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Sat, 05.09.1812

Timothy Meaher, Slave Trrader born

Timothy Meaher

*The birth of Timothy Meaher is remembered on this date in 1812.  He was a white-American 19th-century slaver, businessman and landowner. 

From Whitfield, Maine, he was the son of James and Susannah Millay Meaher. James & Susannah were both born in Ireland.  He came to Mobile, Alabama around 1836 and owned slave ship the Clotilda.  He was responsible for the last illegal transport of slaves from Africa to the United States in 1860. 

His illegal capturing and transporting of slaves were made as a bet to see if Meaher could avoid the 1807 Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves. He reportedly described the bet as "a thousand dollars that inside two years I myself can bring a ship full of niggers right into Mobile Bay under the officers' noses." Meaher sold some of the slaves but took the rest to work for his brother James and himself. Meaher burned the ship to try and hide the evidence of his lawbreaking.  

The slaves were freed in 1865 because of emancipation, but he refused to help them return home or provide reparations. He sold them some land where they created the slave colony of Africatown.  The United States government attempted to charge Meaher, but due to factors such as difficulty proving the crime and the American Civil War, he was never prosecuted.  Timothy Meaher died on March 3, 1892 in Mobile, Alabama. He is buried at the Catholic Cemetery in Toulminville, Alabama. The family has refused to make any statement "about their ancestor’s crime" or release his personal papers.  The Meaher family is still prominent in Alabama, with Meaher State Park bearing the name, as well as a Meaher Avenue running through Africatown

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The sale began-young girls were there, Defenseless in their wretchedness, Whose stifled sobs of deep despair Revealed their anguish and distress. And Mothers stood with streaming eyes, And saw their dearest children... THE SLAVE AUCTION by Frances E. W. Harper.
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