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 in this episode Kahlil Gibran Painting Is this painting an unknown work by an immigrant poet whose words inspired an American generation?
- Also with Gwen Wright Boxcar Home Why is a boxcar buried beneath this suburban kitchen?
- Also in Expansion: 1801-1861 Bartlett Sketchbook Does a leather bound sketchbook hold the key to some of the US' most significant history?
- Also with Gwen Wright Chinese Poems Who were the authors of the poems describing bitterness and misery on the Angel Island detention center walls?
- Also in Expansion: 1801-1861 Annie Oakley Coin Was this coin a target for one of the Wild West's most popular female sharpshooters?
- Also with Gwen Wright Calhoun Books Are these the books of the famed intellectual architect of the Confederacy?
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.