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.
- Related Investigation Lost Gold Ship Is this wreck in Alaska the remains of a steamship carrying miners to the great Klondike Gold Rush of 1897?
- Also in Season 7 Navajo Rug Why would a weaver depart from tradition to make this rug?
- Also with Gwen Wright African American Comic Book Did the makers of this 1950s comic book have more than romance on their minds?
- Also in Expansion: 1801-1861 Booth Letter Did the father of John Wilkes Booth threaten to assassinate the President?
- Also in Season 7 Manhattan Project Patent Was this drawing part of America's secret plans to fuel the atomic bomb?
- Related Investigation Pebble in the Sand Is this rock found on a beach a link to an ancient civilization or just another pebble in the sand?
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.