Upon his exile from New Orleans, notorious pirate Jean Laffite sought a new home from which he could relaunch his operations. Somewhere with access to treasure-laden vessels, open coast, and trails and waterways to transport stolen goods. He found what he was looking for in the Spanish colony of Texas.
According to legend, Laffite and his men captured a large cache of silver ingots from a Spanish galleon named the Santa Rosa before ordering the cache sent to St. Louis. Mysterious smuggler and pioneer Nicholas Trammel then had the silver loaded into wagons. As the group traveled along his known route, Trammel’s Trace, the Spanish army would soon follow. Fearing the mission had been compromised, the men concealed the wagons beneath the water of Hendricks Lake where the silver was lost to history.
Though the legend has never been proven, several key historical and archaeological discoveries, both in the lake and elsewhere, have been enough to keep locals, historians, and prominent treasure hunters interested in the lake.
All legends must begin somewhere, and the story of the Hendricks Lake treasure is no different. From the first searches in the 1880s to the large scale efforts of the 1950s and 1960s, its story has survived.
Is the story a well-fabricated hoax with intent to mislead? Is the Hendricks Lake legend merely the result of centuries of folklore? Or could it be possible the Hendricks Lake story is indeed based upon a real, historically verifiable event? Our crew seeks to solve this in our film.