The Diggers come looking for the Ark of St. Croix

Stone Maltese Cross.Sandstone Maltese Cross.

While in Virginia on vacation, I got to see a program staring Ringmaster Tim Saylor and King George Wyant, also known as Ringy and KG, of the Anaconda Treasure Company. This very dynamic duo came to St. Croix in search of treasures of the Caribbean.

They intended to search for pirate treasure and the treasures of the Knights of Malta. They had to be familiar with the work of JP Noel as they specifically mentioned searching for the Ark of the Covenant. In his book, “The Ark of St. Croix,” Noel traced the Ark from Jerusalem and the Crusades to the Knights of Malta on St. Croix. The episode was called TREASURES OF THE CARIBBEAN and is a Diggers programs shown on the National Geographic Channel. The program was a one hour showcase of the history and beauty of St. Croix. Residents of St. Croix should be able to get it from their cable TV company for a small fee. I loved it for many reasons and found it well worth watching and worth recommending.

First off, these two men could truly qualify as irrationally exuberant. Anyone who has treasure hunted knows how tough it can be to work for hours and find nothing. The last time I saw this level of passionate exuberance was when my granddaughter Pippa and her friends Ellie and Mattie dug in the area of the slave pens of Pieter Huntum and found silver Dutch Florins from 1767. Of course the dates are a horrible mismatch. Huntum was here with the Knights of Malta in 1670, and the three coins the girls found were dated 1767, about one hundred years later then might be expected from the location. (For a seeded hunt, this was the best I could do and the girls were easily conned by the counterfeit coins.)

Of course, there is nothing that can extinguish the fire of enthusiasm for finding the Ark of the Covenant faster than a local historian explaining to Ringy and KG that “there is no physical evidence that the Knights of Malta were ever on St. Croix.” My only response might be the reminder that “there are none so blind as those who do not care to see.”

Well, all their initial enthusiasm did not go to waste as the Diggers explored several Danish sites developed in the late eighteenth century and found artifacts dating from that era up to about 1905. Their program was an enthusiastic presentation of the beauty and Danish history of the island and it should be shown to every student on St. Croix.

1671 French Map of St. Croix

1671 French Map of St. Croix

Of course, I categorically reject the concept that there is no physical evidence that the Knights of Malta were ever on St. Croix. To start with there are two old maps (Blondel 1667 and Lapointe 1671) which show the location of the plantations and the names of the owners. One place was identified by JP Noel as headquarters for the Knights of Malta and was originally named Moncœur by them.

Pink Keystone dated 1657 with Maltese Cross

Pink Keystone dated 1657 with Maltese Cross

JP Noel was excited by the stonework at the location which is now called Estate Pearl. He located a decorative keystone over one doorway which has a date of 1657 associated with it. This date is slightly after Governor De Poincy, Bailiff Grand Cross of the Knights of Malta, acquired the island for his personal possession. This technically made him a Baron and I believe Baron Bluff would be an interesting place to explore for a multitude of reasons.

I described the Keystone as decorative because it is not part of an arch and serves no useful purpose except perhaps as a clue. The Keystone is further decorated with a Maltese Cross and is made from pink stone. One other interesting point is that Moncœur is not a French family name as with other plantations, but translates into “my heart” as in those pictures of Jesus with an exposed radiating heart or the name for the headquarters of a holy order.

Perhaps it is also just an interesting coincidence that the French phrase for keystone is clé de voûte which could also be translated word for word into Key to the Vault. Possibly, it is a second coincidence that the pink stone comes from one of only three areas that the Knights of Malta had the knowledge and expertise to make a tunnel to hide something of value on St. Croix. As might be expected, the pink stone was probably mined in the vicinity of Baron Bluff.

Last time I checked, a map is physical evidence and a clue to the location of the French Estates on St. Croix and a pink Keystone with a Maltese Cross should also be considered to be physical evidence of the presence of the Knights of Malta and perhaps a clue to the location of treasure.

