July 8, 1860
The schooner Clotilda, the last recorded slave ship to bring African slaves to the United States, illegally arrived in Mobile. The ship brought 110 men, women, and children between the ages of 5 and 23 from present-day Benin to Alabama, 52 years after the United States abolished the international slave trade. While 25 of the slaves were sold upriver, the majority remained in Mobile. Following the end of the Civil War only five years later, most of the formerly enslaved wished to return to Africa, but lacked the required funds. Instead, they founded the community of African Town as the first town in the country founded, controlled, and continuously occupied by blacks.