Feb. 28, 1864
Lodge1 PDF, p. 7
T.A.W. Harper, Esq.
I wrote you last week & enclosed two copies of the handbill I have published. I herein enclose one. The mail road between this and New York is often snowed up and mail communication very precarious. If you have written me since I left New York, your letters have not reached me. The case Lodge versus Smiley does not progress much. In fact since I got the Court to decide that it had jurisdiction only one witness has been examined & his evidences only proves that he saw sixteen boxes of treasure recovered by Smiley’s party but of marks or contents he declared himself entirely ignorant.
I cannot find any of the bars. It has been all either sent into other parts of the world or defaced so as to defy identification.
I forwarded you yesterday the following telegram.
To Harper, Association Lloyd’s, Care of President Board of Underwriters, New York. Considerable “Golden Gate” treasure arrived at New York, and Southampton in January & February. Make carefull (sic) inquiries. You still doubtless understand that the fact is I have reason to believe that by early sir January Smiley had on the Panama Isthmus a considerable quantity of the treasure pirated. Part of which was carried to New York by Vanderbilt steamer & other part shipped on the next India mail for Southampton its destination being probably the Continent.
That which went to New York was in charge of a man named Fowler, but that part which went to Southampton should in all probability be shipped under unintelligible & he consigned to order. I thought you could put some unintelligible detectives on the track who could undertake the job on speculation. I should think it would reach Southampton in January or early in February.
Should it harm anything & create a suspicion you will not fail to let me know by telegraph for having any part of the treasure is important to me.
The American underwriters have not yet got a list of their gold bars but as soon as they have I shall send for a copy.
I am sir your obedt. sert.
Francis W. Lodge
P.S. Letters addressed to me should be care of Allenor Bell & Co. Telegrams should be enclosed to Mr. Tappan. The cost of these latter is $7.50 for 10 words & 75 cents for each additional word.