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Quiz about Jose Gaspar Myth or Pirate
Quiz about Jose Gaspar Myth or Pirate

Jose Gaspar: Myth or Pirate? Trivia Quiz


In Tampa, Florida, each year a festival is held to commemorate the exploits of the legendary pirate, Jose Gaspar. The real question is, did he ever exist?

A multiple-choice quiz by pollucci19. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
pollucci19
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
292,904
Updated
Jul 23 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
586
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. In what year was the pirate, Jose Gaspar, supposedly born? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. What purportedly propelled the pirate, Jose Gaspar, to join the Spanish Navy at twelve years of age? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Which incident supposedly turned Jose Gaspar toward a life of piracy? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Jose Gaspar commandeered the 'Floridablanca', the ship upon which he was serving, to commence his life of piracy.


Question 5 of 10
5. Which island was claimed to have been named after, and used as a base of operation by, the pirate Jose Gaspar? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Legend has it that the pirate Jose Gaspar imprisoned women on an island for the purposes of ransom and concubinage. What is the name of this island? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. What was the name of the ship that led to the death of Jose Gaspar and the destruction of his operation? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. What was the purported value of the pirate, Jose Gaspar's, treasure trove? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Who was responsible for bringing the story of the 'Gasparilla' to the public's attention? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. How old was the pirate Jose Gaspar said to be at the time of his death? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In what year was the pirate, Jose Gaspar, supposedly born?

Answer: 1756

What the stories claim that Jose Gaspar was born in Spain, in the region of Seville. His parents were aristocrats/upper-class and provided Jose with a cultured upbringing. Jose, himself, was reportedly short but had great stamina.
http://www.josegaspar.net/AboutJose.htm

Unfortunately, there there are no records of the birth or upbringing of Jose.
http://searchwarp.com/swa123000.htm
2. What purportedly propelled the pirate, Jose Gaspar, to join the Spanish Navy at twelve years of age?

Answer: A court ultimatum imposed on him after the kidnapping of a young girl.

The stories espouse Jose's 'cultured upbringing' and that he was 'gallant', however it appears at twelve he kidnapped a local lass and held her for ransom. He was bought before the courts and allowed to between joining the Navy or going to jail.
http://searchwarp.com/swa123000.htm

Here we are once again frustrated by a lack of evidence. Both the courts and the navy kept precise records but, once again, there is no mention of him or his acts in the archives of either.
3. Which incident supposedly turned Jose Gaspar toward a life of piracy?

Answer: All of these answers may be correct.

Some version of the legend claim that the King's daughter-in-law fell madly in love with Jose, however, he spurned her advances. She, in turn, sought revenge and arranged to frame him for the theft of the royal jewels. Jose got word that he's about to be arrested, stole a ship and fled.
http://searchwarp.com/swa123000.htm
Others will indicate that he did, indeed, steal the jewels.
http://www.treasurelore.com/florida/gasparilla.htm
The romantic versions tell us that Gaspar was a member of the King's court but a biography written by Edwin Lambright (editor of the "Tampa Tribune") in 1904 strongly argues against this. Lambright's view casts doubt on Gaspar's ability to get anywhere near, let alone steal, the jewels.
The stories tend to conflict in regard to Jose's rank and status within the court. Some indicate that he only rose as high as a lieutenant in the navy and that the only way he could make his fortune was through piracy. Other tales indicate that he was a 'darling' of the courts was promoted rapidly through the ranks and that was appointed Admiral of the Atlantic fleet. Other tales indicate that at age twenty seven he was the naval attaché to King Charles III.
http://www.josegaspar.net/AboutJose.htm
The third thread that offers a reason for his turn to piracy is that he was traumatised by the navy's defeat at the hands of the British and the fact that he narrowly escaped with his life. The response from the aristocracy appeared to be lack-lustre, which seemed to marginalise his own contribution to the cause of the Motherland.
http://www.lib.usf.edu/ldsu/digitalcollections/T06/journal/v02n2_80/v02n2_80_05.pdf
As with many of the Jose Gaspar stories, there's some much contradiction and conflict between versions. Even in this summary there are four differing reasons for him to turn toward piracy that you are uncertain as to which you should believe.
4. Jose Gaspar commandeered the 'Floridablanca', the ship upon which he was serving, to commence his life of piracy.

Answer: True

This is an area where the stories of Gaspar are for once consistent. Most confirm that the "Floridablanca" was the name of his pirate ship and the one that he served upon in the Navy. His initial crew were all members of the ship who had served alongside him in the Navy.
http://www.josegaspar.net/AboutJose.htm
Once again we must consider the Spanish archives and naval records - there is no mention of a ship called the 'Floridablanca' during this period.
http://searchwarp.com/swa123000.htm
http://www.lib.usf.edu/ldsu/digitalcollections/T06/journal/v02n2_80/v02n2_80_05.pdf
5. Which island was claimed to have been named after, and used as a base of operation by, the pirate Jose Gaspar?

Answer: Gasparilla Island

The stories tell that once he became a pirate Jose changed his name to 'Gasparilla'. He chose this island, in the south west region of Florida, as his base of operations and named it after himself. Why Gasparilla? We don't really know as none of the stories take us down this road. In Spanish though, Gasparilla is 'effeminate'. Hmmm.
http://www.lib.usf.edu/ldsu/digitalcollections/T06/journal/v02n2_80/v02n2_80_05.pdf
Kenneth Mulder, a Tampa Bay historian and author, argues that that the island was named after a missionary from Spain called Friar Gaspar.
http://tampabayonline.net/gaspar/history.htm
While others argue that the missionary's name was Gasparillo. In addition, these historians will also suggest that the island, as named, appeared on maps many years before Jose was born
http://www.lib.usf.edu/ldsu/digitalcollections/T06/journal/v02n2_80/v02n2_80_05.pdf
For the record, Gasparilla Island borders both Charlotte County and Lee County.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasparilla_Island
6. Legend has it that the pirate Jose Gaspar imprisoned women on an island for the purposes of ransom and concubinage. What is the name of this island?

