FLORIDA is by far, the "GREATEST TREASURE HUNTING SPOT IN THE WORLD!"As soon as the Spanish treasure ships left Vera Cruz with their fantastic cargos of gold, silver and precious gems, a pirate ship was soon in pursuit. The pirates were everywhere, as one Spanish officer put it," They are like fleas on a Burro, too many for one tail to smack". Between 1519 and 1780, the period was called the "Golden age of Piracy". Yes there were many, ruthless men such as Captain Kidd, Jean LaFitte, Jack Rackham, Edward Teach,( A.K.A. Blackbeard). Billy Bowlegs, Black Caesar and at least a dozen more, all skilled at their trade. The most dangerous of the scoundrels were the ones call "Buccaneers". These men were headquartered on the island of Hispaniola. To quickly dispatch their victims, they used a knife designed by the natives, it was called a "Boucan knife". Thus the people who use them were called "Boucaneers" or as we now call them, "Buccaneers". How did all these pirates come together in the Caribbean to prey upon Spanish ships? Some of the credit goes to Queen Elizabeth who actually made pirating legal by commissioning some of her finest sea captains to become "Privateers". Privateers were given royal papers that allowed them to plunder Spanish ships. Men like Sir John Hawkins, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir Henry Morgan all opened the door for dozens of cutthroats to enter the lucrative business of looting Spanish ships. And loot they did. It is estimated that the top dozen, well known pirates, may have buried, in Florida, approximately $200 million in gold and silver. Many Spanish ships did manage to avoid the Pirates but only to meet their fate on the treacherous reefs from Key West to Key Largo. Some loot was salvaged from the briny deep, but most still lies there, waiting to be found. The rewards for the lucky salvors are great as evident by the success of Mel Fisher who found the Spanish ship,"Nuestra Senora de Atocha". The Atocha reportedly carried 47 tons of silver and 17 tons of gold. Mr. Fischer quickly became known as the $40 million dollar man. Believe me when I say there is not a single county in Florida that does not have a history of buried treasure. On the East Coast of Florida lies the mystical island called "Amelia Island". Amelia Island is the only place in the United States that was governed under eight different flags. Each time a flag was raised and lowered, there was a small skirmish. In advance of marauding hoards, people would bury their valuables and for many reasons were never able to retrieve them. The loot is still there waiting to be found. Amelia also was headquarters for all the well-known Pirates of the Caribbean. Bad men like Blackbeard, Jean Lafitte, Captain Kid and Stede Bonnet are all well known pirates that buried treasure on Amelia Island. The biggest treasure hoard might've been left by Louis Michael Aury and his band of pirates. When the United States took possession of Amelia, Aury was told he had to leave, and leave in a hurry. He and his men had no time to dig up their loot, so they left it. It is no wonder why Amelia Island is called the "Golden Isle".
Did you know there were actually two pirates named Billy Bowlegs? Yes, and both scoundrels were operating in and around Florida at the same time! This is what many believe to be the reason that History records Billy as the most active pirate. And in another coincidence , there were, also, two pirates named Black Caesar! In this case, one followed the other in the annuls of “Pirate History“.
He was the meanest, cruelest man ever to set foot on Florida soil. Everyone called him the “Emperor”, and he ruled his domain by murder and mayhem. In a strange accumulation of events in his life, he had links to many famous outlaws of the old west, including the likes of Belle Starr and Frank and Jesse James. And much like those outlaws, he met his end in a violent shoot-out. Interested? There is so much more to his story.
Would you like to read more on these scallawags and other exciting treasure stories of Florida? "Treasure Tales of Olde Florida" is a fascinating paperback, 43 pages, over 10,000 words containing eight riveting stories of pirates, Indians, gangsters and other bad men who left their mark and loot in Florida. The stories also contain tantalizing clues to where treasure may be buried.
Price: $6.00 (Includes shipping)
Check/M.O. to: Robert E. Palmisano 1854 N. Watkins pt. Inverness, FL 34453
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