Augt. 10th, 1864
Lodge2 PDF, p. 16
T.A.W. Harper, Esq.
The situation has not changed much since I wrote you.
The civil case Lodge v. Smiley has been before the court and the judge will probably give his decision some day next week. A day for trying the criminal case will be an early one.
Smiley has offered to pay all the expenses I have incurred provided I will give him a legal right to all the treasure he stole belonging to the European underwriters.
I have refused his terms and demand of him that he pay all the expenses incurred amounting to at least $20,000 and in addition pay me $10,000 to be distributed among the European underwriters.
Had the American underwriters joined me cordially, I make no doubts but that we could have got a verdict against him to give some account of the treasure he stole but the fact is I am constrained to carry on the suits both civil & criminal entirely on my own hook and although it is easy to prove that Smiley robbed the wreck it is very hard & even impossible to prove whose property he stole.
I expect in the civil suit to get a verdict in my favor. But in the criminal suit I venture that the verdict will be against me but my lawyers think otherwise. I will write you again this week and
Am sir your obedt. sert.
Francis W. Lodge