That question has been asked ever since Robert Louis Stevenson published his Treasure Island book in 1883.
The answer to that question has now been discovered by Outer Banks NC author, John Amrhein, Jr.
In 1750, fifty-five chests of silver pieces of eight were stolen from a Spanish galleon at Ocracoke, North Carolina, and carried to the West Indies where most of it was buried on Norman Island, a deserted key in the British Virgin Islands.
Robert Louis Stevenson published a fictional tale of adventure about an expedition to an unnamed Caribbean island to recover a treasure that had been buried there in 1750.
The map that was in Stevenson’s book was drawn by him and his father and is probably the most famous treasure map in the world.
In the story, the map was discovered in a dead pirate’s sea chest by a young teenager named Jim Hawkins.
Guided by the map, Stevenson’s remarkable cast of characters sails the had just completed another historic journey: she had delivered twenty Franciscan priests from Spain, one of whom was the legendary Father Junipero Serra, who, through a miracle, saved the ship, her passengers, and her crew from certain doom on the feast day of St. Father Serra went on to build nine mission churches in Southern California, leaving us with San Diego, San Juan Capistrano, and San Francisco, among others today.
Without this miracle, no treasure would have been buried on a deserted Caribbean island in 1750.
One hundred and twenty-nine years later, Robert Louis Stevenson, an almost unknown writer at the time, stood before his grave and was moved to tears as he marveled at the devotion of his Indian converts and Father Serra’s mission work at Carmel, California.
Stevenson published a plea to save the mission church of St. Two years later, having returned to Scotland, he wrote his immortal tale, his first real success.
Would never have been written but for the blessings of Father Junipero Serra the century before.
After departing Havana, the hapless galleon encountered the fateful wind of a West Indian hurricane, driving the Guadalupe over five hundred miles from her intended course that would have taken her across the Atlantic to Spain.