BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Researchers studying the wreckage of the last U.S. slave ship on the Alabama coast have made a surprising discovery.
A recently released report shows that most of the wooden schooner remains intact, including the pen that was used to imprison African captives during the journey across the Atlantic Ocean in 1860.
Remains of the Clotilda have been under study near Mobile, Alabama, since they were discovered a few years ago.
Researcher Jim Delgado says the fact that so much of the ship remains in one piece enhances its historical value.
According to the Associated Press, there are questions if human DNA could still be found in the hull after the discovery of the unlit and unventilated slave pen still remains.
The wooden schooner illegally brought 110 African captives to the South before the American Civil War.
The AP reported that the ship, The Clotilda, was the last known to have transported African captives and in 1808, it departed Mobile in an illegal trip.
After arriving in Mobile, the ship was set on fire to destroy it, but most of the ship didn't catch fire and remained in the river, the news outlet reported.