Story of stranger with gold at famous plantation

June 23, 2012 at 1:23 a.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

Interesting article in the Advocate June 19 about the family whose great-great-great-grandmother Jane Joshua had been a slave on the Preston R. Rose plantation.

I am curious if she ever talked to her family about "Moro's Gold," and has the story been passed down through the Joshua family?

Fannie Ratchford, Preston Rose's granddaughter, has told the story. It seems that prior to the Civil War, a man came walking to the Rose Plantation. He was Spanish, well spoken and appeared to be well educated. He said his mule sickened and died, and he had no place to stay because he couldn't reach town. Slaves later said they found his mule half buried in the river bottom, but it had been shot in the head.

He gave his name as Moro, and he stayed longer than one night. He always had large sums of gold money and spent it freely. Rose finally asked him not to go into Victoria and purchase expensive gifts, or what would have been expensive for Victoria during that era.

He was walking with Preston Rose on the plantation one day and asked Rose if he would like to have enough gold to pay any and all debts and still be a very wealthy man. Rose indignantly refused to discuss the matter. Moro told him he was standing within 50 feet of a fortune.

Well, I am not going on with the whole story; there is much more. For years people were convinced there was a fortune buried on the plantation.

This story is told in "Coronado's Children" by J. Frank Dobie. Read it; you'll like it. Maybe even go digging!

Mike Simmons, Victoria



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