The General Grant's Gold: Shipwreck and Greed in the Southern Ocean (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Exisle Publishing, Apr 1, 2009 - History - 208 pages
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The wreck in 1866 of the General Grant in the desolate sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands is one of the world’s great nautical mysteries, a story that still tantalises and thrills. When the ship was crushed in a cave beneath a sheer cliff face, a few crew members and a handful of passengers managed to escape in a lifeboat. For more than two years they lived a hand-to-mouth existence on a nearby island before they were rescued. This story is extraordinary in itself, but soon compelling legends spread that the ship had sunk with a fabulous hoard of gold from the Victorian goldfields. For 140 years, expeditions and bounty hunters have searched for the ship and her elusive cargo. In the relentless seas of the Auckland Islands, it has been a soul-destroying endeavour. Locating the vessel has been difficult enough; finding the gold has proved impossible – unless one of those early expeditions really did find it … In this book Madelene Ferguson Allen and Ken Scadden tell the full story of the voyage from Melbourne, the shipwreck, the plight of the castaways and the search for the gold. At this distance in time, separating the facts from the legends is difficult, but they have scrupulously researched the events of the shipwreck and examined every subsequent search for the gold. The story is more remarkable than fiction, a tale of heroes and cads, heartbreak and loss, hope and despair, hunger and greed. As it has bewitched so many in the past, so it will haunt readers long after the last page is turned.
  

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Contents

The Stage
15
Gold
20
Cargo
26
The Voyage
34
Disaster
40
Castaways
46
Homecoming
66
Rescue Mission
74
Modern Days
133
Fame Fortune or Futility?
153
Who Owns the Gold?
155
The Elusive Cave
158
The Lure of Gold
163
Estimates of the Amount of Gold on the General Grant
167
Crew and Passengers of the General Grant
168
Expeditions
172

Dreamers Schemers and Divers
79
Tempting Fate
81
Mutiny and Murder Averted
92
Early Dreamers
96
The Enterprise and More Dreamers
105
For the Cost of a Letter
114
Proposed Expeditions
176
Notes
177
Bibliography
183
Index
187
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Madelene Ferguson Allen (1942-2003) was by training a geographer and by profession a teacher with 25 years’ experience in her native Canada. In her earlier acclaimed book, Wake of the Invercauld (Exisle 1997, reprinted 2005), she tells the story of the wreck of the Invercauld in the Auckland Islands in 1864, and the amazing survival of her great-grandfather, Robert Holding.

Ken Scadden is a historian and museum consultant. Formerly the Director of the Wellington City Museum and Curator of the Wellington Maritime Museum, he now runs his own consultancy, Heritage Advisory Services, from his home in Wellington.

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