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Sinking of the HMS Hussar


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A British warship sank in New York City waters possibly carrying millions in payroll gold in 1780. Despite tantalizing clues, including a canon from the ship held by the city the treasure, if it exists, has never been found.

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Sinking of the HMS Hussar

  1. 1. Sunken Treasure of Hell Gate November 23, 1780 Sir Charles Pole ignores his pilot, a local slave named Bill and sails east through Hell Gate Hussar was swept onto Pot Rock and began sinking. Pole was unable to run her aground and she sank in 90 feet of water.Monday, January 14, 2013
  2. 2. Last Voyage... HMS Hussar reportedly carries $2-4 million in gold to pay British troops during the Revolution Heading to safety at Gardiners Bay Hunts Point The British immediately denied there was any gold aboard the shipMonday, January 14, 2013
  3. 3. Salvaging the H.M.S. Hussar In 1780 a British ship sank near Hunt’s Point loaded with gold.. King George III on a golden Guinea used to pay soldiers. Area where the Hussar apparently went downMonday, January 14, 2013
  4. 4. Gunpowder in a cannon from HMS Hussar discovered in 2013 “We silenced British cannon fire in 1776 and we donʼt want to hear it again in Central Park,” the New York Police Department said in a statementMonday, January 14, 2013
  5. 5. Fatal route of the Hussar Black Jacks guided ships through New York harbor. “A tall, intelligent Negro, belonging to the Hunt family of the Bronx.” Trying to save the Hussar.Monday, January 14, 2013
  6. 6. Deceptively serene the waters of Hell Gate were treacherous. On Wards Island Negro Point and Negro Point Bluff may hearken back to the days when local slaves piloted ships safely past submerged hazards. 1885 demolition of Pot Rock in Hell GateMonday, January 14, 2013
  7. 7. Black Jacks are slaves and freemen trained as sailors, pilots and at times captains As the slave of a naval captain, Olaudah Equiano was trained in seamanship and traveled extensively with his master. He was sold to Robert King, a Quaker merchant from Philadelphia who traded in the Caribbean. King enabled Equiano to buy his freedom, which he achieved by his early twenties. Equiano travelled to London and became involved in the abolitionist movement, which had been particularly strong amongst Quakers. Many royal naval vessels were piloted by blacks -- some of them runaways, other enslaved to loyalist masters, and still others pressed into service. Although Black seamen performed a range of duties, usually the most menial ones,(c. 1745 – 31 March 1797) they were particularly valued as pilots. The Newport Historical SocietyMonday, January 14, 2013
  8. 8. The Hunts are among the earliest English settlers in the BronxHunt mansion Relics found in the ruins of the Hunt Mansion. A cannonball, cutlass and other Revolutionary war items. British and American forces in action around NYC during the revolutionMonday, January 14, 2013
  9. 9. Hunt-Leggett slave cemetery -Hunts Point Slavery was legal in New York until 1827. 1790 slave census shows the Hunt’s and other local families are major owners.Monday, January 14, 2013