The Knights of Malta were a religious order known for their stone masonry as were the Knights Templar. Both orders had been involved in the early crusades. When the Knights Templar were destroyed by the French King Phillip and their assets in France seized by him. The Pope transferred the remaining assets and personnel outside France to the Knights of Malta strengthening their stone working knowledge and helping them become the ultimate military power in the Mediterranean, perhaps even stronger than France according to Muslim observers.

The navy and their stone forts of Malta were never defeated by force and their ultimate demise came from a lost will to fight and a peaceful surrender to the forces of Napoleon in 1798. Napoleon was offended by the mostly French Knights, because they were running the last slave market in Europe, so he destroyed the order and no Kingdom of Europe came to their defense.

Once you become fascinated by differences in stonework, you can see a huge difference between the cut stone of Mediterranean construction held in place by the perfection of the cut and the random stonework of the Danish held in place by a very strong mortar. One problem in clearly deciding between the two is that the Danish used all available stones even those that had been precisely cut by the French so you can see plenty of occurrences where a very poorly constructed wall built with any available stone has one perfectly cut stone or arch that simply looks out of place.

No one in their right mind would go to the trouble of cutting a perfect building block and then putting it in a wall made of random natural rocks held together by mortar. Of course, if a person found cut stones in a French ruin, they would repurpose them for another project. Local historians dispute that the Danish were sloppy stone masons so it is nice to find additional evidence like a Maltese cross, or two, adjacent to intricate stone work proving definitively that it was constructed by the Knights of Malta.

Moncœur is located on the southern part of St. Croix, just North of a harbor called the Grande Forde. This harbor was on the opposite side of th island and from the time of Columbus, ships would sail along the North Coast of St. Croix to get to Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The Knights of Malta could have used this secure harbor on the south shore to bring tools, blasting powder and scaffolding to the mountain of pink bedrock for a tunnel.

Bridge with Keystone in Arch and Maltese Cross above

Bridge with Keystone in Arch and Maltese Cross above

The most direct approach to the mountain was to go north and cross over a low point in the ridge to the west of the hill and then approach the hill traveling towards the east. Along this route is a bridge with an arch made of precision cut stone held in place by a keystone so there is minimal mortar in this load bearing arch. Right above the keystone is a Maltese Cross built into the stone work. The stone of the Maltese Cross is sandstone probably mined along the west coast of St. Croix.

Poorly repaired Bridge

Poorly repaired Bridge

The eastward facing portion of the bridge is in much worse shape and the right side has been repaired, probably by Danish masons. The Danish work does not use or reuse cut stones but relies on yellow ballast bricks and motor to build a flatter arch and the fill above the arch also contains numerous ballast bricks.

Example of a Danish portal

Example of a Danish portal

In the era of the Danish building with stone, their solutions were more functional then elegant. The picture above shows a portal which uses a wooden beam above the opening to support the stone. This is more characteristic of Danish work.

Underside of wooden Bridge

Underside of wooden Bridge

Another unique characteristic of the bridge is that this is actually a very sturdy wooden bridge built with ships timbers designed to take a heavy load. As far as I know this is the last wooden bridge on St. Croix still in use and has a very different construction technique from the Danish bridges.

All of my photos of the hill at Baron Bluff that wold support my position that this is a unique location to look for treasure are on another computer so I will hold that discussion for another day.

While the local historian took the Diggers to exclusively Danish areas and they found various artifacts, they found nothing from the French era because they were searching in the wrong locations. Such is life, some days in the Caribbean Islands people insist on slipping you a six (6) when you were expecting a nine (9)!

I ran  into a very similar issue of being deterred from using a road that had been on public maps from the Danish era and the road is still on the Topological Map of St. Croix. I wanted to explore some ruins that were approximately where Governor Du Bois’ mansion might be.  Unfortunately, their is a house built in the middle of the road and a less than friendly reception when you approach it.

