The Lost Gold of Minerva

Guest post by Michelle Griep

Wild west. What kind of image do those two words bring to mind? Gunslingers, cactuses, and tumbleweeds? If so, you’re in the majority. But that holds true for the nineteenth century. Let’s rewind time and travel back to the 1700’s, when the wild west was no farther than upstate New York.

During the mid-eighteenth century, a war was raging in the far west of what was then Colonial America. The French and Indian War is often glossed over in a U.S. History class. It wasn’t just between French fur traders and Indians. The truth is Native Americans fought on both sides of the skirmish, for the British and the French—which is who the war was really between.

But don’t panic…no stale history lesson here. I’ve got a tale to share from this period that inspired me to write The Captured Bride.

A legend sprang up during the years of the French and Indian War, first spread by word of mouth then finally being put to print in an 1875 Ohio newspaper. Apparently there was a shipment of French gold being moved from Fort Duquesne to Fort Detroit. Both were French forts, so it doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? Wrong. Danger lurked in those wilds, and for the French, that danger was British red coats.

Naturally, the French contingent was on high alert during their trek, scouting ahead and behind, making sure no one took them by surprise. One scout brought back word of a possible attack, either by British sympathizing natives or the British themselves is unclear. Either way, it spooked the soldiers, so they knew they had to do something drastic to survive.

Turning back wasn’t an option. Neither was forging ahead, hoping to outrun whatever trouble might be upon them. Lugging a shipment of gold around makes for very slow going. But what to do?

They decided to bury the gold then hide until the threat passed. The men took great care to painstakingly mark exactly where they buried the treasure. Relieved of the extra weight, they took off—putting space between them and the gold—and hid until the danger passed.

When they went back to retrieve their cargo, they followed their directions with utmost care. But when they got to the spot where the gold was buried, it was gone. But where did it go?

To this day, no one knows.

Many have looked, going so far as to dig up farmers’ fields and surrounding lands. But no luck. And the search continues. Recently there was a news story about another search about to take place.

I can’t tell you where the gold is, but if this legend piques your interest, I can recommend my latest release, an adventure in the wilds of upstate New York.


A war-torn countryside is no place for a lady—but Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause…to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.

Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he’s offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he’s the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.

Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

We’d love to find out! Michelle has graciously offered a copy of The Captured Bride, ebook or paperback, winner’s choice. To enter, leave a comment below.


About Michelle Griep:

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.






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23 thoughts on “The Lost Gold of Minerva”

  1. I enjoyed your post Michelle. Very interesting info. I also look forward to reading it.

  2. Hi Michelle…..Welcome to P&P! We’re excited to have you. Who doesn’t love tales of buried treasure! That always sparks my interest. I do hope they find it. Congrats on the new book! The Captured Bride is the kind of story that’s right up my alley. Mercy (I like that name) has to make a huge decision and I’m sure she chooses wisely. Thanks for coming!

  3. Our high school emblem was an arrowhead with Cooper’s cave pictured in the middle of it. The real cave is in the rocks in the Hudson River and is part of “The Last of the Mohicans” as it was originally written. Being halfway between Saratoga and Fort William Henry in Lake George there were a number of French and Indian War battles in our area as well as Revolutionary War battles. We did have those wars taught as local history in school. In the mid 1700’s it was mostly wilderness and a lot of it around Lake George still is as part of the Adirondack State Park.

  4. So interesting, both your short history lesson and the introduction to your book. Sounds like the kind of story I would love to read, so thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

    Appreciated the comments of Alice too, history is so fascinating to me. I sometimes wonder what these long ago people would think of our modern times.

  5. Thanks for a great post. I always enjoy your historical fiction!

  6. I will need to check out this book. We do forget that the frontier really started on the East Coast when the first settlers arrived. It gradually moved west as settlers pushed to find new land. I grew up in Northern New York on the Canadian border in former Mohawk territory . Many battles were fought there. Fort Ticonderoga was an important part of the French and Indian War as well as future wars. It changed hands several times. Naval battles on Lake Champlain were critical to the War of 1812. Fort Duquesne and Fort Detroit were a bit south of where I grew up. I never heard anything about this story of lost gold. Of course Upstate means around Albany and there is a very large part of the state north of there.
    We now live in NE TN along the BlueRidge Mountains, another center of frontier activity. The birthplace of Davey Crockett is only 9 miles away. A frontier fort nearby was the site of many skirmishes and a contingent of settlers marched over the mountains to the BattleOf Kings Mountain which was a pivotal Revolutionary War Battle.

    Much of the history of both the areas is not well known outside the area, and sadly not by many who live there. When I grew up, a looong time ago, the local history was skimmed over. I think this was true in many places. I am glad to see more interest across the country in history, the people, events, and where it fits into the overall history of the nation.

    THE CAPTURED BRIDE sounds like it will be an interesting story. It will be nice revisiting my home area, 200+ years in the past.

  7. Oh, it’s a good story! I’m 3/4 way into the book and it’s so captivating. So different from Innkeeper’s Daughter and 12 Days at Bleakley Manor.

  8. Intriguing legend. I always wished I could find hidden treasure, but, alas, I am destined to work hard for everything.

  9. Thank you for the interesting post and a look into what sounds like a terrific book. Since I’ve lived my whole life in the Northeast (including my college years) there’s no way I could forget about the Colonial part of our history of our Western history. Being a history buff doesn’t hurt either! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of your book.

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