Published In

Oregon Historical Quarterly

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2018


Shipwrecks -- Oregon -- History, Spain -- Commerce -- Pacific Area -- History, Santo Cristo de Burgos -- Archival materials -- Analysis


Through archival research, Cameron La Follette and Douglas Deur document the history of the Santo Cristo de Burgos — the ship thought to be the Beeswax Wreck of Oregon — and its crew and passengers. The Santo Cristo “drew together a multiethnic crew of Spanish, Spanish Basque, Philippine, Mexican, and possibly African men in the most sprawling global trade network of their day.” Research conducted in the Archives of the Indies in Seville, Spain, the National Archives of the Philippines in Manila and the Archivo General de la Nación of Mexico in Mexico City shows that the galleon left the Philippines in the summer of 1693 without some necessary crew and supplies. The lack of skilled men and critical supplies, along with winter storms, likely contributed to the ship's fate. Based on Native oral tradition, there were survivors of the shipwreck. According to La Follette and Deur, those survivors “were key participants in arguably the first Native-European contact on what is now the northern coast of Oregon, before disappearing into the state's cultural lore with few traces.”


This is the publisher's final PDF article as it appears in Oregon Historical Quarterly. Copyright © 2018, Oregon Historical Society. Reproduced by permission.

This article is part of a special issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly, that features articles on over a decade of research into uncovering the mystery of the “Beeswax Wreck.”

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