Posted in Knights of Malta, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thanks to Island Visitors; Hiking is Heating Up!

Life on the Edge

Life on the Edge

Discovering Native Cotton

Discovering Native Cotton

I started hiking as a business in 2012 and like most new ventures it was very slow. I spent far in excess of what I made on advertising and all the other items a new business has to deal with. By the start of 2013, I pretty much stopped promoting hiking and took the whole year off to write two books, one on the Caribs and the other on Pirates.  I thoroughly enjoyed researching and writing my two focused histories about the Amerindian and pirate activity on St. Croix.

Discovering a Termite Nest

Discovering a Termite Nest

It was actually a pretty good idea to take the year off as I made more money  from book sales in the final quarter of the year than I did from hiking. I still took people hiking in 2012 whenever they contacted me but didn’t really do much to promote it as a business. So as we start 2014, I am totally amazed that I have two to three scheduled groups per week and I’m having a ball.

Older Group at Nature Conservency

Older Group at Nature Conservency

There are far more women than men that like to walk and I am utterly amazed at the stamina of the gray haired  trail warriors. I took one group of six aged 75 to 89 on what I considered a fairly strenuous walk and everyone had a great time. Seems they have been coming to St. Croix for 39 years and really wanted to hike the East End. Unfortunately for our tourism products, idiots including Hotel employees,  Taxi drivers and even a west end hiking guide kept on hinting it was too dangerous due to trail conditions and potential crime.

The Hill Between Jacks and Issacs Bay

The Hill Between Jacks and Issacs Bay

We went to the East End in three cars as I am not legally able to drive tourists so they needed to rent cars. We left one car by Point Udall which was open with nothing valuable and at the more populated end of the trail, we left the other  two cars. At the end of the hike, most of the group watched the sea and Buck Island from Point Udall while the drivers retrieved the other cars. It was a great day and all the long term visitors wished they had done it years ago so they could have hiked the Nature Conservancy Property on a regular basis. Their were actually two groups. The second group was Condo owners on St. Croix who had also heard that it was a very beautiful but unsafe place to walk.

We in the tourism industry of St. Croix are collectively idiots. We tell tourists don’t do this, that, or other things; it’s unsafe. Why don’t we just tell everybody to stay home or go to someplace really unsafe like Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Kitts etc. When I visit other islands with higher crime rates, everybody tells me where to go and what to do. They don’t try to scare me off with crime stories. In all my hiking on St. Croix over the past three years, I have never had a negative encounter with people or any crimes committed against anybody walking with me.  I am not saying it can’t happen, I just worry more about people having the proper hydration, not getting overly tired and avoiding tripping hazards.

All my new customers tell me there are stories about my hikes all over the internet and that’s why they contacted me. So I would like to thank everyone who had a good time walking with me and took the time to post it on Trip Adviser and other places on the Web. Maybe, our local Tourism workers will learrn to be excited about their homeland from our visitors.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

St. Croix Should Treasure Their Pirate History!



I have to admit that I was more than a little amused by the rum barrel debates over the placement of decorated rum barrels in the Historic District. However, I was also a little disappointed at the lack of historical knowledge of pirates and their  presence on St. Croix. In essence, the Historical Commission or as some say, the Hysterical Commission, was opposed to embracing a pirate presence on the island. This is in direct conflict with historic reality.

Almost ever scholar of St. Croix makes note of the pirate  presence on the island. Alfredo Figuerdo notes in a paper that French pirates were attempting to operate from the island as early 1522 only 30 years after the discovery and naming of Santa Cruz by Columbus. Florence Lewisohn notes in her book that these French Filibusters continued to use the island as a base for careening and maintaining their boats until the island was formally settled by Holland and England in 1625.

William Boyer, in his book, points out that the Pirate presence never ended under the Knights of Malta. So many people died from hunger and disease that the survivors stole the supply ship and left for a life of piracy off the Spanish Main. The island continued to be engaged in smuggling, piracy and privateering as a French Crown Colony and Boyer points out that the inability of the French Crown to control piracy and smuggling influenced the decision to abandon the island and move everybody to Haiti. 

