Thursday, September 04, 2008

Nuestra Senora De Guadalupe

"[On Sept. 3 , 1750, 258 years ago yesterday,] a Spanish treasure ship laden with a million pieces of eight limped into Ocracoke as the result of storm damage.

"It was a 500-ton frigate [the Nuestra Senora De Guadalupe] and the largest of a five ship flotilla sailing to Spain [that] ran into a hurricane in mid August [one wrecked on the beach and three sank]....

"It did not take long for word to get out that there was a Spanish treasure ship at Ocracoke.

"As if by a miracle, two empty sloops suddenly appeared and offered to take for a modest fee some of the chests of pieces of eight to the Spanish consulate in Norfolk.... [T]he two sloops were loaded. That evening they cut their anchor lines and slipped silently toward the inlet and were never seen again."

The above is from Paul Mosher's booklet, "Pieces of Eight and Ocracoke."

According to Sonny Williamson, in his book, "Shipwrecks of Ocracoke Island," "[t]he most convincing evidence of these wrecks appeared in the fall of 1992 when a Spanish coin (silver 2 reals) was found on the western beach at Cape Lookout. This coin was on display in the keepers' quarters at the Cape Lookout Lighthouse."

When you are walking along our beach, be sure to keep your eyes open for treasures from the sea!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the wreck of the Victoria S, and Ocracoke's first automobile accident. You can read it here.


  1. Anonymous11:10 PM

    Philip~I hope and pray things go well with you and the island during the next few days. Stay safe!
    Terrie @ Walkertown NC

  2. One word of caution about Spanish coins. They were legal tender in this country until 1857. They can be found on any shipwreck up to this time. They have even been found in Civil war camp sites. As for the story of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, the definitive work on this event can be found in the soon to be released book Treasure Island: The Untold Story. Visit