Wanderer (Schooner)

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Wanderer was the next to last documented ship to bring an illegal cargo of people from Africa to the United States, landing at Jekyll Island, Georgia on November 28, 1858. It was the last to carry a large cargo, arriving with some 400 people. Clotilda, which transported 110 people from Dahomey in 1860, is the last known ship to bring enslaved people from Africa to the United States.

Originally built in New York as a pleasure schooner, The Wanderer was purchased by Southern businessman Charles Augustus Lafayette Lamar and an investment group, and used in a conspiracy to import kidnapped people illegally. The Atlantic slave trade had been prohibited under US law since 1808. An estimated 409 enslaved people survived the voyage from the Kingdom of Kongo to Georgia. Reports of the smuggling outraged the North. The federal government prosecuted Lamar and other investors, the captain and crew in 1860, but failed to win a conviction.

During the American Civil War, Union forces confiscated the ship and used it for various military roles. It was decommissioned in 1865, converted to merchant use, and lost off Cuba in 1871.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Erik Calonius research materials on the Wanderer (Schooner), 1830s-2008. Georgia Historical Society
referencedIn Gamble, Thomas, 1858-1945. Live Oak Public Libraries collection of Thomas Gamble scrapbooks, 1930-1934. Georgia Historical Society
referencedIn Richardson, Joshua, 1774-1862. Joshua Richardson copybook, 1840-1844. Maine Historical Society Library
referencedIn Lillian Chaplin Bragg papers, 1858-1967. Georgia Historical Society
referencedIn Waring, Antonio J. Antonio J. Waring papers, 1783-1961 Georgia Historical Society
creatorOf Wanderer records, 1838-1859 [bulk 1858]. Emory University Library, Special Collect Department
referencedIn U.S. v. Wanderer, Schooner National Archives at Boston
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bragg, Lillian Chaplin, 1895-1967. person
associatedWith Calonius, Erik. person
associatedWith Gamble, Thomas, 1858-1945. person
ownedBy Lamar, Charles Augustus Lafayette, 1824-1865 person
associatedWith Richardson, Joshua, 1774-1862. person
associatedWith Waring, Antonio J. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Slave trade

Corporate Body

Active 1838

Active 1859


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