Fortunately for pirates and unfortunately for the European Powers this move made St. Croix the most attractive port of call in the Lesser Antilles for pirates. Hundreds of English settlers and farmers came to the island to live free and avoid trade restrictions  and taxes while enjoying religious freedom. They traded freely with pirates, privateers and smugglers exchanging provisions for trade goods and tools. The island remained a popular location for repairing and maintaining pirate ships.

St. Croix as a Pirate Base is noted by scholars from China to America and it is on most Top Ten Pirate lists where it ranks about number four. It is simply the most important pirate island aside for those along the Spanish Main in the Greater Antilles. This importance was not missed on contemporary writers. A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates was published in 1724, just at the end of the Golden age of Piracy and St. Croix is mentioned several times. Our image of pirates is mostly from this book as it has never been out of print from the year it was published.

The author had to be very careful with the contents and still used a pseudonym. In that era, books unfavorable to the crown could be viewed as seditious and the authors hung.  Naturally, all pirates are depicted as villains who engaged in rape, murder, pillage and plundering. These despicable people were eliminated by a just King. Still, their was a great amount of sympathy shown in the book for the poor people driven to a life of piracy in order to survive despite the high risk of being hung. This book also presents the surviving copies of various pirate codes.

The Pirate Code proves that all pirates were not depraved. About half of the  surviving codes address the issue of women in a favorable manner. One warns that any man found seducing a woman and carrying her to sea disguised as a man, shall suffer death. This was a fairly common prohibition among pirates. Another prohibits rape with a strong prohibition; “If at any time you meet with a prudent Woman, the Man that offers to meddle with her, without her Consent, shall suffer…Death.”

The importance of the Pirate Code, also called the Articles of Agreement, is because it is the first contractual Bill of Rights for commoners and seamen. Until the American Constitution and Bill of Rights there was no other guarantees of rights for ordinary people without land, title or wealth and that took a hundred years to evolve. It can be easily argued that pirates had more rights than Americans at the end of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

All pirates were entitled to vote on all issues including the choice of leadership and the targets to be approached. Pirates also believed in the equality of all men regardless or race, religion or national origin.

History shows that the really disgusting pirates occupied the Greater Antilles along the Spanish Main and these men were vilified by all nations. The St. Croix Pirate History is blessed by the two most successful pirates from the Golden Era. Black Sam Bellamy, the Prince of Pirates, was a romantic man who needed to amass a fortune so he could marry the daughter of a rich Boston Merchant that would not let his daughter marry a poor man. As assessed by Forbes Magazine, the Prince of Pirates, managed to amass a fortune of $200 million while operating from Christiansted Harbor as his very secure home port.

Black Sam had a very mixed crew with a sixteen year old Native America pilot, people of all European nations and a third were Free Africans. He and his crew died off Cape Cod in a nor’easter while returning to Boston as  wealthy men seeking the Kings Pardon so Sam could marry the woman of his dreams. He was committed to democracy and refused to harm anyone during his year of piracy unless absolutely necessary. The Captains of the ships he captured named him the Prince of Pirates and his pirates called themselves Robin Hood’s Merry Men.

Bellamy’s partner was well educated and born to a wealthy French Family. This is significant as there were no slaves in France during the Golden Age of Piracy and Aristocrats did not run plantations on the French Islands.  Olivier Levasseur developed his skills as a privateer during the War for Spanish Succession. I don’t know how he failed to make the Forbes List of Wealthiest Pirates. As Sam’s partner, he was entitled to half of the St. Croix wealth for himself and his pirate crew. After Sam’s death, he moved to the Indian Ocean and amassed another fortune of equal size before being captured by the French and hung.   Levasseur was in the habit of burring treasure where he worked so part of his treasure could still be on St. Croix.

