them, Thompson and Chapelle, who.had been forced to Join the pirates against their will, got away and swam to a whaler In port. This whaler sailed the same night with Thompson and Chapelle on board.

After awhile each believed the other dead and each organized an expedition. Chapelle In England and Thompson In Newfoundland. The English expedition could not locate Cocos Island. and finally their vessel was wrecked off the coast of Costa Rlica, and Chapelle left all his papers and information there.

Searching for the Treasure.

The other expedition came to the Island and found some gold coin. Captain Boag of that disappeared. He prob- ably was murdered by a man by the name of Keating. When Keating reached New- he carried on his person gold and Jewels to the value of f8,000.

In IS&97 I received on the Island a from the second wife of Keating, from whom I all the plans and papers. All of the Chapel!e papers were obtained by me from Costa Rica, and all the marks Indi- cated and set forth therein have been found and verified, and, of course, are now known only to me. The lapse of time and the - riant tropical vegetation will make the un- covering of these riches .

But they are there. I have been on Cocos Island since 18'J) and I know whereof I write. This densely wooded little island of only twenty-four square miles Is the store- house of a treasure such as romance con- ceives. And this Is not a romance.

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