Adelaide - French slave ship,
sank 1714 near Cuba.
La Amistad - cargo ship which
sometimes carried slaves - La Amistad became a symbol in the movement to
abolish slavery after a group of African captives aboard revolted in July
1839. Its recapture resulted in a legal battle over their status.
Braunfisch - a Brandenburgian
slave ship lost in 1688 in a revolt.
Brookes - sailing in the 1780s.
Clotilde - burned and sunk at Mobile, in autumn 1859 -
last known U.S. slave ship to bring slaves from Africa to America,
arriving at Mobile Bay in autumn 1859. Many descendents of
Cudjoe Kazoola Lewis,] the last survivor of the Clotilde, still reside in
Africatown, and a bust of him sits in front of the Union Missionary
Baptist Church there.
In autumn of 1859, the schooner Clotilde (or
Clotilda), under the command of Captain William Foster, arrived in Mobile
Bay carrying a cargo of African slaves, numbering between 110 and 160
slaves. Captain Foster was working for Timothy Meaher, a wealthy Mobile
shipyard owner and shipper, who had built the Clotilde in 1856. Local lore
relates that Meaher bet some "Northern gentlemen" that he could violate
the 1807 law (passed 2 March 1807, took effect 1 January 1808) without
getting caught. The Clotilde was a 2-masted schooner, 86-ft long and
23-ft wide, with a copper hull. Meaher had learned that West African
Tribes were fighting, and that the King of Dahomey was willing to trade
Africans for US $50 each in the Kingdom of Whydah, Dahomey. Foster arrived
in Whydah on May 15, 1859, and he bought the Africans from several
different tribes and headed back to Mobile.
When the Clotilde arrived from Africa, Federal authorities
had already been alerted to the illegal scheme. Captain Foster, fearful of
the criminal charges, arrived at night, transferring his cargo to a
riverboat, then burning the Clotilde before sinking it. The African slaves
were distributed to those having a financial interest in the Clotilde
venture, with Timothy Meaher retaining 30 of the Africans on a property
Cudjo (aka Cudjoe) Lewis was among the slaves retained
near Mobile. Mobile was in the Deep South and blacks, Africans or
native-born people, occupied the bottom rung in a racial hierarchy. The
Africans brought on the Clotilde could not be legally enslaved; however,
they were treated as chattel. Cudjo among the 30 were "illegally" the
property of Meaher. The American Civil War ended six years after the
illegal enslavement of the Africans brought aboard the Clotilde. When
freed, the Africans settled in Plateau, Alabama, a poor rural community
just north of Mobile, calling their community "Africatown". They adopted
their own rules and leaders, and they established the African Church. The
group worked hard: the women used their agricultural skills to raise and
sell crops, and the men worked in mills for $1 a day, saving money to
purchase the land. When possible, they avoided the whites.
Cudjo Lewis (African name, Kazoola) was the last survivor
of the Clotilde journey. In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston, the African American
writer, interviewed Lewis for the Journal of Negro History: Reporters
often interviewed him, and he told stories about the civil wars in West
Africa and the losing side being sold into slavery. His group were West
African; they were the Tarkar people. Cudjo related how he had been
captured by warriors from neighboring Dahomey, taken into Whydah, and
imprisoned within a slave compound. He had been sold by the King of
Dahomey to William Foster and then transported to the U.S. The Tarkar
people asked to be repatriated, but were denied, and instead, tried to
recreate a homeland in Mobile. The group continued speaking their native
language and used African gardening or cooking techniques, trying to
retain their West African culture.
For several years, Cudjo Lewis served as a spokesman for
the Tarkar people of Africatown. He was visited by many prominent blacks,
among them Booker T. Washington. Cudjo Lewis eventually came to believe
that Africans had to adopt the new country, even though their white
countrymen had treated them brutally. In Africatown, the Union Baptist
Church has the Cudjo Lewis Memorial Statue. In 1997 there was a campaign
to have the community declared a historical site. Cudjo Lewis died in 1935
at the age of 114.
Cora - captured by the USS
Fredensborg - Danish slave ship, sank in 1768 off Tromøy
in Norway, after a journey in the triangular trade. Leif Svalesen has
written a book about the journey.