With Christiansted being home to the two wealthiest and perhaps gentlemanly pirates of the Golden Age of Piracy, St. Croix should be in the forefront of Pirate Festivals, not a copycat pretender. But that’s not all.

In “Treasure Island: The Untold Story,” author John Amrhein, Jr. makes a direct connection between the story of John Lloyd and Owen Lloyd and the Treasure Island story. John Lloyd, who was peg-legged survived the event of the story and retired in North Carolina. Owen Lloyd survived the piracy, and lived as a free man until he was shot in a Christiansted Bar.

Treasure Island Day is emerging as a festival in the Outerbanks of North Carolina on November 13, which is Robert Louis Stevenson’s birthday. Robert Louis Stevenson Day is already celebrated in Edinburgh, Scotland. Christiansted is already connected to the two best pirates of the Caribbean so it would seem fitting to create a Pirate Festival in St. Croix stressing their positive attributes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Caribbean Night at the Palms

I am finding a whole new dimension to Caribbean Night at the Palms (at least for me). I started doing a weekly book signing at Caribbean Night in the Craft area and am having a ball. The women have been selling low cost gifts to locals, snow birds and tourists alike for years and collectively they are among the sweetest, happiest people on the island.

Collectible Art

Collectible Art

Hand Made Local Jewelry

Hand Made Local Jewelry

Soaps and Oils

Soaps and Oils

More Inexpensive and Lovely Jewelry

More Inexpensive and Lovely Jewelry

Our Littlest Helper

Our Littlest Helper

I started book signing in the Craft area about two weeks ago and it is a pleasure. I am not making a fortune and neither are the women. We are all having a good time selling low cost gifts for locals and visitors alike. Aside from my books, there is art, jewelry, home made soaps and more.

Over the years, I have posted many pictures of my family enjoying Caribbean Night at the Palms and I have always had a good time eating, being entertained by Tony Ramano, the Moko Jumbies, Kiki and the Flaming Gypsies and watching everybody do limbo and line dances. So this event ensures I go out and socialize once a week, not just with family. I am not sure how long I will keep it up, but definitely through Christmas and probably until summer. (except when I am visiting family in the states)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Avis News Story Says it All!

For those of you who missed the story in the St. Croix Avis, I was  delighted with the positive vibes. So here is a copy of the story.

Lost Pirate Treasures of St. Croix

Lost Pirate Treasures of St. Croix

Posted in Pirates | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lost Pirate Treasure of St. Croix – Book Description

Captain John "James" Martel

Captain John “James” Martel

My research and book tracks all known pirate activity on the island of St. Croix. Many pirates brought treasure to the island as did smugglers and merchants. It is well documented that Captain James Martel was killed on the island and half of his fortune lost to time so he certainly rates a Chapter.

The Treasure of Treasure Island

The Treasure of Treasure Island

Owen Lloyd took the treasure of Nuestra Señora de Guadelupe. Part of Lloyd’s treasure was buried on the island and this stash became his bank until he was murdered in Christiansted. His story has been retold for centuries as part of Robert Luis Stevenson’s book, Treasure Island. Only a small amount of this treasure remains on St. Croix so his chapter is small.

The Fort at Tortuga

The Fort at Tortuga

By far the biggest fortune that probably remains hidden on St. Croix is the vast amount of wealth amassed by Jean La Vasseur while Governor of Tortuga. During his reign, 1640 to 1652, he took a minimum of ten percent of all of the prizes captured by the Buccaneers of Tortuga referred to as the Brethren of the Coast. He also collected taxes on all imports to the island.

1671 French Map of St. Croix

1671 French Map of St. Croix

However, he cheated his partner in this criminal empire, Governor Phillippe de Lonvillers dePoincy of St. Croix, by keeping everything for himself. De Poincy retaliated by conquering Tortuga and claiming the Fortune of La Vasseur as his own. After de Poincy’s military conquest of Tortuga, this treasure is also lost to time.

