Finding the Last Ship Known to have Brought Enslaved Africans to America and the Descendants of its SurvivorsBreaking News
tags: slavery, archaeology, abolition, Atlantic Slave Trade
Two years ago, a sunken ship was found in the bottom of an Alabama river. It turned out to be the long lost wreck of the Clotilda, the last slave ship known to have brought captured Africans to America in 1860. At least 12 million Africans were shipped to the Americas, in the more than 350 years of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but as you'll hear tonight, the journey of the 110 captive men, women, and children brought to Alabama on the Clotilda, is one of the best-documented slave voyages in history. The names of those enslaved Africans, and their story, has been passed down through the generations by their descendants, some of whom still live just a few miles from where the ship was found in a community called Africatown.
For 160 years this muddy stretch of the Mobile River has covered up a crime. In July 1860 the Clotilda was towed here, under cover of darkness. Imprisoned in its cramped cargo hold, 110 enslaved Africans.
Joyceyln Davis: I just imagined myself being on that ship just listening to the waves and the water, and just not knowing where you were going.
Joyceyln Davis, Lorna Gail Woods, and Thomas Griffin are direct descendants of this African man, Oluale. Enslaved in Alabama, his owner changed his name to Charlie Lewis. Pollee Allen, whose African name was Kupollee, was the ancestor of Jeremy Ellis and Darron Patterson.
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