April 28, 2022

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Historical Commission

EXPLORATION AND SITE EVALUATION OF CLOTILDA

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Description automatically generatedFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               

Contact: Susan Moss, Public Relations Manager  

susan.moss@ahc.alabama.gov, 334-230-2678

 

April 28, 2022

Exploration and Site Evaluation of Clotilda

 

(Montgomery, AL) Alabama Historical Commission and Resolve Marine continue the Inspection of Historically Important Site; Community Meeting, May 2, 2022, To Discuss Exploration and Evaluation

Beginning May 2, 2022, Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) and Resolve Marine, a global leader in emergency response, salvage, wreck, and marine services, will begin a 10-day exploration and evaluation of the shipwreck Clotilda. Under a permit from the Corps of Engineers, this phase will include:

·         New high-resolution sonar survey of Site 1BA704 (Clotilda).

·         Marine geological study of the site.

·         Installation, operation, and management of oceanographic meters at the site.

·         Biological assessment of the site.

·         Structural assessment of the wreck.

·         Limited maritime archaeological excavation and collection of wood samples for scientific analyses; and

·         Development of a site conservation plan.

 

The safety of the divers as they complete this work and the protection of the archaeological site during the exploration are top priorities. To protect both divers and the archaeological site itself, a no boats zone has been established in the Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. Army of Corps Engineers Mobile Site as a requirement of the permit.

 

This phase is possible through a $1 (one) million-dollar appropriation from the State of Alabama. These funds enable AHC to protect, preserve, and document Clotilda, the last slave ship on record carrying enslaved people to America. “We are grateful to our Governor and State Legislature for supporting this ongoing process of exploration” said Dr. Jim Day, Chairman of the Alabama Historical Commission. “The story of Clotilda and her passengers is compelling, and this historic site continues to reveal crucial details about the past.” Day continued, “This project has and continues to amass many partners, and the AHC appreciates the investment of our lawmakers on behalf of the citizens of Alabama.”

Lisa D. Jones, State Historic Preservation Officer and Executive Director of AHC, agrees that funding from the State is imperative to preserving this historic discovery. “As the legal steward of the Clotilda archaeological site, the Alabama Historical Commission has the responsibility to care for this unique resource, which is direct, tangible evidence of slavery,” continued Jones. “The Alabama Historical Commission recognizes that we have a tremendous duty to ensure that this historic artifact survives to tell the story for future generations.”

AHC will host a Community Meeting, May 2, 2022, 6:30 pm at Hope Community Center, 850 Edwards Street, Mobile, AL 36610. AHC will address the current exploration of Clotilda, introduce partners, and answer questions.

 

About the Alabama Historical Commission

Located in historic downtown Montgomery at 468 S. Perry Street, the Alabama Historical Commission is the state historic preservation agency for Alabama. The agency was created by an act of the state legislature in 1966 with a mission to protect, preserve and interpret Alabama’s historic places. AHC works to accomplish its mission through two fields of endeavor: Preservation and promotion of state-owned historic sites as public attractions; and statewide programs to assist people, groups, towns, and cities with local preservation activities. For a complete list of programs and properties owned and operated by the AHC, hours of operation, and admission fees please visit ahc.alabama.gov  ####



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