Monday, September 6, 2010

The Lost Dutchman Mine: Indian Treasures Lost or Found - 110

"Those who don't take chances don't make advances. Even a turtle doesn't get ahead unless he sticks his neck out." That's what business dreamers say about not 'waiting for your ship to come in...swim out to meet it.' Just try something or nothing. Failure to do anything will nag you the rest of your life, because you were afraid to take a chance. Sticking your neck out is what life is all about and treasure hunters must be absolutely sure of themselves before they venture out to find any treasure like the fabled Lost Dutchman Mine.

Warning: Legends about the Lost Dutchman Mine say many of the past have met with foul play searching the Superstition Mountains up from the Sonoran Desert just east of Apache Junction, Arizona. Those who have reported to have found the mine never do so again or suffered some disastrous calamity before they could file a claim. Some have hid what they've found only to never find it again. This is what keeps the mine a secret lost mine. Some dreamers have said they've found the lost gold mine, but many of the minerals found have been assayed, but the minerals are from the Vultur mine or unknowns and not the Lost Dutchman. Most precious metals leave their own unique fingerprint of its origin. Purity numbers dictate location.

Seeking lost treasure is for many a fantasy adventure destined for a video game as based upon an exciting authors book like the Adventures of Indiana Jones and National Treasure. The intrigue here kept viewers riveted to their seats wondering if the treasures were found or who lost their lives searching for the mother lode of riches. The Superstition Mountains have seen lots of treasure seekers visiting the Lost Dutchman State Park and walking the old military trails searching for anything of value that might lead them towards discovering the real mine. Truth is you don't go searching for treasure during the hottest times of the year. You can't carry enough water to sustain life for longer than three days.

Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio and his deputy's rescued Curtis Merworth (one of three Utah men who went missing the first time) who used his cell phone to call for help in May 2009. Cell phones are good if you can get a signal, but they won't do most any good inside a deep mine or cave, but I suppose it would be a foolhardy gesture to place a GPS outside a mine or cave so rescuers could find them perish the thought they met with foul play. For now I'll leave these men alone and concentrate on the legend of all lost legends in America. I should mention that Joe Arpaio is the Sheriff that is picking up so much flak from the Federal government who claims his department is profiling illegal aliens for deportation back to Mexico. Arpaio does what the Federal government doesn't do - enforce immigation laws. Arpaio doesn't like the aliens from Mexico who illegally profit from our expense. Law enforcement personnel shouldn't have to put up with the law breaking politicians in Washington.

As previously stated from 1500 to the late 1700's, the Spainards tried to force a conquest culture destined to civilize the Indians through Christianity backed up by a military force. They instituted a system of forced Indian tribute to labor as servants, farmers, miners and turned into slaves for silver production mines in Mexico. The Spainards brutality increased so vigorously that the Peublos rose up in revolt around 1680 and they drove the Spanish out of the Rio Grande region, but only for a short time. The Spanish returned with avengence and tried to stomp out native cultures and beliefs, but they never conquered the Apaches. The Indians had had enough of the New Spain under Mexican authorities from the mid 1700's to about 1848. To stay living meant you kept out of sight of Indians. Renegade bands of Apaches and Navajos roamed the entire regions of Arizona and New Mexico. There were no big tribes of renegades. The renegades were those who wouldn't be shuffled off to reservations to die on worthless lands.

Around the 1830's it was evident that the U.S. government was going to expand. The Native Americans of the Great Plains and Southwest felt pressured by pioneer movements. The West was going to open up and the U.S. Cavalry were beginning frequent patrols westward to calm settlers and thwart the Indian raiding parties. Settlements were appearing in California, Oregon and Washington regions and tempers were flaring between Indians, farmers and pioneers. The Indians knew it wouldn't be long before they were forced to sign peace treaties; sign or be forced out.

In the unrest a Spanish family named the Peralta's from Mexico had learned about a fabulous treasure mine hidden in the Superstition Mountains and decided to investigate. They managed to escape predation by the Apaches and Navajos and mined gold and silver from 1840-1848. Some say 1852, but the story found in a Michigan newspaper of the times said it ended around 1848 when this family of miners was attacked in the desert after leaving the mine. Only one family member named Miguel Peralta survived. All the rest were killed.

Three years earlier a man named Jacob Waltz arrived in America from Germany in 1845. He remained along the East coast and filed a Declaration of Intent to become a U.S. citizen in 1848. He had heard that gold had been discovered in California (1847) and he made plans to go west and on his southern trek met Don Peralta and his Mexican wife near Nopal & Armstrong in Black Creek Canyon Placer Sept. 7-21, 1864. Not much is known about Waltz from 1850-1864, but it was presumed he didn't want to become involved in the Civil War nor at the time was he looking for a fight with the Apaches.

According to the Lost Dutchman legend Jacob Waltz was told the mines location by the lone surviving member of the Peralta family in 1848. Jacob Waltz became a dreamer, too, of being a 'strike it rich' treasure hunter, but he knew that to explore the Superstition Mountain range meant he needed help and formed a partnership with Jacob Weiser, another man from Germany and they set out to find the famous mine.

When the U.S. government annexed the Navajo territories in 1849 it was noted they were feared for good reason as a warring and raiding group of Indians to be wary of. Spanish influence hadn't changed any dispositions and no matter how the U.S. government tried to stop the raiding parties they wouldn't stop, because they couldn't. Mexican slave traders kept ravishing the small independent bands. Slave traders kept the Indians in a state of constant aggitation to make capturing Navajos for their illicit trade easier and the warfare of Indian upon Indian or Indian upon pioneers continue. Not only did the Indians have to escape predation by slave traders, but by the renegade bands, too.

At the same time the U.S. government sought peace with the Indians before the Civil War started, because they wanted to keep Arizona and New Mexico territories for the Union and an insurance policy that the Indians would keep lines of communication to California open. The government had to stop the Apaches, the Navajos and eventually the Mescalaro Apaches from raiding each other and Union cavalry attachments. Time to stop for today.

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