Once a generation, an individual is born with a legendary destiny. In the late 1700s, that individual was Black Caesar, who, through surreal circumstances, became one of the fiercest pirates in the Gulf of Mexico. He often buried his pillaged treasures on little islands in the gulf, where he would hide out to escape the law.

Sanibel Island is close to Cape Coral, Florida. Nowadays, the island is a popular tourist destination for snorkeling, shelling, golfing, and luxury vacations. Back in the day, for Black Caesar, the island was an untamed refuge, too raw in beauty and nature to be navigated by those unfamiliar. While most of Caesar's buried treasures have been unearthed and reclaimed, legend has it that one of his loots on Sanibel Island is yet to be found.


How Sanibel Island Became A Pirate Refuge

There are many stories about Caesar. One of them states that he was a ferocious tribal chieftain in Africa. Over the years, he was battle-hardened from leading tribal wars and evading capture by slave traders. One fateful day, Caesar and his men were lured onto a ship by a manipulative trader. They were wooed on board with the promise of treasure. Caesar's group was cautiously and wary of their surroundings. To put them at ease, the merchant went so far as to throw them a feast and get them inebriated.

As soon as they were vulnerable, the crew pointed rifles at them, cornering them from all sides. They were cuffed and imprisoned in the lower depths of the ship. Despite being captured, Caesar stood out to the traders and sailors on board. They respected him enough to form a quasi-friendship with him, recognizing his powerful spirit and intelligence.

The ship was headed to Haiti, which is located in an ocean region that is infamously inundated with cyclones and hurricanes. As fate would have it, there was a vicious storm on the day that the ship neared Port Au Prince. The ship was battered by the choppy waters and tremendous winds. As the crew onboard began to jump ship, one sailor, a "friend" of Caesar's, went into the lower levels to free him.

The freed Caesar wasted no time panicking. He grabbed a rifle and shot his way to a longboat, taking tobacco and ammunition with him. Most of the crew died as the ship was wrecked, while Caesar paddled himself away from the eye of the storm. After a long and arduous journey at sea, Caesar found himself hitting the shore of an unincorporated island in the Florida Keys.

Black Caesar Becomes A Pirate In Florida

Marooned on a stormy island on the other side of the world, Caesar waved down a passing ship under the pretenses of needing help. Once the ship anchored, he paddled up to it, pulled out a rifle, and demanded food and munitions. Luckily, his gamble worked and he returned to shore with essential supplies. Thus began his career as one of the most infamous pirates in the Gulf of Mexico.

Slowly but surely, he grew his arsenal of loot. Eventually, he worked his way up to possessing a ship, a crew of runaway slaves, guns, and a small fortune. He sailed the seas, establishing black market pipelines everywhere from Haiti, the Bahamas, Cuba, and frontier America. In fact, the Bahamas was a republic of pirates back in those days.

Black Caesar used various islands, Sanibel included, to imprison his enemies and brides. Legend has it that a group of children escaped his prison, only to get stranded on the island for the rest of their lives. The escaped children grew up in the isolated wilderness and eventually formed their own language, culture, and society. They are a lost tribe waiting to be discovered on a secret island in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Given the nature of his work, Black Caesar often engaged in high-octane marine chases. His go-to hideouts were in and around coastal Florida, where the islands were unexplored and unmapped. Narrowly escaping capture and certain death, he would desperately bury his loot before disappearing again. One of his tactics to remain hidden was to intentionally sink his ship and swim to the nearest island.

Treasure Hunting On Sanibel Island

Over the years, he buried his treasures on several islands, including Elliot Key, Old Rhodes Key, Key Largo, and Sanibel Island. Out of them all, the treasure has not yet been discovered on Sanibel Island, which makes it a great destination for treasure hunting. There's no telling what riches are hidden under the soil, deep in the island's jungle.

A key reason to suspect why Caesar buried treasure on Sanibel Island is that, when the War of 1812 broke out, he did not want to be interfered with by the British Navy, so he retreated to quiet waters and set up a den on Sanibel, where he established his pirate empire afresh, full with prisons, buried treasures, and island children.

Most people may not have heard of Black Caesar, so the value of his treasure might not be immediately apparent. It helps to know that in the mature phase of Caesar's career, he was the right-hand man of the infamous Captain Blackbeard, whose stolen treasures are a verified reality.

Related: Does Blackbeard's Treasure Actually Exist, Or Is It Just A Legend Seen Only In Movies?

As far as the history books know, Black Caesar's career as a pirate ended around the time Captain Blackbeard was apprehended and killed by Lieutenant Maynard. In fact, records show that Caesar was on board the Queen Anne's Revenge at the time. Whether he, too, was killed or if he was arrested is up for debate. Some books claim that he was imprisoned once again and lived out the rest of his life inland, leading slave revolts and making history.

Next: 24 Little-Known Facts About Real-Life Pirates