A History of 17th Century Manila Galleon Shipwrecks Santa Margarita and Nuestra Señora de La Concepción
By Aleck Tan
East Carolina University
Abstract: In the late 16th century, Spain established the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade network connecting Asia to the Americas and Europe, which opened global trade and expanded Spain’s empire. Manila galleons stopped for provisions in the Mariana Islands as part of this trade route and helped to facilitate the Spanish colonization process. In the early 17th century, two Manila galleons, Santa Margarita and Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, wrecked in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Using literature and archival documents, this paper explores the history of Santa Margarita and Concepción and examines the post-wrecking events related to the two sites. The research reveals themes about the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade network and Indigenous interactions with the Spanish in the early 17th century.