Treasure of the Pirate Jose Gaspar, also known as Gasparilla

The amazing buried and sunken treasure of the legendary pirate Jose Gaspar (Gasparilla)

The legendary pirate Jose Gaspar, also known as Gasparilla. Legend has it that this pirate operated throughout the waters of Florida, Cuba and the Caribbean and according to legend he left behind a large treasure both on land and on his ship which sank in battle. His base of operations was allegedly on the West Coast of Florida. In Tampa, Florida they have a yearly festival to honor this legendary pirate.


Treasure of the Pirate Jose Gaspar, also known as Gasparilla

pirate jose gasparAccording to legend the pirate, Jose Gaspar, was born in a village near Seville, Spain, in 1756. Supposedly the old records in the Spanish archives state that Jose Gaspar's rise in the Navy of His Majesty, King Charles III, was little short of spectacular. However his career as an officer in the Spanish Navy was to be short lived.

Based on legend Jose Gaspar was much admired as an extremely successful officer of the Spanish Navy and this caught the attention of the young wife of the Crown Prince. Jose Gaspar was not receptive to the romantic advances of the young wife of the Crown Prince and instead gave his love to one of her ladies in waiting. It has been said that, "Hell hath seen no furry such as a woman's love scorned."

In an act of revenge, the wife of the Crown Prince, along with the Prime Minister, devised a scheme to blame Jose Gaspar of stealing some of the treasure of the Crown and thus destroying his reputation, career and imprison him. Gaspar learned of their treacherous plot and escaped and swore revenge upon the Crown. This was the start of Jose Gaspar's career as a very dangerous and successful pirate.

Legend has it that Jose Gaspar concentrated his pirate career in the waters of the Caribbean and the waters of Florida. He was extremely successful and quickly amassed a large cache of Gold, Silver, Jewelry, etc. With all of his success and the large amount of treasures he had acquired the pirate Gaspar should have been happy but he had one great fear. He knew that other pirates had been caught by members of the crew going into port and after a few glasses of rum, drunkenly telling people of their acts of piracy and where there pirate ship and pirate camp were located.

To solve this, legend states, that Jose Gaspar created his own pirate city for his crew on the island of Carapirates and buried pirate treasure Pelau, on the west coast of Florida. The legendary pirate also created his own exquisite residence on an adjoining island, Boca Grande. Supposedly the island of Captiva, also on the west coast of Florida and near Boca Grande and Cara Pelau, got its name because it was the island where Gaspar kept his female prisoners captive till he received the ransoms he requested.

The west coast of Florida abounds with numerous stories and legends of caches of buried treasure from the pirate Jose Gaspar. Also, according to legend, Jose Gaspar made the mistake of attacking what he though would be a rich merchant vessel only to see, in horror, the "solid" wooden sides of the vessel open up to reveal rows of cannons. The vessel he mistakenly thought was a merchant vessel was actually a US frigate and sent Jose Gaspar, along with his pirate ship and a large amount of treasure, to the bottom of the ocean.

There is a lot of controversy as to whether Jose Gaspar really existed. Some believe he did not exist and was just the creation of a marketing campaign to try to "romanticize" the area. Others believe that Gaspar was actually not one person but the creation of the combination of all the activities of many smaller pirates in the area.

For those who do believe he existed and are actively searching for his Treasure. The common belief regarding Gasparilla's treasure is that there are many caches of treasure that he buried around the Gulf Coast of Florida. One island that has attracted a lot of attention is the island of Cara Pelau. Since this island was believed to be the base camp for Gasparilla's crew many crew members might have buried their share of treasure somewhere on this island to keep it safe, only to die in the next battle and never returned to their buried cache of treasure.

The memory of Jose Gaspar or "Gasparilla" is perpetuated year after year in Tampa, Florida by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. This is a large celebration each year which draws people from all over to join in this celebration of piracy and debauchery which last for several days. This festival is to honor the legendary pirate, Jose Gaspar, who is believed to have buried numerous chest of treasure at several of his hiding spots and who went to his death when his pirate ship sank with him and a large cargo of pirate treasure.