A remarkably low tide has revealed the remnants of a ship in a river delta near Mobile Alabama. Historians believe that this may be the wreck of the Clotilda, a schooner used to bring some 110 slaves from West Africa to Alabama in 1860. The Clotilda is believed to be the last ship to bring slaves to the United States.
My father had told me about how they had found the ship because he knew I would be interested. Of course, he is right – this is right up my alley: Civil War history, maritime history, 19th century American history, marine archaeology, and of all things, weather.
You see, the reason the ship became visible in the first place is because of the “bomb cyclone” that hit the eastern United States recently. The storm caused the tide to be some 2 feet lower than normal. Without that storm, the ship would have remained underwater.
I first learned about the Clotilda years ago, but my interest in the ship was renewed recently when it became a topic on one of my favorite TV shows, Finding Your Roots. Amazingly enough, musician Questlove is descended from one of the slaves brought over on the Clotilda, and this was revealed in Season 4, episode 9 of the show. Can you imagine? Wow.