Last Known Slave Ship Is Remarkably Well Preserved, Researchers Say

“It is a tremendous duty to ensure that Clotilda is protected, and the Alabama Historical Commission takes its role as the legal guardian of Clotilda very seriously,” Lisa D. Jones, the fee’s govt director, stated in a statement. “The Clotilda is an essential historic artifact and stark reminder of what transpired during the trans-Atlantic slave trade.”

The Clotilda’s closing voyage was undertaken illegally as a result of Congress had banned the importation of enslaved folks greater than half a century earlier.

After the schooner arrived in Mobile and transferred the captives to a riverboat in July 1860, the Clotilda’s captain, William Foster, burned and scuttled the ship to cover proof of his illicit commerce, Dr. Delgado stated. The ship has remained in the identical spot within the Mobile River ever since, researchers stated.

After the Civil War, a number of the individuals who had been transported on the Clotilda requested their former enslaver, Timothy Meaher, who had organized and financed the voyage, to provide them land, stated Dr. Diouf, the writer of “Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America.”

When Mr. Meaher refused, the previously enslaved employees purchased land from him and others, Dr. Diouf stated, and fashioned Africatown, the place African languages were spoken for decades.

“It’s, of course, a story of resistance,” she stated. “They, from Day 1, acted as a community and as a family and they continued to be very active after they became free.”

Joycelyn Davis, who lives in Africatown and is a descendant of Charlie Lewis and Maggie Lewis, who have been enslaved on the Clotilda, stated she hoped that archaeologists might discover barrels and different objects in addition to DNA that may very well be linked to descendants.

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