The gold ship that ran aground in Hispaniola
From Veracruz’s Port, an amazing destination because its wonderful beaches, the Spanish fleet was returning to the Peninsula. In the convoy, made up of thirty ships, El Concepción shone with its own light, it was a 600-ton galleon that had been built in La Habana in 1620.
No one could imagine that two decades later, due to the inclemency of the weather, a fatal storm would cause its shipwrecked near to the coasts of the Dominican Republic. Specially, because it transported a vast load of about 25 tons of gold and silver. To complete the stash, it was carrying thousands of Felipe IV’s coins, a gold and silver production from the mines of Mexico and Potosi, in Bolivia. In addition, it kept a shipment of Chinese porcelain from the Ming dynasty and jewels in the cellars, the belongings of the Hernan Cortes’ widow.
Near to Florida waters, it had survived a strong hurricane that make sink most of the boats. However, the tropical storm’s onslaught near La Hispaniola, caused the ship to collide violently with some reefs. The crew, worry to get safety, tried to refloat the ship but the coral’s heads opened different gaps in the hull. After several days of drifting, the stern got broke and its structure stagnated at a depth of 15 meters. A sordid end from which there were only 200 survivors. The remaining three hundred perished under the sea.
Years after the El Concepcion’s end, in 1687, a New England ship’s captain, William Phips, met a survivor who revealed the position of the wreck in exchange for part of the booty. With this information, Phips chartered two ships: the James and Mary. With them he set course for Hispaniola. It was a very difficult task because after forty years long the ship's wood had disappeared. However, thanks to the cannons they were able to locate the mutiny among some corals. After sharing his profits with the Crown, Phips received the title of Sir and then he became governor of the American colony of Massachusetts.
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