WASHINGTON (Nov. 25) – Marine archaeologists have found the remains of a slave ship wrecked off the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1841, setting free the ancestors of many current residents of those islands.
Some 192 Africans survived the sinking of the Spanish ship Trouvadore off the British-ruled islands, where the slave trade was banned.
Over the years the ship had been forgotten, said researcher Don Keith, so when the discovery connected the ship to current residents the first response “was a kind of shock, a lack of comprehension,” he explained in a briefing organized by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
But after word got out “people really got on board with it,” he said, and the local museum has assisted the researchers. He said this is the only known wreck of a ship engaged in the illegal slave trade.
Keith and his co-researchers from the Texas-based Ships of Discovery organization came across a letter at the Smithsonian Institution that referred to the sinking and began their search for the ship. Continue reading