BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The last slave ship known to have landed in the United States more than 150 years ago has a new owner: The state of Alabama.
A federal judge granted ownership of the Clotilda shipwreck to the Alabama Historical Commission in a one-page order released Monday.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose means the state will have final say over remnants of the ship, which was found on a muddy river bottom north of Mobile and publicly identified last year.
The Clotilda, a two-masted Gulf schooner, sailed to West Africa on an illegal trip financed by a wealthy white businessman as a nation divided over slavery was building toward Civil War. It delivered about 110 kidnapped Africans to Mobile before it was burned in a bayou in 1860 to hide evidence of the crime.