Ships of the Sea Museum will be presenting a free book talk with local historian and author Jim Jordan on Wednesday, March 21 at 6:00 p.m. The Museum is located at 41 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, in Savannah
Jordan’s talk and book-signing centers on his discovery of a cache of letters by Charles Lamar, who was a central figure in the landing of the slave ship Wanderer on the Georgia coast long after the importation of slaves to America was declared illegal. Jim’s talk serves to continue Ships of the Sea’s documentation of the Wanderer incident
Document the Slave
Voyage That Shocked a
A journal missing for more than 125 years documenting an illegal landing of over 400 African slaves on American soil – the first successful one in almost forty years – has been found and is the basis for a new book.
Historian Jim Jordan, a resident of Callawassie Island, South Carolina, was researching the slaving voyage of the luxury yacht Wanderer and its organizer and part owner, Charles Lamar, when he discovered a long-lost cache of letters written by Lamar. These letters describe the Savannah businessman’s involvement in the illegal slave trade and the equally illegal Cuban filibustering movement. Lamar’s letter book had been stored in a New Jersey attic when Jordan learned of it, purchased it, and donated it to the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah. He uses these letters to tell the story of the criminal life of a troubled, and troubling figure, in The Slave-Trader’s Letter-Book: Charles Lamar, the Wanderer, and Other Tales of the African Slave Trade (University of Georgia Press).
The transatlantic African slave trade operated for about 350 years, 290 of them legally and 6o illegally. Despite the passage of laws starting in 1807 by the leading maritime nations condemning this shameful commerce, as well as the patrolling of the coast of Africa by their navies, the illegal trade still thrived, primarily to Cuba and Brazil. Landing of slave ships on American shores was practically unheard of—that is, until Charles Lamar and his partners came up with a unique idea to fool the authorities.
To learn more visit www.shipsofthesea.org/online exhibits