NPR

Reporter May Have Discovered Clotilda, The Last American Slave Ship

There's still some uncertainty but Ben Raines says based on research, local lore and physical evidence, this might be the ship that illegally carried more than 100 Africans into slavery.
Still from Wreck Found By Reporter May Be Last American Slave Ship, Archaeologists Say. Source: AL.com

The bow, the stem and the ribs of the ship stretched into the Alabama sky in plain sight for nearly a century, but weather and time eventually buried the wooden vessel below the muddy waters of the Tenslaw Delta. Until last month when the "bomb cyclone" blasted an unusually cold northern wind through the region that blew out 2 1/2 feet of water and left the ship exposed.

That was the break Ben Raines, a coastal and environmental reporter for AL.com had been waiting for.

Raines believes the charred remains of the shipwreck he discovered are likely those of the Clotilda, the last American vessel to illegally bring African slaves to the U.S. nearly 160 years ago.

Raines NPR Wednesday that seeing

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min read
No Link Between Fines And Safety In Mines, Government Audit Says
A Labor Department audit found no correlation between the federal system that fines mining companies for unsafe conditions and safety in mining operations.
NPR3 min readPolitics
Captain Who Rescued Migrants At Sea Refuses Paris Medal, Calling It Hypocritical
"Your police [steal] blankets from people that you force to live on the streets, while you raid protests and criminalize people that are standing up for rights of migrants," said Pia Klemp.
NPR5 min readPolitics
Trump's 'Disloyalty' Claim About Jewish Democrats Shows He Doesn't Get How They Vote
"In my opinion, you vote for a Democrat, you're being very disloyal to Jewish people, and you're being very disloyal to Israel," Trump told reporters outside the White House Wednesday.