At sunrise on the morning of July 24, 1715, a large fleet consisting of twelve ships set sail from Havana Harbor to begin the long voyage back to Spain. The convoy was composed of five vessels of the.
Commanded by Captain-General Juan Esteban deUbilla, six ships of the squadron of. Commanded by Captain-General Don Antonio de Echeverz y Zubiza and aFrench frigate named. Commanded by Captain Antoine dAire.The frigate would have provided addedprotection against British warships and the many marauding pirates that roamedthe seas. Crammed within the holds ofthese heavily laden vessels were 15,000,000 pesos worth of gold, silver andjewels, the riches of the New World and Orient.
King Philip V of Spain eagerly awaited thesafe arrival of the combined fleet, as he desperately needed the treasure theships carried to help boost a faltering Spanish economy. The War of Spanish Succession had left theSpanish Government near bankruptcy, and King Philip had given the officialcommand that as much treasure as possible must be brought back from the Indieswithout regard for the cost or dangers involved.Unfortunately for the king, the fleet wasdestined to never arrive in Spain. Upon leaving Cuban waters, the ships entered thenarrow Bahama Channel, or what today is more often called the Straits ofFlorida. This was the most dangerouspart of the voyage, for the fleet would have to tack back and forth between theBahamas and the Florida coast to catch the winds and proper currents. Once they had entered the channel, there wasno turning back and no way out until they reached the Carolinas, an averageten-day passage. All seemed well duringthe early part of the voyage as the convoy slowly made its way around CapeFlorida.
However, the fleetscommanders were completely unaware that a gathering storm was building in theBahamas a few hundred miles away. Thedoomed ships continued on through the treacherous Florida Straits oblivious tothe danger that lurked just over the horizon. On July 31, 1715, a savage hurricane sweptacross the Bahama Channel, catching in its path the ill-fated Spanish treasurefleet. He entire fleet was struck bythe full fury of the violent hurricane, roaring out of the east-northeast withwinds in excess of seventy-five miles an hour.Torrential rain fell in cascading sheets, obscuring the other ships ofthe convoy, so that each vessel some only a few hundred feet apart was nowsailing alone. The fleet was helpless inthe midst of the hurricane. By sunrise the next morning, eleven vessels, more than 15 million pesos inregistered treasure, and 700 lives (including that of General Ubilla) were lostin one of the worst disasters in maritime history. Of the twelve ships that had sailed fromHavana, only one had escaped. The rest ofthe fleet disintegrated on the jagged coral reefs of Florida between thepresent-day city of Fort Pierce and the Sebastian Inlet. Meanwhile, a fortune in gold, silver andprecious jewelry was left scattered over the beaches and reefs only a fewhundred yards offshore. The destruction of the1715 Fleet was a disaster of catastrophic proportions, not just for the peopledirectly involved, but the loss of the fleet had worldwide political andeconomic ramifications as well. Thestory is fascinating by itself, but the fact that these vessels wreckeddirectly off the beach (literally a stones throw from shore) and have producedvast quantities of treasure in modern times is equally captivating. Today, over 300 years later, treasure stillcontinues to be found from these wreck sites off the Florida Coast. Equally alluring is the fact that some of theshipwrecks have never been found and are still awaiting discovery. The most intriguing tale concerning the 1715 fleet is the mystery ofthe missing Queens Jewels. Afterthe death of Queen Maria Luisa Gabriella of Savoy in 1714, King Philip wasmarried by proxy to the Duchess of Parma, Isabel Farnese. According to popular legend, as part of themarriage agreement, Isabel demanded that she be given jewelry unique in allthe world. Could the Queens dowrystill lie somewhere just offshore beneath the waves and sand? These intriguing componentsof the story only add to the allure. Finding the Fleet Before the Treasure Coast Became the Treasure Coast. Also includes the manuscript Gold on the Florida Coast: Let's Get the Record Straight. 1715 Fleet, Kip Wagner, Real Eight Company, Mel Fisher, Steadman Parker. Includes a bibliography; illustrated; limited to 200 copies. The first edition (not stated) was published by DMP Inc, Westmont, Illinois (2015), in paperback. Book, published on the 300th anniversary of the sinking of the 1715. Fleet, is the story of the 1715 Fleet prior to 1965 when Kip Wagner rediscovered it.
The book includes a document written by Captain Steadman A. Parker, entitled "Gold on the Florida Coast Let's Get the Record Straight". Beautifully illustrated with treasure photographs, original documents from the Art McKee collection, and much information. It also contains the full-color reproduction of the maniscript Gold on the Florida: Let's Get the Record Straight by Captain Steadman Parker who was among the first people to show Kip Wagner, coins he had been finding along the area's beaches. Wagner briefly mentions Parker and their joint efforts to find treasure from a 1715 Fleet shipwreck off Sebastian, Florida in his classic book Pieces of Eight , but Parker goes into even greater details in his manuscript.
The unpublished manuscript was found in Art McKee's research collection and one of Parker's grand daughters was instrumental in finally having the story told after all these years. Seldom offered for sale and when it is often commands a premium.Please take advantage of this opportunity. Please see my other auctions for the sequels Finding the Fleet II and Finding the Fleet III. The item "FINDING THE FLEET GOLD ON THE FLORIDA COAST 1715 Gold Treasure signed RARE" is in sale since Saturday, July 6, 2019. This item is in the category "Books\Antiquarian & Collectible". The seller is "bellebrady_12" and is located in New Iberia, Louisiana. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, Ukraine, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa rica, Dominican republic, Panama, Trinidad and tobago, Guatemala, El salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Antigua and barbuda, Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Saint kitts and nevis, Saint lucia, Montserrat, Turks and caicos islands, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei darussalam, Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, French guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Cayman islands, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macao, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Peru, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion, Viet nam, Uruguay, Russian federation.