Excerpts from National Geographic online :
The schooner Clotilda—the last known ship to bring enslaved Africans to America’s
shores—has been discovered in a remote arm of Alabama’s Mobile River following
an intensive yearlong search by marine archaeologists. The 109 captives who
arrived aboard Clotilda were the last of an estimated 389,000 Africans delivered into
bondage in mainland America from the early 1600s to 1860. Thousands of vessels
were involved in the transatlantic trade, but very few slave wrecks have ever been
Importing slaves into the United States had been illegal since 1808, and southern
plantation owners had seen prices in the domestic slave trade skyrocket. Many
were advocating for reopening the trade.
Timothy Meaher, a wealthy Mobile landowner and shipbuilder, allegedly wagered
Northern businessmen a thousand dollars that he could smuggle a cargo of Africans
into Mobile Bay under the nose of federal officials.
And he did. For more on this amazing story, click on the NatGeo link above.