Descendants of enslaved Africans and descendants of the slave owner who bankrolled their voyage to America sat down together in a historic meeting to talk about reconciliation over the summer, after years of effort to set up a meeting.
The descendants of Alabama slave owner Timothy Meaher –who hired Capt. William Foster to smuggle 110 captive Africans to Mobile on his ship, Clotilda– had for years refused to meet with the descendants of the enslaved brought to the U.S.
But last year, a new generation of the Meahers took control of the family business and, over the last year, they’ve explored what they might do to make amends.
What was the Clotilda?
Slavery was still legal in the southern United States in 1860, when Timothy Meaher hired Captain Foster, but importing enslaved persons into America had been outlawed since 1808. Meaher sent the ship to the Kingdom of Dahomey, in West Africa, where Foster in his journal described purchasing the captives using “$9,000 in gold.”…