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Gulf Coast wreck ruled out as last slave ship

Investigators have determined that an old wooden wreck found on the Alabama Gulf Coast isn't the last slave ship to land in the United States, the Alabama Historical Commission said Monday.

Posted: Mar 6, 2018 2:41 PM

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Investigators have determined that an old wooden wreck found on the Alabama Gulf Coast isn't the last slave ship to land in the United States, the Alabama Historical Commission said Monday.

A statement released by the state agency said the ship remains found north of Mobile are too large and new to be those of the Clotilda, which was burned nearly 160 years ago after delivering captives from what's now the west African nation of Benin to Mobile in 1860.

A reporter found ship remains on a river bottom during an unusually low tide in January and published an article, prompting a historical review.

Even though the remains are not the Clotilda, the discovery shows the need for a wider study of shipwrecks on the coast, said James P. Delgado, a senior vice president of SEARCH, Inc., which participated in the examination.

"We believe that a comprehensive survey of the area with a range of modern technology, followed by an examination of each wreck encountered by knowledgeable professionals will be the best means to find the physical remains of Clotilda," Delgado said in the statement.

State and federal experts who examined the wreck recently said the ship in the mud was about 160 feet (50 meters) long, while the Clotilda was 86 feet (25 meters) long. Also, the wreck had three masts, while the Clotilda had two.

The wreck in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta had what appeared to be marks indicating fire damage, but the review showed those marks actually were caused by wood-eating marine organisms, the statement said.

Also, the construction methods used on the wreck didn't become common until after the Clotilda was built, and the wreck didn't appear to include oak, which was used on the slave ship.

The Clotilda sailed to Africa on a bet by an Alabama steamboat captain and plantation owner who wanted to show he could sneak slaves into the country despite federal troops stationed at forts that guarded the mouth of Mobile Bay.

The ship delivered 110 captives to Mobile in the last known instance of a slave ship landing in the United States. The captain took the ship up the delta and burned it; the people became slaves, and they and their descendants lived after the Civil War in an area near Mobile known as Africatown.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 338079

Reported Deaths: 7523
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23409440
DeSoto23069280
Harrison20064328
Rankin15119290
Jackson14743251
Madison10806227
Lee10568179
Jones8864169
Forrest8408159
Lauderdale7684243
Lowndes6917151
Lamar683789
Lafayette6502124
Washington5551139
Pearl River5060150
Bolivar4923134
Oktibbeha484798
Panola4739112
Warren4690127
Marshall4670106
Pontotoc442873
Monroe4293137
Union429179
Neshoba4232181
Hancock417788
Lincoln4148116
Pike3605113
Leflore3587125
Tate351488
Alcorn346474
Sunflower344994
Adams338488
Scott336676
Yazoo335673
Simpson319290
Copiah319068
Itawamba312480
Coahoma311585
Tippah300568
Prentiss295063
Covington287183
Marion281780
Leake281575
Wayne274643
Grenada267588
George266251
Newton258964
Tishomingo238070
Winston236284
Jasper227548
Attala223373
Stone219437
Chickasaw217560
Holmes197674
Clay194654
Clarke184480
Tallahatchie182742
Calhoun179432
Smith177535
Yalobusha170240
Walthall144448
Lawrence140026
Greene137634
Amite135643
Noxubee134235
Perry132438
Montgomery131544
Carroll125431
Webster119132
Jefferson Davis114234
Tunica113227
Benton105925
Claiborne104831
Kemper101429
Humphreys99833
Franklin86723
Quitman84319
Choctaw81819
Wilkinson76532
Jefferson70428
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 574737

Reported Deaths: 11492
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson839571589
Mobile46611857
Madison36938532
Tuscaloosa26841465
Shelby26769255
Montgomery25853624
Baldwin24213326
Lee16897181
Calhoun15210332
Morgan14990289
Etowah14721369
Marshall12855235
Houston11661292
Elmore10727217
St. Clair10587250
Limestone10535158
Cullman10323204
Lauderdale10044253
DeKalb9335191
Talladega8797187
Walker7659286
Autauga7456114
Jackson7295117
Blount7233139
Colbert6614142
Coffee6117131
Dale5393117
Russell467742
Chilton4666117
Covington4623125
Franklin447281
Tallapoosa4420157
Escambia425282
Chambers3880125
Dallas3707163
Clarke366462
Marion3413106
Pike326979
Lawrence3211101
Winston293972
Bibb282965
Geneva274283
Marengo259067
Barbour245161
Pickens239662
Butler237672
Hale232378
Fayette225064
Henry206645
Randolph196144
Monroe195041
Cherokee194548
Washington179339
Macon168352
Crenshaw165058
Clay163659
Cleburne159945
Lamar149738
Lowndes144854
Wilcox129831
Bullock126042
Conecuh119530
Coosa116729
Perry109928
Sumter108732
Greene98336
Choctaw63925
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Thursday will be another very hot and very humid day across Mississippi and Alabama. Many areas will be well above 100 degrees with the heat index, some even as high as 120 degrees in the Delta of Mississippi.
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