Scituate, Massachusetts

Scituate, Massachussets

Scituate, Massachusetts, was the home of Zebulon Wade and the Seaflower which carried the treasure to the real Treasure Island

Zebulon Wade of Scituate, Massachusetts, was a merchant captain who owned the sloop Seaflower with two other partners. He was a family man with three young children and the son of a mariner. Wade traded regularly between Boston and Ocracoke Inlet. In early September of 1750, he arrived at Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina, to take on board North Carolina produce. When he arrived he encountered a disabled Spanish galleon.
The Seaflower remained at Ocracoke for over a month without getting a cargo. Instead he was hired by Captain Juan Manuel Bonilla of the Spanish Galleon, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, to carry half of his load of treasure and other valuable cargo to Norfolk, Virginia. Captain Bonilla hoped to then ship it back to Spain.
Captain Wade arrived at Ocracoke he was having financial difficulties back home, so when Owen Lloyd approached him with the idea of sailing away with fifty-five chests of treasure, he agreed. On October 20, 1750, the Seaflower weighed anchor and raised her sails, catching the Spaniards off guard. After clearing the dangerous shoals of the inlet, they sailed south for the Caribbean.
By November 13, 1750, the Seaflower was anchored off of Norman Island, the real Treasure Island where most of the treasure was carried ashore and buried. Owen Lloyd, Captain Wade, and his crew then fled to St. Thomas where the Seaflower was abandoned with valuable cochineal and tobacco. Their silver pieces of eight were loaded aboard a rented sloop and they then made the short trip to St. Croix. Upon arriving, Lloyd and Wade purchased a schooner and it is believed that some of their money was buried at St. Croix before they departed for St. Kitts.
Captain Wade’s fortunes took a turn for the worst when he and Lloyd were arrested in the harbor of St. Eustatius, a Dutch island twelve miles, north west of St. Kitts. After the greedy governor seized the remaining treasure, Captain Wade and the others were sentenced to hang.
Zebulon Wade was near mental collapse when he realized that he would never see his family again. But Owen Lloyd, the man who had seduced him to steal the treasure at Ocracoke, engineered a daring escape from Fort Oranje, St. Eustatius. He used money from his in-laws at St. Kitts and promises of a share in the buried treasure to bribe his Dutch captors. On January 27,1751, Captain Wade and the others jumped over a wall and made their way to freedom.
Zebulon Wade returned to Scituate, Massachusetts without the Seaflower as a ruined man. Records indicate he never returned to the sea and died in 1759 at the age of forty-nine. He would never realize that the adventure that he experienced would be remembered centuries in the future on Treasure Island Day.

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