The research for this book brings that fortune to St. Croix where it is probably still well hidden. This a very long and important chapter in the Lost Pirate Treasure’s of St. Croix: Your Search for Billions Starts Here!

Posted in Knights of Malta, Pirates, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are the St. Croix Goldens Descended from Pirates?

William and Mary, Saints or Sinners?

William and Mary, Saints or Sinners?

I have known the Golden clan of St. Croix for about 30 years and enjoyed the company of family members on many occasions. Brother George was a natural story teller and he and I spent many days and hours sharing stories of life experiences and family lore. George Golden insisted that he was a descendant of John Golding who was hung for piracy in England around 1693.

Brother Mario is part of my Facebook family. Naturally, I pointed out my next book was going to be on the Lost Pirate Treasures of St. Croix and teased him about his being related to pirates. He replied that their serious and scholarly Brother Morty had researched the issue and determined that Golden and Golding were two different family names and that the pirate that was hung was John Golding.

I actually admire many pirates and indeed Pirate John Golding was an honorable man who is still an important part of case law involving piracy. Besides, I like a good story and felt compelled to determine who was correct. My conclusion is that both could be right but to conclusively prove it either way would take a lot of research and a lucky DNA match.

The biggest part of the problem is that we don’t really know whether the pirate’s name was Golden or Golding which as it turns out are really too different names.

From the Internet Surname Database ( Golding “is an English surname. It derives from the pre 7th century personal name Golding, recorded as Goldinc in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. The development is from the original personal name “Golda”, meaning “son of Gold”. This persisted into the Middle Ages as a given name, with “Golde” as the feminine form, and was used in some cases as a nickname or byname for the color of a person’s hair whilst any names with “Gold” as the first element were usually compounds often associated with the Gods of Fire, Water and War. The modern surname can be found recorded as Gilden, Gilding, Golding, Goolding, Goulding and others…The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Golding, which was dated 1202.” Other databases suggest that Golding might also be associated with a lover of Gold or friend of gold.

On the other hand the same database site suggests that Golden is an unusual name of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the habitual use of a nickname that was originally bestowed on someone who had bright yellow hair, with reference to the color of the metal. The nickname derives from the Old English pre 7th Century term “gylden”, golden-(haired). The development of the surname from gylden” includes Hilde Golden (1279, Cambridgeshire), Henry le Gulden (1316, London), and Roger le Gildene (1327, Somerset). The modern surname can be found as Golden, Goolden, and Goulden.

To further compound the problem with family names is the issue of spelling and pronunciation over the ages. Think of a Mr. Coming as in “I am coming home.” Now think of all the ways it could be phonetically spelled; ie comming, commen, comin or comen.

Now think of Golding transformed into to Goolding, Goulding, Gilden and Golden depending on what a census taker, tax collector or immigration officer heard. Some old family Bibles even track the transformation of the family name from Golding to Golden. A further issue is that both names originally developed in England and Ireland before the Protestant reformation and the expulsion of the Jews from England so the ancient name can be Catholic, Jewish or Protestant and is distributed in many European Countries.

So indeed Morty Golden was correct Golding and Golden were originally two different family names with a somewhat natural transformation from Golding to Golden. So where does that leave Brother George our storyteller? Is he necessarily wrong? The answer is probably not. The family name of Golden is the more popular name in Ireland and the pirate who was hung was definitely an Irish Catholic and a loyalist to Catholic King James II of Ireland, England and Scotland. Therefore he was most probably named John Golden at birth.

However, in England, the more common form of the name was Golding and Protestant and in a politically motivated trial testing the rights of Englishmen, the new King and Queen, William and Mary, wanted to set a wicked example of trying a Catholic Loyalist to King James II for High Treason and Piracy. It would be easier to demonstrate treason if the Pirate were a Protestant Golding than if he were a Catholic Golden. If there were no treason proven, then there could not be a piracy charge as Captain John Golden was sailing with letters of Marque issued by both King James II and French King Louis XIV and was a privateer for the sovereign he recognized as his king.

