Lost Gold of the Republic: The Remarkable Quest for the Greatest Shipwreck Treasure of the Civil War Era

By Redman, Rod E. | Sea Classics, October 2005 | Go to article overview

Lost Gold of the Republic: The Remarkable Quest for the Greatest Shipwreck Treasure of the Civil War Era


Redman, Rod E., Sea Classics


LOST GOLD OF THE REPUBLIC: THE REMARKABLE OUEST FOR THE GREATEST SHIPWRECK TREASURE OF THE CIVIL WAR ERA By Priit J. Vesilind 320 Pgs/32 Pgs color, 6.5' x 9.5'', Illustrations, Hardback. ISBN: 1-933034-06-8 - $24.95. Shipwreck Heritage Press, 888-327-8537; www.lostgold.net

Fans of high seas shipwreck adventure won't want to miss this almost unbelievable tale of true-life exploration and treasure recovery.

In October 1865, the SS Republic - a steamship traveling from New York to New Orleans with a reported $400,000 worth of gold and silver coins - sank in a hurricane off the coast of Georgia. The wreckage sat undisturbed at the bottom of the ocean until late summer 2003, when Odyssey Marine Exploration finally located the legendary ship.

As Odyssey Marine began bringing the 19th century objects to the surface, news of the Republics treasure spread like wildfire and made headlines around the world. With hundreds of rare coins in nearperfect condition, the Republic suddenly stood to be one of the most profitable shipwrecks ever recovered. In Lost Gold of the Republic, veteran journalist Priit Vesilind tells the full story of this modern-day adventure filled with immense risk and even greater rewards - for the first time. Re-creating the drama and tension of the Republic's final hours and Odyssey's quest to find the sunken ship, Vesilind describes how Odyssey's unconventional business model, use of cutting-edge technology, and ground-breaking excavation and recovery methods have put them at the forefront of deep-ocean exploration.

Greg Stemm and John Morris founded Odyssey Marine Exploration in 1994, with the belief that they could turn their obsession for shipwrecks and deep-sea exploration into a thriving business. Academic researchers and treasure-hunters alike had been excavating shipwrecks in shallow waters for hundreds of years, but deep-ocean exploration was still a relatively dangerous, expensive, and controversial venture. Who, after all, has the right to the artifacts at the bottom of the ocean? At the time, Stemm's and Morris's proposed business - a publicly-traded company seeking profits, yet prepared to conduct serious archaeological work and create educational programs for the public from its finds - was a revolutionary concept. …

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