History of The 1715 Treasure Fleet
The 1715 Treasure Fleet was a Spanish treasure fleet returning from the New World to Spain. At two in the morning on Wednesday, July 31, 1715, seven days after departing from Havana, Cuba, under the command of Juan Esteban de Ubilla, eleven of the twelve ships of this fleet were lost in a hurricane near present-day Vero Beach, Florida. Because the fleet was carrying silver, it is also known as the 1715 Plate Fleet (plata being the Spanish word for silver). Some artifacts and even coins still wash up on Florida beaches from time to time.[not verified in body]According to Cuban records around 1,500 sailors perished while a small number survived on lifeboats. Many ships, including pirates, took part in the initial salvage. Initially a privateer, Henry Jennings, was first accused of piracy for attacking such salvage ships and claiming their salvages.