Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Despite its proximity to Charleston, Sullivan’s Island’s distinguishing characteristic was its isolation. Aside from the garrison of the fort and a few summer residents, there were only a few year-round inhabitants of the place. Densely covered with myrtle trees, the narrow, sandy island becomes home to the once-wealthy William Legrand, who has left New Orleans because of some misfortunes. Legrand lives with his single slave, Jupiter, in a small hut located at the center of an almost impenetrable growth of myrtle trees. He is literally, as well as figuratively, cut off from the world he has left behind.
*Mainland. Region between Sullivan’s Island and Charleston. Although not separated from civilization by water, the land just beyond Sullivan’s Island is equally wild and barren. When the narrator, Legrand, and Jupiter go there in search of the treasure, they pass into a desolate area without evidence of human life. In his emphasis on the strangeness of the area, Poe departs from the realities of southern geography, transforming the level, sandy landscape into one filled with inaccessible hills, huge crags, and deep ravines. Although unrealistic, these touches add to the atmosphere of the story, which requires an isolated, wild, and exotic location.
Tulip-tree. Tree on the mainland that allows Legrand to determine the exact location of the buried treasure. Jupiter climbs this extremely tall, old tree, where he finds a skull attached to an upper limb; lowering the “gold-bug” of the title through the empty eye socket of the skull reveals the burial site of Captain Kidd’s treasure.