#28 – A Generous Gesture Goes Sour – 1986

Written by Russell Burrows:

The next events that were damaging to us again involved the Old Northwest Corporation. By this time I had had several discussions with Mr. Black concerning the cave and, being interested in history and education, he expressed the idea that it should be studied by all the right people using all the proper methods. He would help financially along these lines but during the many discussions we had about the cave, he gave me permission to do what I thought best. He gave me permission to go there anytime I wanted to and to remove artifacts at will.

When I told Mr. Black that I was being invited to a meeting of the Old Northwest Corporation, both he and I agreed that we needed some such organization to correctly investigate and develop the cave. We both felt that maybe this was the organization to handle the project.

As a result he provided me with a letter to the Old Northwest Corporation stating that he would deed the project to them. All that they would have to do would be to make sure that everything would be studied properly and a genuine attempt would be made to learn everything possible about the ancients who had been there so many years ago and about whom we know so little. We felt that an organization of this kind would surely get in touch with the proper authorities and proper scholars and over a period of time much knowledge would be forthcoming.

I presented the offer at the meeting and told the officers of the organization that the cave was theirs.

They turned it down – would not accept it. It was apparent to me then that they were after something else: Jack Ward’s scalp.