November 13 is Treasure Island Day: there was a real Island with a true story of buried treasure

Tomorrow on Robert Louis Stevenson’s birthday, pays tribute to nineteen locations in America, the Caribbean, and Europe, that played a role in the epic story of the real Treasure Island
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Treasure Island Day / Robert Louis Stevenson Day
Treasure Island Day / Robert Louis Stevenson Day
Nov. 12, 2012 - PRLog -- In 1750, a huge treasure was loaded aboard the galleon, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, at Veracruz, Mexico. Captain Juan Manuel Bonilla thought it would be a routine trip home but his galleon was caught in a hurricane after departing Havana, Cuba. On August 29, 1750, Bonilla found himself at the desolate shores of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. With no masts or rudder, the storm-battered ship was unable to sail on to Spain. Owen Lloyd and his one-legged brother, John, two merchant captains from Hampton Roads, Virginia, whose own vessel had been driven to Ocracoke, formed a conspiracy and stole the silver from the galleon. Owen Lloyd sailed away with fifty-five chests of pieces of eight which he buried on Norman Island in the British Virgin Islands on November 13, 1750. It just so happened to be on the same day that would be later remembered as Robert Louis Stevenson’s birthday.

This incredible story has its roots in the Caribbean, America, and in Europe. It was only recently that maritime historian, John Amrhein, Jr., completed his ten year odyssey in the archives of Europe, the United States, and the Caribbean, uncovering a treasure trove of documents that tell the story of the real Treasure Island.

It was a crude treasure map drawn by Robert Louis Stevenson’s stepson, Lloyd Osbourne, that was the initial inspiration for Treasure Island. Stevenson incorporated that map, with his own embellishments, into his story. It was the map of Treasure Island dated August 1, 1750, discovered in a sea chest belonging to a dead pirate named Billy Bones that launched the treasure hunt that became the story’s main plot. This map has become the most famous treasure map in the world.

Treasure Island has been made into numerous movies and plays. The book is required reading in many schools today. If not for the true story of buried treasure and its influence on Robert Louis Stevenson, there probably would not be a Pirates of the Caribbean today.

For all of you wanna-be pirates and free spirits, drop by TreasureIslandday.comand take the world tour of one of the greatest adventure stories of all time.


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