MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — 160 years ago today, on July 9, 1860, the schooner Clotilda arrived in Mobile Bay. The ship was carrying 110 people who were taken from their homes in Africa and smuggled into Alabama as slaves. 

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said, “This shameful and illegal act is a painful part of our history, and the Clotilda is remembered as the last known slave ship to enter the U.S.”

In recent years, the wreckage of the Clotilda was discovered in Mobile Bay, not far from the Africatown community where many of the descendants continue to reside. Efforts are underway to build a new visitor’s center in Africatown, and to create a memorial for the Clotilda.

“We will embrace the story of Africatown. We won’t run from it. We will tell this story to the world. I encourage you to learn more about the Clotilda story, and to join our efforts to find creative ways to link our history with a brighter future for all of our citizens,” Stimpson said.