Beachcombers on the Oregon Coast spotted what looked like large, rusty rocks sticking out of the sand. The State of Oregon, who has recovered the encrusted objects, believes they house priceless artifacts, cannons from the 1846 shipwreck of the USS Shark.
The Shark and a few fast-sailing schooners like her were built in the 1820s to suppress slave traders and pirates. In 1846, the Shark was sent on what may have been her most challenging mission, to resolve the matter of the “Oregon question.”
In the Pacific Northwest, both the United States and Great Britain laid claim to large stretches of the Northwest Territories. The Shark's mission was to uncover intelligence on the British and their intentions, but the vessel met with disaster, wrecking and sinking while attempting to cross the treacherous Columbia Bar.
History Detectives tracks the 162-year-old naval tale with the help of lead investigative archaeologists from the U.S. Navy and the State of Oregon.
- Also with Gwen Wright Nora Holt Autograph Book Why did this Harlem Renaissance luminary own a book filled with U.S. Presidents' signatures?
- Also with Gwen Wright Calhoun Books Are these the books of the famed intellectual architect of the Confederacy?
- Also in Season 6 Blueprint Special Did this record play a dramatic role in the Allied victory during the Second World War?
- Also in Expansion: 1801-1861 Chinese Opium Scale Could this really be an opium scale from the Chinese community of Montana?
- Also in Season 7 Crazy Horse Photo Is this the only photograph of a Native American legend?
- Also with Gwen Wright Coney Island Lions Could this be an artifact from the bygone days of early amusement parks?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.