Expert talks about slave shipwreck during campus visit

Lynyard Cay

Lynyard Cay in The Bahamas, site of the 1860 wreck of the Peter Mowell.

Michael Pateman, senior archaeologist of the Antiquities, Monuments and Museum Corporation of the Bahamas, presents “The Last Slave Ship in the Bahamas: The Wreck of the Peter Mowell” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, in Room 132 of DeBartolo Hall on the campus of Youngstown State University.

The free lecture, which is open to the public, is sponsored by the Departments of Africana Studies, Anthropology, Geography, and History, the Anthropology Colloquium and the Diversity Council.

The Peter Mowell ran aground on Lynyard Cay in the Abaco chain of the Bahamian Islands on July 25, 1860. The ship was en route to Havana, Cuba, from the Congo River in Africa with 400 human lives destined to be sold as slaves. The cause of the wreck is believed to be avoidance of a British Naval ship. The ship’s crew and at least 390 of the 400 Africans made it safely ashore.

Pateman began excavations of the ship in July 2012 after five years of collaborative research with co-director Corey Malcom of the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. The investigation of the shipwreck does not end with locating the physical wreck or the collection of artifacts. Work is being done to further understand what happened to the liberated Africans, the ship’s crew and the wreckers that saved them. For more information, visit