Sawyer's Treasure

For as far back as young Jimmy Sawyer could remember, he heard stories about buried treasure on Sawyer Key. Living in Key West and being a commercial fisherman, he was on the water almost every day, often just a stone throw away from Sawyer Key. It turns out that the pirate, Henry Jennings, did bury treasure on Sawyer Key, and several others were interested in the rumored treasure, including Jimmy's father, Willie, and Willie's best friend, Johnny Albury.

The treasure they sought came from the salvage effort that took place on the Spanish “Plate” fleet, an armada of eleven ships that sank in 1715 in a hurricane off what is now Vero Beach, Florida. Spanish and British archives and manifests record this fleet as the largest fleet of treasure ships ever to sail from the new world.

The British privateer, Henry Jennings, who had been hired by the governor of Jamaica, was less than honest, and he eventually turned to pure piracy. He raided the salvage effort underway off the Florida coast for the governor. Then he made at least one and probably many more raids to take more of the Spanish treasure for himself. It is said that he buried the bulk of his take on the Florida Keys.

Several shady characters appear on the scene during Jimmy's treasure hunt, and the Sawyer family becomes frightened at what might be happening. When Johnny Albury turns up dead, things turn ugly as the hunt becomes a much more dangerous affair.

The young red-headed girl Jimmy meets might just end up being the true treasure for Jimmy Sawyer. Join Jimmy and the Sawyer family in 1950s Key West as they seek out what their family history said was right there for the taking.

--Ron Brooks

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