It is said that Florida's most famous pirate was José Gaspar, and, while some stories claim he was just a mythical character, these stories are entertaining in the least.
This excerpt from Charlie Carlson's book
Weird Florida certainly peaks my curiosity!
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Gaspar, who also went by the name Gasparilla, established his camp at the mouth of the Charlotte Harbor [in 1783]. Gaspar's reign as pirate came to an end in the spring of 1822 when he was duped by the oldest pirate trick in the book: attempting to plunder an American ship, the U.S.S. Enterprise, which had disguised herself as a British merchant vessel.
The last known living members of Gaspar's crew upon his death were Juan Gomez and Juan Gonzalez.
Allegedly, Juan Gomez, acting on Gaspar's orders, off-loaded treasure from the pirate ship into a long boat and with a team of men rowed for the shore and then up the Peace River.
Juan Gonzalez eventually settled down on Shell Creek near Lettuce Lake in DeSoto County, where he lived for many years. He claimed that a cask of Gaspar's treasure was buried on the shore of Lettuce Lake.
In the 1870s, Gonzalez made a proposition to two ranchers, and the men agreed to help
Gonzalez dig up the treasure. The two men arrived to find Gonzalez not feeling well, and they agreed to return a few days later. By the time they returned, Gonzalez had passed away, leaving behind a jar of gold coins and a small sheet of copper engraved with a code indicating the location of the treasure.
Since the 1870s, treasure hunters have been trying unsuccessfully to crack this code, which some say is in Spanish. Other's say it contains only compass bearings. The location is around Lettuce Lake. Decipher the code, and you might find some of Gaspar's lost treasure.....