daybreak on the 24th July 1715 a fleet of eleven ships weighed anchor in Havana. Out of
fear of attack, the Spanish had not risked sending even a single one of their silver fleet
back to their homeland for two years. The War of Spanish Succession with Great Britain and
the Netherlands had made the journey too dangerous.
The fleet was loaded with the most valuable cargo that the
oceans had ever carried; the ships bearing gold and silver equivalent to a value of 86
The ships also had three iron chests, filled to the brim with jewels of immeasurable
value. The chests were meant for Isabella Farnese of Parma, the new wife of the Spanish
The fleet passed the Bahamas on the 29th July and
set course for Cape Canaveral. During the night the sea suddenly became increasingly heavy
and a hurricane drove the ships on to the reef-studded coast.
the morning of the 31st July the storm was over. On the coast of Florida there
lay hundreds of corpses in the midst of gold bullion, silver coins and cannons.
Have you visited the McLarty Treasure Museum yet?