Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, Cape Hatteras, hosts Outer Banks Author

John Amrhein, Jr. will present his lecture about a true story of buried treasure and the role of Ocracoke in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island at 11 am this Tuesday followed by book signings.
Amrhein with model of Spanish warship, La Galga
Amrhein with model of Spanish warship, La Galga
KITTY HAWK, N.C. - June 9, 2013 - PRLog -- In 2011, Amrhein published, Treasure Island: The Untold Story which recounts the true story of buried treasure that began at Ocracoke in 1750. A Spanish fleet had left Havana, Cuba, on August 18, 1750, on what was intended to be a routine voyage home. As the fleet passed Cape Canaveral, Florida, it was hit by a hurricane crippling the ships. The fleet was scattered and swept north in the Gulf Stream up the coast where the hapless ships were driven ashore on the Outer Banks and the coast of Virginia.

The Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, carrying a million dollar cargo, came safely to anchor fifteen miles south of Ocracoke Inlet. She had lost her masts and rudder and was unable to proceed any further. It seemed that her cargo of pieces of eight was safe, at least temporarily.

Captain Juan Manuel Bonilla hired Owen Lloyd and his one-legged brother, John, two merchant captains from Hampton Roads, Virginia, to tow his galleon into Ocracoke. Once that was accomplished, the captain had to fend off the Bankers who wanted to seize the treasure as well as North Carolina customs officials, and even his mutinous crew. The treasure was unloaded onto two sloops which had come in to trade. Bonilla’s intention was to ship his treasure to Norfolk, Virginia, but the Lloyd brothers had other ideas.

On October 18, Captain Bonilla left for New Bern to meet with the governor leaving armed guards on the sloops and ordered them to remove the sails.

Owen Lloyd had a very narrow window of opportunity, so on October 20, 1750, while the Spaniards were aboard the galleon having lunch, he raised the sails and departed with the outgoing tide. Clearing the treacherous shoals of the inlet, Lloyd made it to Norman Island in the British Virgin Islands where he buried his loot on November 13. One hundred years later on this same day Robert Louis Stevenson was born. History now shows that the story of the real Treasure Island began at Ocracoke. Stevenson’s own treasure map, the most famous treasure map in the world, was dated August 1, 1750.

The amazing history of the 1750 fleet does not stop here. The escorting warship, La Galga, ran ashore on Assateague Island, Virginia. Legend says that the wild horses that roam there today descended from those that swam ashore from this shipwreck. This legend drew Marguerite Henry to Chincoteague in 1946. She published Misty of Chincoteague in 1947. Since then, millions of copies have been sold and it was made into a movie in 1961. In 1983, Amrhein found the wreck buried within the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Not only was he guided by his meticulous research in Spanish and American archives, but also by the long remembered accounts of the legend told to him by local residents whose ancestors witnessed the shipwreck.
In 2007, Amrhein published The Hidden Galleon which retells not only the rich history of the galleon but his adventure of discovery as well. Come meet the author and hear his stories first hand.
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Tags:Cape Hatteras, Ocracoke, Outer Banks, Hampton Roads, Treasure Island
Industry:Tourism, Travel
Location:Kitty Hawk - North Carolina - United States
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