First slave ship wreck ever discovered near Turks and Caicos Islands

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I have nothing extra to comment on this story but it's an interesting discovery so here's the article.

Marine archeologists have found the remains of a slave ship wrecked off the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1841, an accident that set free the ancestors of many current residents of those islands.

Some 192 Africans survived the sinking of the Spanish ship Trouvadore off the British-ruled islands, where the slave trade was banned.

Over the years the ship had been forgotten, said researcher Don Keith, so when the discovery connected the ship to current residents the first response "was a kind of shock, a lack of comprehension," he explained in a briefing organized by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

But after word got out "people really got on board with it," he said, and the local museum has assisted the researchers. He said this is the only known wreck of a ship engaged in the illegal slave trade.

One other interesting thing about these islands is that a union with Canada has been proposed before, as recently as 2004:

Nova Scotia's three political parties voted unanimously Wednesday to invite Turks and Caicos to join the province, if the Caribbean islands ever become part of Canada.

Tory backbencher Bill Langille has never been to the 40-island chain, but he thinks the union is a natural, given historical trade connections and a sea-going culture.


The islands, which are a British colony, are financially self-sufficient and run a balanced budget.

Edmonton Tory MP Peter Goldring has taken up the latest campaign, visiting the islands for a fact-finding mission last January.

His sales pitch is that the islands already host 16,000 Canadians each year and would provide a stable retirement and vacation destination. Thirty per cent of hotels and resorts are Canadian-owned. He also says the islands could be the Canadian hub for Caribbean trade.

Canada doesn't have a single area that is warm year-round, so Turks and Caicos would be the first if it ever happened. The closest thing it has to that is Victoria, which is pretty much like Seattle but with less rain.


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