On August 18, 1750, The galleon, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, and six other ships departed Havana, Cuba, for Spain. They encountered a hurricane which propelled the Guadalupe and her cargo of treasure to Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina. It was here that Blackbeard, the pirate, was killed in 1718.
In Hampton, Virginia, just after the hurricane, Owen and John Lloyd departed for what seemed to be a routine trip to St. Kitts where Owen was going to reunite with his wife. She had left months before because of the hardships that she and Owen had suffered at the hands of the Spaniards in the war that had just ended between Spain and England. Their sloop sprang a leak and diverted to Ocracoke where the Lloyd brothers were hired to tow the disabled Guadalupe into the inlet. After that was accomplished, the two brothers engineered a scheme to steal the treasure that had been offloaded onto some English sloops. On October 20, 1750, while the Spanish guards were having lunch, the two sloops weighed anchor and made for the inlet. John Lloyd’s sloop ran aground and he was captured. Owen made a clean getaway and buried his treasure at Norman Island, a deserted key in the British Virgin Islands. The treasure was later recovered but the aftermath left the countries of England, Spain, Denmark, and The Netherlands in a diplomatic turmoil as their Caribbean governors had each dipped their hands into the pot of gold.
John Amrhein, Jr has documented this amazing story in his just released book, Treasure Island: The Untold Story. It took nine years to complete with the help of a team of international researchers. “Amhrein’s work serves as a compendium of historical fact and events surrounding a story that has captured the imaginations of both young and old for nearly a century and half,” says the Monterey Historical Society after a careful study of his 396 page work.
Today, we see the fantasy, Pirates of the Caribbean, making billions. “There would be no Pirates of the Caribbean without Treasure Island,” Amrhein contends, “and there would have been no tale of Treasure Island without the daring exploits of the Lloyd Brothers from Hampton Roads.
For more on this true life prequel to Stevenson’s classic story of adventure visit http://www.treasureislandtheuntoldstory.com The book is available to book stores starting this week and is also available in Kindle and NookBook ebook formats.
The author will be at the Hampton History Museum at 7 pm on September 12 to deliver his lecture, Hampton: The Birthplace of Treasure Island followed by book signings.
John Amrhein, Jr.
New Maritima Press
P.O. Box 1918
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949 USA
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New Maritima Press is a publisher on non-fiction maritime history and reproduction nautical charts. The Hidden Galleon: The True Story of a Lost Spanish Ship and the Legendary Wild Horses of Assateague Island was published in 2007. This book and Treasure Island: The Untold Story document a complete history of the 1750 fleet.