Where is the Spanish frigate Juno?
The Juno was awarded to
Spain by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia in
October of 2000. In 2006, the author examined the
site form for the Juno, DHR ID# 44AC0402, at the Historic Preservation Office in Richmond, Virginia.
says that the site contemplated in the admiralty proceeding is not the Juno.
Virginia's evaluation seems right on the mark.
Juno left San Juan, Puerto Rico, on October 1, 1802. On about
October 20, their estimated position was very near Bermuda. The ship
then encountered northeast winds and bad weather. On the 24th, the
Juno met up with the American schooner, Favorite,
travelling from Madeira to Boston. The Juno was in a
desperate situation, and was taking on water at an alarming rate.
Lt. Don Francisco Clemente, who had transferred on board the Juno
on the 24th, later reported that on October 27 her noon
position was 38° N, 69°
56' W. At ten that night, the ship encountered strong northwest
winds driving the ship some ten miles away from the coast.
At 9 am the next morning, her mainmast went over the side and her
foremast fell alternatively from side to side. Juno signaled
that they had to abandon ship. She was full of water, masts down,
and no rudder. Every effort was made to afford her assistance but in
vain. A fog occasioned the Favorite to lose sight of her. In
half an hour, it cleared away but the Juno was no more to be
seen. She went down with 413 persons including several women and
children. The Favorite arrived in Boston on November 1 and
reported the details of the tragedy. Today, the gravesite of the 413
Spaniards is unknown but most likely not far from her last reported
position, hundreds of miles from where the federal court was told
that she wrecked. For more on the claims of "discovery" of the
Juno by Sea Hunt and Quicksilver click