Empire's Reach: A Structural and Historical Analysis of the Emanuel Point Shipwreck

James Daniel Collis

          The author conducts an analysis of the data gathered from the Emanuel Point Shipwreck during two phases of excavation to determine the vessel's true dimensions. This analysis reveals that the ship was very likely the remains of the galleon San Juan, which was wrecked in 1559 along with most of the rest of the fleet from the Luna Expedition. Noting the inherently martial role of 16th-century galleons, the author contends that such was the nature of the expedition itself based on the extensive communication between the principals involved in the expedition's genesis and implementation. This conclusion brings a sharper focus on the overall military nature of this chapter of Spain's American exploration and helps to identify the differing goals of the expedition's prominent figures.