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A Tale of Spanish Doubloons

Gold Coins found by Dan Porter

One of my ongoing projects as a Director of the Fleet Society is to catalogue the many archival documents that I have acquired over the years. Although I enjoy this aspect of my job very much, I find that the responsibilities of my full time job often interfere with cataloguing duties. But, when I do get a chance to search through some of these old documents I often come across something that I think would make an interesting post. Hence, the following story from a news column of J. Frank Dobie, published in the Valley Evening Monitor, McAllen, Texas on November 30, 1947. J. Frank Dobie (1888-1964) was an American folklorist, writer and Newspaper columnist best known for his many books about Texas, specifically, and the Southwest, generally.

This article tells the story of an interesting discovery of a chest full of gold coins near the mouth of a “Florida River”. Although unnamed, one could surmise that the Florida river in question just might be the same river referred to by Bernard Romans, a cartographer, who compiled a book in 1775 called “The Concise Natural History of East and West Florida”. In that book was found a map that contained this information:

“Opposite this river perished the Admiral commanding the Plate Fleet of 1715, the rest of the Fleet, 14 in number between this and bleech yard.”

Map of Bernard Romans – 1775

This happens to be the spot where many gold and silver coins from the 1715 Fleet have been recovered by salvagers since the early 1960’s. Maybe the coins referred in in this article are from the 1715 Fleet, especially since a number of the coins were from the early eighteenth century which is the correct time frame. Click the link above or below to access the full article.

A Tale of Spanish Doubloons


Anyway, it makes for an interesting read. I hope you enjoy it.   Ben Costello, Director.

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