Answer: Captiva Island

Captiva Island does exist, situated in Lee County in the Gulf of Mexico. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captiva_Island

Despite the Spanish word for Captive being 'cautiva' the stories will tell us that it was Gaspar that named it.
http://www.lib.usf.edu/ldsu/digitalcollections/T06/journal/v02n2_80/v02n2_80_05.pdf

One of the victims kidnapped by Gaspar was a Mexican princess. The legend is that he fell madly in love with her and that she flat out rejected him. He gave her the ultimatum to 'love him or die'. It didn't work. In order not to lose face with his men he was forced to kill her. He then took her body to a nearby island, buried her on the beach and named the island 'Useppa' in her honour.
http://www.lib.usf.edu/ldsu/digitalcollections/T06/journal/v02n2_80/v02n2_80_05.pdf

Gaspar's best friend (and the first mate) was Roderigo Lopez, who is supposed to have named Sanibel Island after a lover that he'd left behind. Andre-Marcel d'Ans, in his study of the pirate, comments that 'Roderigo' in Spanish is more likely to be spelt 'Rodrigo' and that this, in turn, indicates that the story comes from more of a native speaker of English, not Spanish.
http://www.lib.usf.edu/ldsu/digitalcollections/T06/journal/v02n2_80/v02n2_80_05.pdf
7. What was the name of the ship that led to the death of Jose Gaspar and the destruction of his operation?

Answer: USS Enterprise

All the stories agree on this bit. The Gasparilla calls it quits, announces his pirating days are over. They're about to divide the treasure amongst themselves when they spot what is potential a very rich British merchant ship. They couldn't resist it. Only it's a trap. At the point where it is too late for them to turn back, the British Union Jack comes down and up goes the flag of the U.S. Navy. http://tampabayonline.net/gaspar/history.htm

Did it happen? The legend says that over his 38 year reign of terror, Gaspar raided over four hundred ships. http://www.josegaspar.net/AboutJose.htm
Kenneth Mulder, the historian, claims that there was never any piracy in this area during Gaspar's time. http://tampabayonline.net/gaspar/history.htm
The U.S. Navy has no record that this battle ever took place. http://searchwarp.com/swa123000.htm
8. What was the purported value of the pirate, Jose Gaspar's, treasure trove?

Answer: Thirty million dollars.

The stories claim that Jose raided over four hundred ships during his thirty eight years of piracy. From that it's reasonable to deduce that he would have put together a massive fortune of gold and jewellery. The story goes that he had this buried somewhere in the Peace River area. http://www.josegaspar.net/AboutJose.htm
Here's the rub - not a single piece of that treasure has ever been found. http://searchwarp.com/swa123000.htm

Here's a mystery that was identified by Andre-Marcel d'Ans - We have a shipload of randy pirates and they have kept an island full of women. Remembering that they did this for thirty eight years ... there is not a record of a single descendant. Another thing, what happened to all these women after Gaspar's operation was destroyed? There is no mention. http://www.lib.usf.edu/ldsu/digitalcollections/T06/journal/v02n2_80/v02n2_80_05.pdf
9. Who was responsible for bringing the story of the 'Gasparilla' to the public's attention?

Answer: It can be claimed that both parties played a part.

There is evidence that Juan Gomez did exist. http://www.treasurelore.com/florida/gasparilla.htm
He was (reportedly) born in 1778. Stories go that he was on board a ship that Gaspar attacked. His life was spared and he took up the option to join the Gasparilla's crew. This same ship, coincidently, is the same ship that carried the Mexican princess that is supposedly the subject behind the name of Useppa Island. Here's another coincidence - Gomez appears to be the only member of Gaspar's crew to have survived the attack on (or by) the USS Enterprise. http://www.lib.usf.edu/ldsu/digitalcollections/T06/journal/v02n2_80/v02n2_80_05.pdf
How much of what is said about Gomez and his life is true is moot. He was well known in Tampa Bay area as a teller of 'tall' tales who accidentally drowned while fishing in 1900. That makes 122 years old at the time. There are, apparently, arguments that support the credibility of his age. http://www.treasurelore.com/florida/gasparilla.htm
and questions raised. http://www.lib.usf.edu/ldsu/digitalcollections/T06/journal/v02n2_80/v02n2_80_05.pdf

The first instance of the Gaspar story appearing in print came in 1904 and it formed part of a pamphlet issued by the Charlotte Harbour and Northern Railway Company. This company was in the business of building railroads into new and growing areas. They backed this up by developing real estate projects and hotel complexes. A little treasure hunt appeared like a good way to draw investors. http://searchwarp.com/swa123000.htm
10. How old was the pirate Jose Gaspar said to be at the time of his death?

Answer: Sixty five years old

A romantic end for the 'King of Pirates': Jose Gaspar, at sixty five years of age, wrapps an anchor chain around his waist and leaps into the sea to drown rather than be captured.
Is Gaspar's death meant as a symbol of Spain losing control of Florida to America? (Both events happened at the same time). Was Gaspar no longer required and hence, pensioned off at retirement age in the only way a befitting a pirate? These are questions raised by Andre-Marcel d'Ans. http://www.lib.usf.edu/ldsu/digitalcollections/T06/journal/v02n2_80/v02n2_80_05.pdf

Did 'Gasparilla' exist, was a fancy of some old man's imagination or simply a shameless marketing ploy? Whatever the truth, the legend of a rogue hero was born and it makes a rollicking good read.
Source: Author pollucci19

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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