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National Geographic Exclusive: Last American Slave Ship Discovered in Alabama

The schooner Clotilda smuggled African captives into the U.S. in 1860, more than 50 years after importing slaves was outlawed

National Geographic
National Geographic

The remains of the schooner Clotilda, the last vessel to transport enslaved Africans to America’s shores, have been discovered in a remote arm of Alabama’s Mobile River following an intensive year-long search by marine archaeologists.

The 110 captives who arrived aboard Clotilda were the last of an estimated 388,000 Africans brought in bondage to America between 1609 and 1860.

This historic discovery has been of great importance to the descendants of the Clotilda survivors for generations. According to Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society which supported the search, “the discovery of the Clotilda sheds new light on a lost chapter of American history.”

For more information about the discovery, read the full story HERE.


National Geographic Society archaeologist-in-residence, Fredrik Hiebert, is available for interviews out of L.A. & Washington, D.C. Hiebert can provide commentary on the historical importance of this discovery.

National Geographic reporter, Joel K. Bourne, Jr., who has been reporting on the Clotilda since last year, is available for interviews out of Washington, D.C.

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