The Discovery of the Captain Kidd Treasure Maps: The Reality

The Palmer-Kidd Maps
Coral Island Map
Sarah Kidd Map, Version 1
Sarah Kidd Map, Version 2
Skeleton Map
From letters written by Hubert Palmer to Harold T. Wilkins in the 1930s and 1940s it is clear that the nature and sequence of the discoveries of the Palmer-Kidd maps is different from that widely peddled on the internet.

The fault lies with Anthony Howlett, who did a very poor job of researching the subject by relying too much on the memories of Palmer's nurse/housekeeper, Mrs. Elizabeth Dick. It should be borne in mind that Palmer was suffering from dementia in the period Mrs. Dick knew him.

Palmer's second letter to Wilkins
Palmer's first letter to Wilkins was an invitation to visit and see his Kidd museum and the three maps then in his possession, but his second letter (left, hover over to enlarge) proves that he bought the bureau in 1932 and already had the Hardy and Morgan chests.

The correct sequence of the discoveries is:

Hardy Chest, Coral Island Map, 1929/1930
Morgan Chest, Plain Map, 1931/1932
Bureau, Sarah Kidd Map, 1932 (late)
Workbox, Skeleton Map, 1933 (early)

Note well that the Workbox was purchased in 1933, just one month after this letter, not in 1934 as Howlett claims.
Another false notion is that Palmer himself discovered all the maps. From the correspondence, this is clearly incorrect; Palmer bought all the items except the bureau knowing that they contained maps. Moreover, he was actually with the dealer who sold him the bureau, at his shop premises, when he inspected it - he was not at home with his brother.

Furthermore, contrary to what is widely claimed, Wilkins was on very good terms with Palmer during the period 1932-1942. The war, and Palmer's growing senility, caused them to draw apart.
Yunnan Parchment
As to the Yunnan Parchment, the mirror containing this was bought in 1940. Palmer's excitement and conviction as to its authenticity, as seen in his letter at right, suggest that claims he doubted it was genuine are incorrect.

Palmer's Yunnan letter

The Wilkins-Kidd Maps
Desert Island Map 1
Desert Island Map 2
Flood Map
Plum Island Map
Harold Wilkins' maps were quite clearly drawn by him, but contain transcriptions of instructions on maps that were in a file in the possession of a group of dilettante treasure hunters that came to light in the 1920s. The general content of the papers in the file together with the instructions were leaked to Wilkins by a contact who was called in to advise the group.

The focus of the search at that time was the island of Juan Fernandez, which explains why the so-called Kidd maps bear a resemblance to charts of this island from the late 1600s (Wilkins) and early 1700s (Palmer). Wilkins' island is definitely not off the south coast of England, as has been declared elsewhere.

It is unlikely that the maps have anything to do with the pirate Captain Kidd. They appear to be copies of copies of copies ... which is to say that the artefacts are bogus but the information contained thereon (the instructions and internal detail of the island) are not. There is good reason to believe that Palmer's and Wilkins' maps are drawn from the same source, and are likely to be part of a set of seven, potentially pertaining to an official or semi-official venture.
More information on the subject of the maps can be found in:

Maps, Mystery and Interpretation Vol.3. Sizing Up the Money Pit.

The book suggests that the instructions on all the maps pertain to Oak Island, Nova Scotia, scene of a 200-year-old treasure hunt.

A summary of the subject, and the reasoning, can be found at An Oak Island Geometry  

The Oak island Treasure Map Hypothesis
Maps, Mystery and Interpretation
On Treasure Maps, Captain Kidd, and a 200 year-old Treasure Hunt
 Vol 1.    In Search of Skeleton Island     View/Buy at Amazon UK     View/Buy at Amazon US  
 Vol 2.    Oak Island Speculation     View/Buy at Amazon UK     View/Buy at Amazon US  
 Vol 3.    Sizing Up the Money Pit     View/Buy at Amazon UK     View/Buy at Amazon US  

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