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The schooner Clotilde was the last known ship to arrive in the United States with a cargo of slaves. In 1860 this vessel was abandoned along the Gulf of Mobile, and this marks the last attempt to import slaves to the United States. These Africans began their journey in Ghana, and were the captives that resulted from a civil war among various tribes. Throughout the 1850s there had been talk of reopening the African slave trade, which had been outlawed since 1808, and the voyage of the Clotilde was an attempt to illegally import slaves to Mobile, but authorities had heard about this scheme and thus the captain transferred his cargo to another craft and burned the schooner.
The perpetrators of this horrific crime were charged but due to the break out of the American Civil War in 1861, the cases were sadly dismissed.Several escaped slaves founded a small settlement and following the war were joined by other former slaves from the same region. They established AfricaTown, and continued to speak in their native language. Today much of this history can still be discovered in the areas historical district that has undergone recent restoration and renovation. Now part of the suburb of Prichard Africatown is home to 12,000 residents and it influences can still be felt today.