Julie Bennett / AP
The Alabama Historical Commission says a destroyed ship off the Gulf Coast is Clotilda, the last known ship to bring people from Africa to the US and into captivity.
At the Robert Hope Community Center in Mobile, Ala. On Wednesday, researchers revealed descendants of this fateful journey their discovery. "They had waited a long time," said Walter Givhan, retired Major General, to NPR. "They were jubilant."
Givhan said the researchers had based their assessment on specific historical information. "They knew certain things about this ship, they knew it had certain characteristics, just from history – how many masts, how long it was, what kind of wood it could have been," Givhan said.
Researchers were also looking for a ship that had been burned and sunk in the waters around Mobile – an expression of the captain's attempts to block prosecution for finding evidence of a crime.
From February to July 1860, Clotilda carried 110 people from what is today Benin to the coast of Mobile, although in 1808 the import of slaves was banned in the USA.
The prisoners were among the last known Africans who were destined for a certain period of life captive life.
Captain William Foster and Timothy Meaher, a wealthy Alabamian, are said to have made a bet that led to the trip.
After the Civil War, a few Clotilda survivors formed a mobile community that later became known as Africatown.
The ship identity is announced one year after another claim that the historic ship was discovered. AL.com reported that an employee may have stumbled upon remnants of the ship. "I saw this great kind of dinosaur backbone almost sticking out of the mud of the shore," Ben Raines told NPR at the time.
But the Alabama Historical Commission ruled out this possibility due to the large differences between the two ships. For one thing, the found wreck Raines did not show any fire damage.
Researchers said that the wreck identified on Wednesday showed signs of burns consistent with archive records.
or something like a bell with the name of the ship, "team leader James Delgado said in a statement," but the physical and forensic evidence suggests that this is Clotilda.
Researchers said the conclusions were independently reviewed and agreed by international authorities.
The commission announced that it is coordinating with the governorship office, law enforcement agencies and the Ministry of Nature Conservation to ensure the protection of the site.
19659008] The work was done in collaboration with the Black Heritage Council, the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and other organizations.
Lisa Demetropoulos Jones, executive director of the commission, said the trip represented one of the darkest eras of modern history. She added, "This new discovery focuses on the tragedy of slavery and testifies to the triumph and resilience of the human mind."