Hedden was referring to Sir Francis Bacon and the theory that Bacon was responsible for the workings on Oak Island, created to hide documents and manuscripts that may include, among other things, the original manuscripts of Shakespeare. If you remember from our last article, one of the three things that Hedden absolutely believed in was the piece of parchment said to have been brought up out of the ground, from 153 feet below, during drilling done by William Chappell in 1897. Hedden believed that it would be of interest to study this theory more, with Oak Island in mind. Here in his own words, is what he imparted to Harris:
"One correspondent was a Mr. B. F. Ruth of Ames, Iowa, who wrote me after the article in the Saturday Evening Post. He wrote a thirty page letter giving his arguments as to why the cache was undoubtedly that of Bacons lost manuscripts and some of his arguments were quite plausible. He gives two references as applying to the work done at Oak, both taken from Sylva Sylvarum. The first - Page 7, Century 1, Experiment 25 (2nd edition(1628)) refers to an artificial water course. The second describing the preservation of objects is Page 33, Experiment 100 which refers to preservation in Mercury. He also notes that Bacon went into the preservation of documents at great length all through his writings in that book. He also makes appoint of Bacon's will in which he says "As for my name and memory, I leave it to men's charitable speeches, to foreign lands, and to the next ages." He accepts the date 1669 as the probable time of origin and states that it was probably planned and executed by Bacon's chaplain Rawley, after Bacon's death.
I also corresponded with a Mrs. Gladys Stewart of Rochester, the daughter of a prominent Baconian - Dr. Owen. Dr. Owen in his life had made many discoveries and interpretations of the Baconian cipher messages contained in early printings of Shakespeare and others and had found enough to induce him to lead an expedition to the river Wy in Scotland in search of a buried cache. He was successful in finding a cement vault under a river in its center but found it to be empty. It received quite a bit of publicity at the time and is a matter of record. Mrs. Stewart wrote me much along the same line as Ruth, also quoting the Sylvarum and somewhere between them I received the information I passed on to you. I paid little attention to it at the time being more or less amused and feeling that recovery was necessary to prove anything. I met Mrs. Stewart when she visited New York and was quite impressed with her knowledge and sincerity."
R.V. Harris, though in receipt of this information from Hedden, did not include this theory in the first edition of his book, The Oak Island Mystery, published in 1958 by the Ryerson Press of Toronto. He did however, preserve this letter from Hedden in his research papers donated to the Nova Scotia Public Archives. We're very fortunate he did, otherwise it might never be known that this particular theory, quite popular now, was being considered in relation to Oak Island some 63 years ago. Hedden didn't know about Nolan's Cross or the swamp though. We have more current researchers and theorists to thank for that.
Goodnight from The Blockhouse!
From The Blockhouse
is published by Blockhouse Investigations and oakislandcompendium.ca
in Nova Scotia, Canada
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Kelly W. Hancock, CD
John Wonnacott, P. Eng.
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