Ozama Steamship Used To Smuggle Arms And Gold Into Haiti

ADVERTISEMENT


Marine archeologist Dr. Spencer has recovered an English steamer, the Ozama, near the U.S. South Carolina coastline. Originally named Craigallion, the vessel is an integral part of Haiti's history, believed to hold a ballast of gold in its hull for well over a century.

The Ozama sailed the South region, most frequently to Panama and the Caribbean, including Haiti. In 1888, the Ozama hauled an armament of artillery to Cap Haitien. The shipment was intended to halt a planned coup d'etat against Haitian President, Florvil Hyppolite.

Another time, the Ozama transported $300,000 gourdes to Haiti, part of $1,000,000 in secured bonds Haiti would receive later. The vessel caused a world-wide uproar when Haiti stole it one time. In a cause célèbre, the U.S. told Haiti if they did not return the Ozama, the U.S. would bomb Port-au-Prince.

The Ozama has survived two wrecks, in the Bahamas in 1885, and in the U.S. in South Carolina waters off its coastline. It ran into a sandbank, causing indirect damage to the engine and the vessel to sink.

Dr. Spence discovered the Ozama in the late 70s, using a radioactive instrument. He did not realize the vessel's value until over four decades later. He believes the Ozama contains a well-preserved wealth of gold coinage, which he can claim since he is the entitled owner of the vessel.

With the recovery of the Ozama, a colorful part of Haitian history has been restored and is now part of its cultural lore.

Reply to this article   (0)

Read more: Florvil Hyppolite, Ozama Steamship, History

Related Photos

Môle St. Nicholas as potential US naval base for Canal of Panama   Florvil Hyppolite, his extra marital affair with Victoire Jean-Baptiste   President Florvil Hyppolite and Ministers in 1889   250th Anniversary of Port-Au-Prince and President Florvil Hyppolite   President Florvil Hyppolite Haiti's famed Iron Market   President Louis Mondéstin Florvil Hyppolite and his Panama Hat   Michel Martelly at Marche Hyppolite in Cap-Haitian  

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

E-mail (required, will not be published)

» »

Our objective is to share with you news and information about Haiti and the people of Haiti. Traditions, habits and the way we were  or  grew are alive in this site. We highly recommend that you Subscribe to our Newsletter and also share with us some of the things that are memorable and made us unique people.