FILE – In this May 30, 2019, file photo, traffic passes a mural of the slave ship Clotilda along Africatown Blvd. in Mobile, Ala. The discovery of the last ship that brought Africans to the United States as slaves may offer a test case for reparations. Relatives of steamship owner Timothy Meaher, who financed the trip in 1860, still live in Mobile, Alabama. So do descendants of the people he enslaved. Many Clotilda descendants say reconciliation with the Meahers would suffice. Others say they want more. The discussion comes as Congress considers whether to create a reparations study commission.(AP Photo/Kevin McGill, File)
MOBILE, Ala. — Alabama steamship owner Timothy Meaher financed the last slave vessel that brought African captives to the United States, and he came out of the Civil War a wealthy man.
His descendants, with land worth millions, are still part of Mobile society’s upper crust.
The people whom Meaher enslaved, however, emerged from the war with freedom but little else. Census forms that documented Meaher’s postwar riches list them as laborers, housewives and farmers with nothing of value. Many of their descendants today hold working-class jobs.