Music and Millions in his Swan Song

Dublin Core


Music and Millions in his Swan Song


A short but wonderful piece dictating a conversation between an old sea captain called Captain Blanchard, and an unnamed reporter at the Honolulu Advertiser. Blanchard was a colorful character, and well know in the maritime community around Hawaii.

He mentions several treasure legends written about in other places, but which previously didn't include Palmyra as a location. While it's not clear if the Esperanza 's legend is one of those mentioned, it makes for fun reading and shows how entrenched Palmyra was in local legends at the time.



Honolulu Advertiser




Public Domain

Text Item Type Metadata


Who wants two million dollars?
Don’t crowd!  Uniform blanks for application will be passed around at the proper time.  Captain H. Blanchard, veteran navigator, actor in a hundred Pacific dramas for sixty-five years back yesterday afternoon dropped in at the Advertiser office and gave what he announced would be his last interview, this at the age of eighty-two years-and all about two million dollars!
“Two million dollars,” announced Captain Blanchard.
Musical Interlude
Then he paused a moment to sing the famous old chantey concerning the Sally Brown.
"I sing that every morning,” continued the captain, “when I get up at four o’clock to tend my chicken ranch at Kaimuki.  I have four lots,” he added, and then leaned over to whisper confidentially, “they’re all fenced in.”
“About the two million dollars? Well, it will take a young man to get that, you know.  I’m too old - eighty-two years, sonny - and it’ll take a young man.  The treasure’s there, all the old gold candle-sticks and the other treasure they stripped from the churches in Chile.  It’s hidden under a large stone. I know it, because I took out one hundred and ten thousand dollars of it.  There was the money part of it, you understand.  I left everything else and its still there.  Now it’s up to a young man to organize an expedition and go get it, about a million of it.
In Judge’s Dominion
“Then there’s a million dollars on Palmyra Island.  I know all about that, too.  Even Judge Cooper doesn’t know anything about it, but it’s there and I know where it is, but I’m too old - just a  minute -“
The captain was compelled to pause here to sing the second and third verses of the chantey with which he serenades his white Leghorns at Kaimuki daily.
“That’s the one we sang fifty years ago all over the Pacific,” he explained.  “Great song.  Will I sing it again?  No.  I want to tell you something else.  No one has done more for these Islands that I have.  I want you to put a good write up in the paper about that, too.  I introduced the first plow in the Islands, down in Kohala on Hedemann’s place forty eight years ago - and I built the first railroad.  This is my last interview, you know - you ought to pull all that in the story.”
Mere Trifles
“That two million, though.  Captain - that sounds interesting.  Won’t you draw a map for the expedition and we’ll get it organized right away?”
“I don’t think I ought to tell you that,” replied Captain Blanchard, suspiciously.  “Rolling down, in the Sally Brown, we - “
“It’s on the Chile Coast, isn’t it Captain?”
“That’s right.  It’s on the Chile coast.  ‘Rolling down on the - ‘“
“North or South, Captain?”
“Now looky here, I’m singing.”
“I know, but I’m thinking about the two million!”
“Drat it, wait until I get through.  Rolling down on - “
No Reflections Please!
“About that million dollars on Palmyra, Captain, that’s Bully Hayes treasure isn’t it?”
“Young man, are you casting reflections on me?”
“Not a bit of it!  Why?”
“You look it.  Now you’ve got me all mixed up.  H—, I’m excited and can’t think.  Can’t I come down to give my last interview without being reflected on?”
“All right, then.  Rolling down on the Sally Brown, we -“
And so on, unto the fourth verse, singing which the captain rolled away.
There you are, a treasure expedition for a treasure whose exact location is exactly unknown.  As captain Blanchard says, it’s on the Chile coast.  Get out your geography, youngsters, and take a look at it, following which you may be tempted to enlist for the term of the war.
And it was his last interview too! Auwe!


“Music and Millions in his Swan Song,” Palmyra Archive, accessed September 25, 2020,


Copy the code below into your web page