Treasure Ship

How a group of prospectors, digging for a strike, turned up the whole mid-nineteenth century


There was no warning of impending danger as the Arabia , carrying 200 tons of freight from St. Louis, headed up the Missouri bound for Sioux City, Iowa. Many of the passengers were at dinner in the well-appointed dining room as the steamboat turned into the Quindaro Bend, just above what is now Kansas City. Perhaps the late-afternoon sun glistening on the water obscured the telltale V of ripples that might have signaled the sunken walnut tree.

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