Wreck found by reporter may be last American slave ship, archaeologists say

Bee

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Relying on historical records and accounts from old timers, AL.com may have located the long-lost wreck of the Clotilda, the last slave ship to bring human cargo to the United States.

What's left of the ship lies partially buried in mud alongside an island in the lower Mobile-Tensaw Delta, a few miles north of the city of Mobile. The hull is tipped to the port side, which appears almost completely buried in mud. The entire length of the starboard side, however, is almost fully exposed. The wreck, which is normally underwater, was exposed during extreme low tides brought on by the same weather system that brought the "Bomb Cyclone" to the Eastern Seaboard. Low tide around Mobile was about two and a half feet below normal thanks to north winds that blew for days. More here:
https://articles.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2018/01/alcom_reporter_may_have_found.amp?__twitter_impression=true
 

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LoriAnn

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Wow. First, I'm trying to take in the idea of being part of a "bet". Second, this:

"Ultimately, some members of the group bought a small piece of land north of Mobile from Meaher and created a community called Africatown, where some of the descendants of the original slaves still live. They spoke their native tongue, farmed using traditional African methods, and ran their own school.

Descendants of those brought to this country aboard the Clotilda are believed to be the only group of slave descendants who know precisely where their ancestors came from, when they arrived, and what vessel brought them here."

I've been to Mobile quite a few times and had no idea this existed.
 

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JPK Huson 1863

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What a tragically poignant find. It's a little something, knowing the last of the 12 million lost from Africa never arrived at a sales block.

It's relevant to the OP- reading " 1491 ", by Charles C. Mann? ( recommend hugely ) Gets into origin of the slave trade, first boats and why. Seeing the last, as a kind of memorial, all the way in 2018 is chilling.
 

19thGeorgia

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enjoyed this very much, except, the part about Fort Blakeley being the last battle of the civil war, NOT!
Well...it's the last major fight when considering the number of troops involved and casualties.
 

Bee

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Last-Known American Slave Ship
The Clotilda illegally transported 110 enslaved people from present-day Benin to Alabama more than 50 years after the U.S. outlawed the slave trade
By Jason Daley
smithsonian.com
2 hours ago


After a “bomb cyclone” hit the eastern seaboard earlier this month, AL.com reporter Ben Raines used the abnormally low tides in Alabama’s Mobile-Tensaw Delta to search for the wreck of an infamous vessel—the Clotilda, the last slave ship known to have transported enslaved Africans to the United States. In a feature published this week on AL.com, Raines reports that he discovered the remains of a ship that matches the description of the Clotilda a few miles north of Mobile.


The site of the wreck is only accessible by boat and would normally be submerged in water. But due to the storm conditions, the wreck was instead sticking out of the mud, with the hull tipped to the port side with the other side almost completely exposed. Raines documented the find with photographs and used a drone to take aerial images. He also invited a team of archaeologists from the University of West Florida to examine the wreck to get their expert opinion.

The researchers, led by Greg Cook and John Bratten, won’t say conclusively that the wreck is the Clotilda, but they are optimistic. “You can definitely say maybe, and maybe even a little bit stronger, because the location is right, the construction seems to be right, from the proper time period, it appears to be burnt. So I’d say very compelling, for sure,” Cook says.

“There is nothing here to say this isn’t the Clotilda, and several things that say it might be,” says Bratten.


Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/last-american-slave-ship-may-have-been-found-outside-mobile-180967921/#HifivmxWrRGrmmve.99
 

James N.

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... Descendants of those brought to this country aboard the Clotilda are believed to be the only group of slave descendants who know precisely where their ancestors came from, when they arrived, and what vessel brought them here."
I believe Henry Louis Gates referred to this situation in a recent episode of his fascinating PBS series Finding Your Roots, although I don't remember exactly who his subject was.
 

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Using court-martial testimony and post returns from Brazos Santiago, historian Jerry D. Thompson of Texas A&M International University determined that:
  • the 62nd U.S.C.T. incurred two killed and four wounded;
  • the 34th Indiana one killed, one wounded, and 79 captured; and
  • the 2nd Texas Cavalry Battalion one killed, seven wounded, and 22 captured,
  • totaling four killed, 12 wounded, and 101 captured.

Private John J. Williams of the 34th Indiana was the last fatality during the Battle at Palmito Ranch, likely making him the final combat death of the entire war, since historians generally agree that this was the final battle.

200px-John_J__Williams_(last_soldier_to_die_in_the_American_Civil_War).jpg
I would respectfully submit that the 4 men killed and 12 wounded considered this a major engagement.
 

Dedej

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I believe Henry Louis Gates referred to this situation in a recent episode of his fascinating PBS series Finding Your Roots, although I don't remember exactly who his subject was.
It was for QuestLove. His paternal 3rd GreatGrandfather and Grandmother were on the Clotilde.

Ahmir Khalib Thompson, known professionally as Questlove, is an American percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, DJ, music journalist, record producer, and occasional actor.

 

Bee

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More background on the Clotilda survivors/descendants:

In the summer of 1860 more than fifty years after the United States legally abolished the international slave trade, 110 children, teenagers, and young adults from Benin and Nigeria were brought ashore in Alabama under cover of night. They were the last recorded group of Africans deported to the United States. Timothy Meaher, an established Mobile businessman, sent William Foster's ship, the Clotilda to Ouidah in the Bight of Benin, on a bet that he could "bring a shipful of ******s right into Mobile Bay under the officers' noses." He won the bet.

This book reconstructs -with never published photographs and documents- the lives of the young people in West Africa (Benin and Nigeria,) recounts their capture and passage in the slave pen in Ouidah and their dreadful voyage, and describes their experience of slavery and freedom alongside American-born men and women.

For the first time, the personal and detailed testimonies of the slavers, and those of the deported Africans are gathered together to tell the best-documented, but also the most forgotten, story of the slave trade to the Western Hemisphere.

After emancipation, the group, under the leadership of Gumpa -a nobleman from Dahomey- reunited from various plantations, bought land, and founded their own settlement, known as African Town. They ruled it according to their customary laws, continued to speak their own languages-which they taught their children- and insisted that writers use their African names so that their families would know that they were still alive.

Cudjo Lewis, the last survivor of the Clotilda died in 1935, but African Town (now called Africatown) is still home to the descendants of the men and women who dreamed of Africa in Alabama.


Expired Image Removed

more here http://www.sylvianediouf.com/dreams_of_africa_in_alabama__the_slave_ship_clotilda_and_the_story_of_the_last_a_58311.htm
 


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