Every nation at the time used privateers and more or less hung pirates and exchanged sailors, soldiers and privateers for their own people held by the opposition. During the rule of Catholic King James II, the English did not like his edicts of religious freedom. Seems James had been a very popular and efficient administrator and leader while his brother was King. This popularity lasted until he converted to Catholicism and married a Catholic princess from Italy who was viewed as an agent of the Pope. During this time, his brother convinced him to allow his daughter Mary to marry Protestant King William of Holland and this started the loss of his kingdom.

King James II started instituting edicts of religious freedom and appointing Catholics to important positions including leadership in the military which he was expanding even in time of peace. When the nobility got tired of the changes, they initiated a civil war by inviting Prince William of Holland to invade and promised military support and to make William and Mary co-regents upon his success. When the invasion force arrived and several protestant Generals took their troops and joined the invaders, King James II threw his seal into the River Thames and escaped to France where he lived by the grace of his cousin King Louis XIV of France. By this act, the English Nobles in support of William and Mary assumed he had abdicated his throne and was no longer reagent.

Shortly thereafter, he returned with an army and landed in Catholic Ireland where the Parliament recognized him as King. He proceeded to recruit more Irish soldiers and sailors with mixed success. When King William decided to personally lead the military invasion of Ireland to defeat King James II, James ran away for the second time and took an army and navy of 10,000 men with him. After this, James became known in Ireland as Séamus an Chaca or ‘James the Shit’.

Apparently Captain John Golden was one of the sailors in exile with the King in exile and accepted a Letter of Marque making him a privateer working for the French and the Government in exile led by King James II. From the English perspective, James the second, could not lead a government in exile as he had trice abdicated by virtue of his cowardices.

When the British Captured John Golden and seven other privateers, King William ordered that they be tried as traitors and pirates. Since the English were also making use of privateers, this would set a very poor precedent and make all privateering more risky and less desirable an enterprise.

When Dr. Oldish, the King’s Advocate, was asked to draw up the prosecution charges and to lay out the evidence. He refused, because of the poor precedent it would set. Dr. Oldish was fired as the King’s Advocate and replaced by a new man who tried the case and condemned those charged with high treason. The penalty was hanging.

As traitors, the men were not allowed counsel nor a jury trial. They were tried by a tribunal appointed by the king which found them guilty. The importance of this case is not the unfair method of how it happened but on appeal a fine distinction was drawn.

The appeals court ruled that these men were stateless people not entitled to the rights of Englishmen. At one level, their commission came from a king who had abdicated all territorial claims on two occasions and was therefor a private citizen. On the second level, they were Irish subjects of King William and Queen Mary serving the best interest of a foreign monarch King Louis XIV of France. In either case they were no longer Englishmen entitled to the protection of civil law. Thus, they were guilty of high treason and piracy.

This distinction still serves to define foreign mercenaries and pirates by a two level test. Are they serving the head of state of a legitimate government and are they working for a foreign government against the best interests of the legitimate government of their original state.

As often quoted, “might makes right and the winners write history,” so indeed, John Golden was a pirate and hung as such for being faithful to his king, country and religion.

Is it possible that Pirate John Golden came to St. Croix and started a family?

St. Croix was French and a pirate haven in 1693, so it is possible that he came her to trade with French and Dutch Merchants and to prey on Caribbean Shipping using the island as his home port. In this case the Goldens could all be descended from the famous John Golden.

Is John Golden related to the Golden Family of St. Croix?

We May Never Know!

This information is not included in my book (Lost Pirate Treasure’s of St. Croix: Your Search for Billions Starts Here!) because there is no solid evidence that John Golden ever crossed the Atlantic to engage in acts of piracy near St. Croix. Thus, if John Golden was never on St. Croix, there would be no pirate treasure of his on the island. If you want to search for pirate treasure that may still be on St. Croix, the best place to start your search is with my book.

