Randy Boswell reports in The Ottawa Citizen that Canadian treasure hunter Bob Brewer has found Confederate gold and silver coins which he believes are part of the treasure of a secret society called the Knights of the Golden Circle. The Knights buried millions of dollars in gold at various sites in the U.S. and Canada in the 1860s, waiting for the end of the Civil War. Despite losing, they still believed that the South would one day be independent.

“By war’s end, exiled Confederate and KGC cadres operating out of Canada?had amassed a treasury estimated at more than $2 million in gold and silver coinage,” Brewer says. He thinks only a small portion of it is left in Canada?most of it was eventually returned to the American south. Due to the secrecy of the Knights, no one knows where the treasure is buried.

Brewer, who is descended from members of the KGC, found a fruit jar filled with gold and silver coins in the Arkansas backwoods after deciphering a series of coded maps, inscribed stone tablets and other landscape markers, and he thinks there’s more out there.

Canada’s connections to the Confederacy are well-documented. John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, may have planned the attack at meetings in Montreal with Confederate spies and Southern sympathizers.

One famous Knight was Albert Pike, a Confederate exile in Canada whose experience as a Freemason led to the elaborate coding system used to hide the money. The treasure is believed to be from the Confederacy’s government reserves, from wartime raids on northern banks and from tithes offered by northern supporters of the Southern cause.

The outlaw Jesse James was part of the KGC network, and led a convoy with $80,000 worth of Confederate gold to a hiding place in New Mexico. Brewer says that “other convoys headed south into Florida, one went into Mexico, another into Canada, after traveling west into Kansas and going north to avoid Union troops.”

When you look closely, you’ll find that history is not what you thought it was.

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