- Sank 1701 off Key West, Florida. - named for
Queen Henrietta Maria wife of King Charles I of England, Scotland, and
Ireland (1600-1649). Sank 35 miles off the coast of Key West after selling
190 slaves to Jamaica. Mel Fisher (and divers from his company Salvors
Inc.) found the Henrietta Marie in 1972. When the boat was fully excavated
they found iron shackles and other devices that were used to torture and
punish the slaves aboard. The boat was recognized only because of the
bronze bell that was found inside of it with the name inscribed on its
Hope - was an American brig class merchant ship
involved in the fur trade along the northwest coast of North America and
discovery in the Pacific Ocean. Earlier the vessel was involved in the
Kron-Printzen - Danish slave ship, sank in
1706 with 820 slaves on board.
Le Concord - Slave ship
turned pirate ship aka Queen Anne's Revenge, Sank 1717.
Lord Ligonier - See Roots:
The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley.
- confiscated and sunk as part of the Stone fleet in 1862 - purchased
30 November 1861 in New Bedford for use in the Stone Fleet. She was fitted
out as a slave ship, and had been confiscated by the US Marshall. She was
sunk 20 January 1862 in Maffitt's Channel in Charleston harbor. A woman
named Margaret Scott had been executed as one of the Salem
Pons (ship) American built
barque captured by the USS Yorktown 1 December 1845 with 850-900 slaves
- Brandenburgian slave ship.
Tecora - Portuguese slave
ship that transported the slaves who would later revolt aboard La Amistad
- was a Portuguese slave ship of the early 1800s. The brig was built
especially for the slave trade after the transport across the Atlantic of
human beings as slaves had already been outlawed in the first decade of
the 19th century. She was fast and maneuverable in order to evade British
patrols which attempted to stop such illegal slave ships.
In 1839, a group of Africans were kidnapped from
Mendiland, (in modern day Sierra Leone) and transported to the African
slave port of Lomboko. There a Portuguese slave trader purchased about 500
of the Africans and transported them aboard the Tecora to Havana,
Conditions for slaves on the Tecora were horrific. The
captives were stripped, chained in groups of five, and packed so tightly
into the slave hold (a deck below the main deck and above the cargo hold)
that one person's head, when lying in rows, was forced upon another
person's thigh. In the ship's dark cargo hold, each slave had only 3 feet
3 inches of headroom during the ten-week voyage. The captives were
sometimes brought up on deck and fed rice. Those who tried to starve
themselves, as often happened, were whipped and forced to eat.
While they were at sea, water supplies ran low, and disease spread
through the closely packed, unventilated slave deck. At times when
supplies ran low, the crew would chain 30-40 slaves and attach a heavy
weight at the end, then throw it over board forcing the chained Africans
into the water to drown. Nearly a third of the slaves died during the long
voyage from disease, malnutrition, and beatings.
Since importing slaves into Spanish-controlled Cuba was
illegal, the slave traders smuggled the captive Africans ashore at night
in small boats. They landed them in a small inlet a few miles from Havana.
Once on land, the slaves were placed in a barracoon, or a "slave
Under Spanish law, once they arrived in Cuba in late June,
the Africans were legally free. However, they were fraudulently classified
as Cuban-born slaves so they could be separated and sold. Two Spanish
plantation owners, Jose Ruiz and Pedro Montes, bought 53 of the surviving
Africans: 49 men, a boy, and three girls. Ruiz and Montes packed their
cargo and the slaves on board the schooner La Amistad and set sail for
their plantation at Port Principe, Cuba.
Triton - captured by the USS
Trouvadore - wrecked in
Turks and Caicos 1841. 193 slaves survived. Project commenced in 2004 to
locate the ship - In 1841 the slave ship Troubador set sail from Cuba to
collect enslaved Africans to be sold to the sugar plantations in Cuba.
This act was illegal, Spain having outlawed the slave trade. However,
governors in Cuba often turned a blind eye to the trade as it was required
to maintain the economic viability of the sugar plantations. The exact
route of Troubador is not known but in the records it states that new crew
members were picked up in Sao Tome, a Portuguese colony off the coast of
Arica, and still legally trading enslaved Africans.
