Painting of the Semiramis running aground. Unspecified.

CapeCodOnline: In March 1804, the Semiramis, a 120′ schooner, was headed home to Newport, Rhode Island, from a trade journey when it ran aground in Nantucket Sound and slowly sank.

The ship was returning from a 2-year voyage from New England to South America, then the Pacific Northwest to China.

Thirty hours after striking the shoal, the Semiramis disappeared under the waves, taking with it one sailor and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gold, silver and Chinese porcelain, among other cargo.

Now, the shipwreck is at the center of a case in federal court involving longtime treasure hunter Barry Clifford.

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