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By request, here is more information on the wreckings at the Florida Keys. I'll make passing slavers, slavers in port at Key West, and slavers brought into port at Key West another listing later on. 1. 1620s to 1680s, off Key Vaca, middle Florida Keys, Discovered in 1948 by Marathon, Key Vaca resident Halley Hamlin, who removed a cannon from Delta Shoals that had been shown to him by fisherman Harry Reith. Shortly after that Charley Slater of Marathon found an elephant's tusk there, showed it to pioneer treasure hunter Art McKee of the upper Keys, who knew that that indicated a sunken slaver. Ironically, at the same time McKee went to explore the site Jane and Barney Crile, prominent Cleveland residents, were trying to raise a cannon they had discovered the day before after being lead to the area by Bill Thompson, whose resort they were staying at. Through the combined efforts of McKee, the Criles, Hamlin, Slater and others more tusks were found, together with a pipe, cannonballs, two large brass feeding bowls, spun brass plates, a Cardinal Bellarmine wine jug, pewterware, a musket, and a bronze breechblock for use on a swivel gun. The Criles wrote a chapter in their 1954 book, "Treasure Diving Holidays" on the discoveries at Delta Shoals, and created a color film shown publicly in Cleveland, where the artifacts were displayed at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The raised cannon has markings on it: the letter P; below that, engraved in script, JN and the number 170 1/11 24. I have written a British armanent expert who said he could not identify it by the numbers alone, to please send a photo of the cannon. The cannon is in the home of Dr. Crile's widow, Helga, who has not answered my request for a picture. Nor have I yet contacted the Cleveland Museum to see if they have the film or photographs/fliers on the exhibition. I have some newspaper articles on the people involved from both south Florida and Cleveland, and there is a photograph of the ivory and feeding bowls in Stan Windhorn and Wright Langley, "Yesterday's Florida Keys" (1974). Until the cannon can be identified by foundry and ship she can only be called, as she has since the 1950s, "The Ivory Wreck". 2. The British slaver Henrietta Marie, lost 1700 off the Marquesas Keys. Because there is so much material I'll save this for a separate e-mail & include info on the only other professionally excavated slaver in Europe. 3. The British slaver Nassau, lost 1741 at the Keys. My source is ADM 7/83; Lloyds lists as quoted in "Bristol,, Africa and the Eighteenth-Century Slave Trade to America", David Richardson, ed. (1987), Vol. 2, "90 tons; 16 guns, size of crew outwards, 25, British-constructed vessel owned by William Hare & Co., Capt. John Bradshaw or Capt. Grahame, known place of trade in Africa, Guinea, arrived in America at Barbados and Jamaica, 'The vessel was lost on the Martins en route from Jamaica to Briston, the crew being saved by a vessel bound for Virginia.'" The "Martins" is the "Martires", the Spanish name for the Florida Keys. I have not yet researched Virginia records. ADM 7/83 is information of clearances to Africa (Public Record Office, London). 4. The British slaver Fly, lost at the Florida Keys in 1789. Source material is Lloyd's List, 25 December, 1789, #2154 as quoted by Robert Marx in his "Shipwrecks in Florida Waters". The survivors made it to St. Augustine, east coast of north Florida, and gave a deposition to Spanish authorities there which is in "East Florida papers #148, Census Returns" (St. Augustine). I found a translation (which I do not trust) at the St. Augustine Historical Society Library, "There presented themselves, today, the 27th of August 1789, in the Secretary's Office, five mariners saying they were shipwrecked on the Cape of Florida, the 14th of this present month at about nine o'clock at night, since which accident they proceeded in the boat of the shipwrecked schooner toward this place; that the captain of the said ship, called George Walker, with one mariner were received aboard a fishing sloop of Providence [Bahamas], that the burned schooner, named The Fly was proceeding from the River Negro in the Island of Jamaica enroute to the Sierra Leon on the coast of Africa to get 45 Negroes; the said schooner was in ballast with exception of a hogshead of rum and the usual ship's stores; the said schooner is the property of Mr. George Rogers of Bristol in England and was consigned to Gauntlett and Sabman, merchants of said River Negro who had placed nothing on the said boat but a little used rope and none of the provisions; the boatswain, who is one of those present is called George Roberts and the other four John Soursby, Rules, Simon Robertson and John Walker." The reference to burning - the wreckers burned all ships after they were done with them, so other ships would not be alerted to the danger of the Florida Reef off the Keys. There is also mention of this ship , belonging to James Rogers of Bristol, in trading on the Windward Coast in 1787 in James A. Rawley, "The Transatlantic Slave Trade" (1981), p. 271 5. The American slaver Cosmopolite at Key West, 1821 As of this year Florida became American territory. The Cosmopolite, Capt. Silliman, sailed from Charleston Sept. 5, had very bad weather beginning on the 14th, at one time on her side. The vessel was bound for New Orleans. This is from the Savannah newspaper, Georgian, Nov. 1, 1821, "At 4 a.m. the wind shifted, and increased to a violent gale. At 9 a.m. the next day, perceived breakers ahead, though no land in sight, the weather being thick and hazy...the best bower anchor was let go, and immediately parted. The only chance then of saving the lives of all on board, was to run the vessel onto the reef - she struck upon it at 10 a.m. and directly bilged. On the following morning those on board landed on the Salt Buch's Key, coast of East Florida, where the vessel struck. A schooner boat arrived the same day, and took out a valuable part of the cargo, and assisted in landing the slaves. On the 24th, two Bahama wreckers also arrived, and took out part of the pepper and some cordage. The crew, &c took passage in the above vessels, and arrived at Bahama. The slaves were shipped for New Orleans in a schr. purchased for the purpose." In the Nov. 5 issue I found that "Salt Bushes Key" (a name not currently used) is near Key West: "The Hunter brings an account of the loss of the brig Cosmopolite, of this port, on Key West, as before published." 6. The Spanish slaver Guerrero wrecked at Basin Bank off Key Largo, 1827. This has been a major research effort for me so I am also making it a separate communication. It is one of the most dramatic events of U.S. maritime history, totally unknown here until I dug it out of London archives. When she wrecked she was loaded, enroute to Havana, and being pursued by a British warship. 7. The American slaver Sultana, burned, probably in deep water in the Florida Straits. Warren S. Howard in his "American Slavers and the Federal Law 1837-1862" (1963) begins a chapter with a narrative of this ship, "...the bark's deck timbers blazed...a solid mass of fire filled the hold. Months of careful construction and years of diligent repair vanished into heat, light, and smoke, and soon the graceful form that had for ten years advertised America's shipbuilding skill was nothing but a charred hulk, burned to the water's edge. The time was early summer, 1860; the place, an isolated bit of West Indian coast line; the victim of this deliberate holocaust, the American bark Sultana, of 452 tons, five months out of New York by way of the Congo River. She was destroyed because she had satified the needs of her owners by landing from 850 to 1,300 Africans on the north coast of Cuba, and now it was time to dispose of the evidence. "Dispose of it they did. The Sultana's crew, taken into Key West on a fishing boat, claimed to be castaways from another vessel which had burned accidentally..." Gail Swanson Route 2, Box 189 Grassy Key Marathon, Florida 33050 (305) 743-5448 email@example.com