Thomas Beale Treasure...Vast Documents Scoured For Clues To The Thomas Beale Treasure.
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Carl Nelson has investigated old newspapers, steamboat schedules, jewelry store receipts, church registries, and tax, school and bank records.

So far, with the exception of an April 1, 1820, notice in the Missouri Intelligencer saying a letter awaited "Thomas Beall," Nelson has found no conclusive evidence that Beale was where he said he was at the time.

Cipher addict Carl Nelson works at home, believes human eye beats computer.

On the other hand, he has found no evidence that he was not.

Nelson has a theory that the Virginian was stealing from his brothers.

Indeed, if Thomas were put on a 20th-century couch, his mumblings to his analyst might lead to a suspicion of unresolved sibling rivalry.

After all, according to Nelson's research, he had three brothers who owned 17,000 acres along the James River as well as the largest gold mine in the Blue Ridge.

Thomas, according to an 1835 Fauquier County tax record, was taxed ten cents on his sole possession, a horse.

Nelson also claims Beale died in 1851, a pauper in Montross, Virginia, although others contend he disappeared out West.

Whatever his end, he left behind a good yarn if nothing else. "It's an endlessly fascinating puzzle," says Nelson, who is determined, quite literally, to get to the bottom of it.

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