Last known American slave ship discovered in Alabama waters
The Associated Press on Wednesday reported that the last known ship to bring enslaved persons to the United States has been identified in Alabama waters.
The ship is known as the “Clotilda.” The wreckage was found last year in the Mobile River channel near Africatown and a thorough identification process ended Wednesday.
Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), who represents that part of coastal Alabama, released a statement, declaring, “This is a significant day for the people of Africatown but also for Alabama and our nation.”
He explained, “Many current Africatown residents are descendants of enslaved Africans forcibly brought to the United States aboard the Clotilda, including those later freed following the Civil War.”
“We should seize upon this opportunity to help us better understand our complex American history,” Byrne said. “Harry Truman wisely said ‘the only thing new in the world is the history you do not know.’ Let’s use the discovery of the Clotilda to learn more about our history so we can discuss how best we can move forward together.”
The site of the Clotilda wreckage had been sought by historians and scientists for many years.
The last survivor of the ship lived until 1937. Read her story here.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn