March 20th, 1864
Lodge1 PDF, p. 16
T.A.W. Harper, Esp.
I have a pretty busy time of it I here, the two actions against Smiley going on at the same time several witnesses have already been examined before the commissioner in the civil suit without good result and nothing more has been done in the criminal action excepting that the Grand Jury have found true bills against Smiley and his party. So that thus far Smiley has rather the worst of it. He made a strong show against the jurisdiction of the courts to try him and exerted himself to the utmost to get the Grand Jury to throw out the billís of indictment. In both these matters he has failed lamentable and his next hope is that no common jury can be got together that will be unanimous in finding his guilt. I have great fears myself upon this point & think it probably that no verdict will be found for I canít think of any twelve men can be found who will find a verdict of not guilty.
In the meantime I cannot have any of the treasure. It is certain that a considerable quantity came here and has been remelted. A considerable quantity was remelted in Mexico & the remainder has been shipped to Callao, New York & England in its original shape. Some of this latter probably went to Panama and Aspinwall & France either by the West India Mail boat to Southampton or by Liverpool screw steamer to Liverpool. Any that went by either of these routes would in all likekelyhood be shipped at Aspinwall subsequent to last Xmas and consequently arrive in England late in January.
A report has been made me, but not from a reliable source, that a large quantity, say $18,000, was shipped somewhere on this coast on a Brittish (sic) man of war and consigned to a house or houses in Liverpool. I give the report for what it is worth and it worth a good deal to my informant if it is true. It is this Smiley engaged a schooner to carry the treasure to this man of war which is described to be a side wheel steamer & that it was received on board & billís of laden (sic) signed to deliver part of it to Baring Brothers House at Liverpool & other part to a certain Davidsonís House at Liverpool. Now this is a very unlikely yarn but it is worth inquiring about.
You can easily find out through the Admiralty what ships of war arrived in England with treasure from the Pacific. Of course it does not follow that it arrives home in the vessel it was shipped on as the Queensí ships transfer their treasure freight from one to another as suits their convenience. Now this story is very vague for I do not get the value of the schooner, the name of the man of war, or even the place where she received it on board but so I hear (sic) already said I think it worth inquiring about. My business here is of necessity very costly and it is possible I may fall short of money. I therefore think it would be prudent that you send me by return another letter of credit like unto this I brought with me and depend upon my judgement and economy for using it or taking care of it as may be requisite. I am abundantly well for funds at present but I would be sorry to break down for want of money to pay disbursements or to borrow at 1 Ĺ per cent, per month.
I am sir your obedt. sert.,
Francis W. Lodge
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