June 1699 – Proof of Treasure #CaptainKiddHistory

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on September 25, 2017 in #CaptainKiddHistory, Books, History, Middle Grade, Nature, Pirate Island |

Here is the next installment of #CaptainKiddHistory. These historical tidbits about Captain William Kidd are told by Billy, the main character of my upcoming middle grade adventure PIRATE ISLAND. Billy discovered and wrote down these tidbits while doing research to find Kidd’s lost treasure but before he actually looked for it on Pirate Island. Let’s give a big welcome to Billy!

June 1699 – Proof of Treasure

by Billy Bonny

Credit: Doc Seals via flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/docsearls/285538232/ Image of Gardiners Island
Billy’s comment: I’ve spent a good deal of time staring at pictures of a different island. Bet you can’t guess its name!

If you think I’m crazy for believing that Captain Kidd could have buried treasure (not pirate treasure because Kidd wasn’t a pirate—see my entry “December 1695 to September 1696 – Privateer, Not Pirate”) on a tiny island in Long Island Sound, I wouldn’t blame you…knowing you probably haven’t done the research. The proof of me not being crazy was found on Gardiners Island, a small island off the coast of East Hampton, NY, where Kidd really did bury some of his loot.

The stash included gold dust, silver bars, Spanish coins, rubies, diamonds, candlesticks, and porringers (shallows bowls with small, decorative handles). He also gave Mrs. Gardiner a gold cloth and a sack of sugar. Apparently, sugar was really valuable at the time, which is crazy when you think about how much sugar is in one can of mine and Andy’s favorite energy drink. And we buy those pretty cheap at the grocery store.

When Mr. Gardiner was ordered by the government to turn over the treasure as evidence against Kidd, one diamond somehow remained in Gardiner’s possession, which he ended up giving to his daughter. Sketchy stuff if you ask me, but nobody ever charged Mr. Gardiner with a crime.

In this time period, Kidd spent 20 days roaming the waters of Long Island Sound. If he had treasure in addition to what he buried on Gardiners Island, this would have been a great time to unload it. Just saying!


A thrice cursed island, a legendary pirate treasure, and one not-so-brave boy. What could possibly go wrong?

For centuries, the whereabouts of Captain William Kidd’s lost pirate treasure has remained a mystery. When Billy’s best friend, Andy, proposes they look for it on nearby Pirate Island, Billy thinks it’s just another one of their crazy adventures. It’s usually Billy who ends up in trouble as a result, but he goes along for the ride…like always. The more he delves into the life and death of Kidd, the more he thinks the treasure is real and that it might be buried on the small island in Long Island Sound. Billy—nope, call him William—becomes obsessed with the captain of the same first name. He even believes he’s possessed by Kidd’s restless soul. Now he and the spirit of a long-dead pirate are leading the crazy adventure on Pirate Island. And what they find is far bigger than the treasure they imagined.

Now available for pre-order! Get it on  Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, IndieBound, and many other of your favorite book sellers.

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  • mirkabreen says:

    That it’s a real island and based on a real character adds a lot for me.

    • All the Captain Kidd stuff in the book (the historical stuff, not the spirit haunting Billy stuff) is historically accurate. And much of the island stuff is based on local history and/or legends, though I definitely took some liberties with those to better fit the story. I grew up hearing these stories about Charles Island (the island that inspired Pirate Island), so it was really fun to incorporate that into the book.

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