Buried treasure on Horseneck

Various local history publications have alluded to the legend that Captain Kidd buried his treasure on Liniken Island (for example, The Village at Westport Point  by Katherine Hall and Mary Sowle). It’s easy to dismiss this story as historical fiction, but the recent discovery of an 1888 Boston Globe article casts new light on this legend, suggesting that there may indeed be treasure to be found. The location is Horseneck Beach (not Liniken Island) and it was buried long after Captain Kidd was executed. All that’s needed to find the treasure is the parchment map marking three locations on Horseneck Beach.




Spanish Silver Found on Horseneck Beach

James M. Eddy brings to light over 1550 coins

His homestead is thought to hide more treasures


Fall River Oct 31 1888

There is evidence that the $550 silver dollars were dug up by James M. Eddy of Providence, who owns a farm on Horseneck Beach is a portion of the famous Captain Kidd treasure.

Eddy’s grandfather was Amasa Eddy who sailed the high seas. After a career as a pirate he returned to his farm on Horseneck. He left a map containing the directions for finding buried treasure.

Mr. Eddy has dug on the farm at odd times without any success until this morning when he turned up an old iron kettle containing 1550 silver dollars.

Twelve hundred of the coins were Spanish dollars, bearing the inscription:

“Ferd. VII, Dei Gratia, 1815”

There were also 350 coins: 

“Sit nomen domino benedictum 1787.”

Mr. Eddy is not through digging yet, he is confident that there are still $100,000 in gold Spanish doubloons buried on his father’s farm, and he proposes to find them if he has to dig up his entire place. The find has caused no little excitement in Westport and vicinity.


NOVEMBER 1, 1888



The silver found in Horseneck Sands

Evidently buried there later than 1851.

Nov 1. James M. Eddy, who has been digging for Captain Kidd’s treasure and who turned up an iron kettle full of Spanish silver coins on the beach adjoining his farm opposite the summer resort of Westport, arrived at his home in Johnston yesterday with his wealth. He denies that his grandfather ever had anything to do with pirates….he said that two years ago he became the possessor of a piece of parchment that apparently had served as a drumhead, and from which had been converted into a chart purporting to describe the location of three lots of buried gold, silver and other valuables, beached by a pirate many years ago. The lines were drawn as though with a sharpened stick and a red fluid. On it were three points designated as the burial places of the wealth.

The starting point was a rock on Horseneck Beach … When this parchment fell into his hands he was impressed with confidence in its being a valuable document.

This summer, he resumed exploring for the treasure but to avoid being seen at work and fearing that his object would suspected, he proceeded very cautiously, and this retarded his progress materially. He groped his way patiently in the course directed on the chart, and last Monday made the discovery reported.

He declares it will be an easy matter to locate the other two deposits of wealth as he now has two points by which he can more easily get accurate bearings. One of the two lots consists of gold coins and the third, he believes, will be a lot of diamonds.

The dates on the silver range from 1781 to 1851 show that it is not part of Captain Kidd’s treasure. Mr. Eddy will not tell his theory but says it is a pirate’s treasure, though not Kidd’s.

The story of the unearthing of a pot of, or barrel of money at
Westport by James M. Eddy, of Johnston, B. I., which was telegraphed from here to Providence last week, is utterly discredited by the members of the Eddy family residing there.

They say that there never was any family property in that section of the State mentioned by Eddy in detailing his great find of buried pirate money, and that the family originally settled from Gloucester in Rhode Island…

The 15 old silver coins, which Eddy has been exhibiting as a portion of the 1,500 found in the receptacle, they say, are some that he has been collecting from time to time in his itinerant dry goods business.

Further, they declare that no such old parchment mentioned by Eddy as giving a clew to the spot where the barrel of money, jewelry and precious stones was buried, was ever heard of in the family, and consequently could not have been studied by them for years, as alleged.
Mr. Eddy, when pressed to show the other 1,400 coins, alleged that he had buried them, and refused to say where he had found the treasure, alleging that the spot was within the domain of the general government, and that if he disclosed it Uncle Sam would pounce upon the great riches and confiscate them. The wonderful parchment was not produced. Eddy has evidently been reading Munchausen.