On September 4, 1622 the Tierra Firme flota of twenty-eight ships left Havana bound for Spain with one of the richest new world cargoes ever assembled; silver from Peru and Mexico, gold and emeralds from Colombia and pearls from Venezuela.
Months before Maximilian’s execution he sent what was left of his personal fortune in Spanish, Austrian and American gold coin, gold and silver plate, and jewelry back to Austria. The fortune never made it out of Texas, or so the story goes…
In February 1519 a fleet of Spanish ships landed on the coast of Mexico. Onboard was a force of nearly six hundred Conquistadors; led by the infamous Hernán Cortés, they had come to Mexico to conquer the land and convert its people to Christianity. And if they all got filthy rich in the process, that was okay too!