The exact numbers of Africans boarded onto Troubador is
not recorded but would have been around 280-300. When the ship wrecked off
East Caicos in March 1841 all the 20 crew members and 193 Africans aboard
survived, suggesting that around 100 had died during the Atlantic
crossing, a typical loss for a venture of this kind. On landing on East
Caicos a number of the Africans fled into the bush, one being shot
East Caicos was a large deserted Island in 1841. The
initial assistance came from residents from the neighbouring Island of
Middle Caicos, who also got news of the wrecking to the authorities on the
Island of Grand Turk, the political capital of the Turks and Caicos. The
Authorities dispatched British soldiers to secure the crew and bring all
back to Grand Turk whilst a decision was made on their future. Residents
from Middle Caicos had disarmed the Spanish crew so when Lt. Fitzgerald
arrived with his men there was no need for force. The ships crew were
On Grand Turk the ships crew were placed under armed guard
and eventually taken to Nassau with 24 of the Africans. As slavery had
been abolished in this British territory in 1834 the remaining 168
Africans were freed into a one year Apprenticeship during which time they
were taught a skill, baptised and learnt English. These 168 individuals
increased the population by 7% and would have had a major impact on the
This story was long forgotten until the Founder of the
Turks and Caicos National Museum Grethe Seim, and Dr Donald Keith started
searching in the USA for objects from the Turks and Caicos. They
discovered a letter book written by Grand Turk resident George Judson
Gibbs, containing letters written in the late 1870s trying to sell some of
his collection. This included 2 'African Idols' from a Spanish slaver that
wrecked off East Caicos in 1841. Research was begun and in the British
National Archives the story was uncovered.
Wanderer - formerly last
slave ship to the U.S. (Nov. 1858) until Clotilde reported - had been the
last known ship to bring slaves from Africa to the United States (on
November 28, 1858), until information was revealed about the Clotilde,
which months later, had transfered slaves to a riverboat and was secretly
burned and sunk off the coast of Mobile, in autumn 1859. The slaves
who arrived to the United States on the Wanderer gained a mild celebrity
status. They were the only group of slaves who came to be frequently
identified with the ship that they arrived on. The tendency of newspapers
and private correspondence to identify the slaves in this way supports the
conclusion that there were no other large-scale importations of African
slaves in this period.
Wildfire - a barque,
arrested off the Florida coast by the US Navy in 1860; carrying 450
Whydah Gally - slave ship
turned into pirate ship-sank 1717 - was the flagship of the pirate "Black
Sam" Bellamy. The ship sank in a storm off Cape Cod on April 26, 1717,
taking Bellamy and the majority of his crew with it. The wreck of
the Whydah was rediscovered in 1984 by underwater explorer Barry Clifford
(relying heavily on the 1717 map that Southack drew of the wreck's
location) and has been the site of extensive underwater archaeology. More
than 100,000 individual pieces have since been retrieved, including the
ship's bell whose inscription THE WHYDAH GALLY 1716 positively identified
the wreck. It is the only pirate shipwreck site whose identification has
been established beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Zong - a British slave
ship famous of the massacre which occurred aboard in 1781. The ship
had taken on more slaves than it could safely transport. By November 29,
1781, this overcrowding, together with malnutrition and disease, had
killed seven of the crew and approximately sixty African slaves. Captain
Collingwood decided to throw the remaining sick slaves overboard. He
assumed that the slaves would be considered in law to be cargo, so he
could claim the loss against an insurance policy. The insurance policy
would allow the Liverpool ship-owners to bring a claim if a slave went
over the side alive, but not if a slave died on board, as that would be
deemed to be bad cargo management and therefore not covered by the policy.
Collingwood therefore gave orders for 133 slaves to be
Later, it was claimed that the slaves had been jettisoned
because it was required "for the safety of the ship" as the ship did not
have enough water to keep them alive for the rest of the voyage. This
claim was later disproved as the ship had 420 gallons of water left when
it arrived in Jamaica on December 22.
Captain Collingwood was killed by disease before the