Have Fun!

Posted in Pirates | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Start Your Treasure Hunt Today!

Lost Pirate Treasures of St. Croix

Lost Pirate Treasures of St. Croix

According to Amazon, you don’t need to own a Kindle device to enjoy Kindle books. Download one of their free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on all your electronic devices. The Kindle app is available for every major smartphone, tablet and computer. That means with the free Kindle reading apps, you can buy a Kindle book once, and read it on any device with the Kindle app installed. And of course, you can also read that same Kindle book on a Kindle device if you own one. After you buy the book once, there are no additional charges for using it on every device you own.

I have a kindle and use it for traveling because it’s thinner and lighter than a real book and I find the larger print easier on my eyes. What many people don’t know about are the millions of free older books out there that I would never buy but have enjoyed rereading. I have read Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe and histories of many of the Caribbean Islands written during the colonial era.

While the kindle is easy to travel with I like my laptop Kindle reader when doing research. The search function is easier than a real book and more complete than the book’s index. Also, it is far easier to quote from a book on my laptop Kindle reader than it is by any other method. With a real book, you have to retype the passage. On my laptop, I just highlight the passage and copy it to my notepad. This is a very simple process especially if you are trying to quote a long passage or develop a set of notes for a much longer term paper or book on a subject.

Whether or not you have a Kindle you can get started on my book, “The Lost pirate Treasures of St. Croix” by reading it on your laptop or other computer. Remember your search for the billions buried on St. Croix starts with the knowledge that it exists. So start reading and learning the Pirate’s History of St. Croix. You chance of finding buried treasure on St. Croix is better than your chance of winning the Powerball Lottery so buy the book or buy it for a friend who is wasting too much money on Lottery tickets.

Posted in Pirates, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lost Pirate Treasures of St. Croix


Lost Pirate Treasures of St. Croix

Lost Pirate Treasures of St. Croix

My new book, “Lost Pirate Treasures of St. Croix: Your Search for Billions Starts Here!” has been published and is available from Amazon in both Kindle Book and Paperback Book. This is my second book carried by Amazon, but the first time that they picked it up in one day and are stocking a couple of copies already so I guess they think it will sell well. I will not get my copies for distribution on St. Croix until sometime in late September. Anybody who wants to start searching for billions can get a head start by buying it from Amazon.

Over the past six months I have been compiling all of the information about Pirate Treasures that have been lost to history on my home island of St. Croix. Throughout the past thirty years I have lived on the island, I have been told by all credible historians that there were no pirates on St. Croix so of course their would be no pirate treasures. Besides that fact, pirates were a bunch of foolish drunkards who had no reason to bury treasure when they spent it all so quickly. Well thank goodness for scholars of past centuries who documented the pirate presence.

My research documents the presence of several pirates who made St. Croix their home base and discusses the high probability that at least three of those treasures are still well hidden on the island. I am indebted to three proof readers who got caught up in the project and shared my excitement for treasure hunting and adventure. I will tell each of their stories separately in future posts.

Posted in Pirates, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Buy an Autographed Copy of My Carib Book

My long time friend Mario Golden has moved to Georgia but like many others, we remain in touch through facebook ( He has been following my various activities of hiking and writing and I follow his eclectic news reports and the informative posts that he finds on everything from muscle cars to current events.

Mario didn’t just want a copy of my book, he wanted one with a personalized autograph and he inquired as to how much I would charge.

After thinking about it, I replied that the book Was $24.00, the postage for Priority Mail was $6.00 and my signature was priceless (LOL). However since I was flattered that this native son wanted a copy, the total price was $30.00.

If anybody else wants a personalized copy for friends or family, send me a check or money order for $30.00 to:

John Boyd
Sion Farm
Christiansted, VI 00820

Shop early for birthdays, holidays and especially Christmas.

For those who want to save $6.00, all of the copies at Under Cover Books (Gallows Bay) are autographed, just not personalized exclusively for you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment