The Honolulu Advertiser from Honolulu, Hawaii on February 23, 1947 · 21
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The Honolulu Advertiser from Honolulu, Hawaii · 21

Honolulu, Hawaii
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 23, 1947
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zr SUNDAY POLYNESIAN " COTYIUCHTfO 1M7 Y ABVftTtSEK PU1USHIMO CO, ITS. FEBRUARY 23, 1947 A .wrecked ship loaded with gold and silver. A dying sailor's last words. -A faded chart. They all point to Palmyra Island. By DICK MACMILLAN Illustrated By Jerry Chong YOU CAN take it for what it', worth, hut ... The story goes that there is a fortune (upwards of a mil-lion and one-half pesos, to he fairly exact) in silver and gold, huried by pirates more than a century ago and never recovered, on Palmyra atoll, not more than 900 odd miles from Fort street as the ATC and NATS fly. It is a pretty fairish yarn as tales of buried treasure go, replete with buccaneers, shipwreck, a lost map and an old sailor's secret. Its telling best done hy one Captain F. D. aler, a skipper with a fine sense of the narrative, much as he related it m the Commercial Pacific Adverser on July 6, 1903. If you want full of it, this is how it goes: In the year 1816 the Spanish aip Esperanza sailed from Peru valuable cargo of bullion and other merchandise. The value of the silver alone was a million and one half pesos, plus gold of about the same amount. The vessel was hound for the Spanish Indies. On the fourth day after leaving Peru, she was captured by an independent cruiser. The engagement was severe on both sides; so bad for the cruiser that she was abandoned. The capturers boarded the Esperanza, shaping her course for Macao. The crew of the Esperanza joined with their captors and it was agreed they were to have their share of the loot. On the forty-third day after leaving the South American coast it was blowing fresh with constant rain. At 2 a.m. the vessel struck on sunken coral, the sudden stoppage of the ship causing the mainmast to break, thus rendering it helpless. At daybreak the ship was found to be in the center of a reef some three miles in diameter with hillocks of land about one mile to the eastward. On clearing away the wreck it was found possible to haul her off, but the crew found it impracticable to continue the voyage owing to the several leaks that had sprung. So, after some four days of incessant toil, she was warped close to the beach of one small island and dismantled. The treasure was taken out and fairly divided. The silver was buried in a secure place and the gold apportioned to each man. The men then built a small vessel from the wreck and on the 90th day they launched their craft. Their provisions had scarcely been touched as fish on the island were so abundant and of good quality. The total number of men was 90 on landing, (the losses during the engagement being very heavy.) Of this number 80 embarked, leaving ten men behind to be taken off when a suitable vessel could be found to remove them and the buried silver. ... About one year from the departure of the main body from the island the remainder of the men, who had built themselves comfortable , quarters from the wreck, became so tired of waiting that they resolved to build themselves another small craft, which they did. It took them three months. Drawing lots as to who should go, having previously arranged that four should remain on the island, six sailed away. On the thirteenth day after leaving a storm arose and four of the six were washed overboard, the mast was blown away and the remaining pair drifted, they knew not where. As their stock of provisions was spoiled, they became ill, but by the will of Providence an American . whaler picked them up. A few days after the rescue one of the survivors died. The other lingered un-

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