Plateau, Alabama: Former Last Enslaved Person Smuggled into U.S.

Outdoor bust of Cudjoe Lewis, who was smuggled into Alabama in 1860 and lived until 1935. His grave is across the street. He was long thought to be the last survivor, but later research discovered two women from the same ship who lived longer.

Union Baptist Church

Address:
506 Bay Bridge Rd, Plateau, AL
Directions:
Union Baptist Church. I-165 exit 2. Drive east on Bay Bridge Rd for a half-mile, cross the bridge, and you'll come to a blinker light. The Church and bust will be on the left; the cemetery on the right.
Admission:
Free
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Last Enslaved Person Smuggled into U.S.

Last surviving male person (the last survivor was actually a woman). Cudjo Lewis's bust has been featured in several films and documentaries.

[Ingrid P., 04/06/2022]

Cudjo Lewis, who died in 1935, was long thought to be the last survivor. Subsequent research uncovered two women from the same ship who outlived him.

Cudjoe Lewis bust, 2017.

Sculpture of Cudjoe "Kazoola" Lewis

There's an outdoor bust of the last known survivor from the last known slave ship (The Clotilde) to enter the United States. The original bust was stolen in 2002 [and a replacement was vandalized in 2011] so in 2016 the community rallied to raise funds and have the visage of this local hero replaced. Mr. Lewis was a leader in Africatown and helped to found the Union Baptist Church that the sculpture now sits in front of. Across Bay Bridge Road is the historic Old Plateau Cemetery where Mr. Lewis and other survivors of The Clotilde were laid to rest. Both locations are at the foot of the Africatown bridge in Plateau, Alabama.

[Lackadai, 06/25/2017]

Slave importation (but not slavery) had been banned in the U.S. since 1807. Lewis and 115 other slaves were smuggled into Alabama in 1860. He died in 1935.


Nearby Offbeat Places

Oyster Shell Community Art ProjectOyster Shell Community Art Project, Mobile, AL - 3 mi.
Mobile Medical MuseumMobile Medical Museum, Mobile, AL - 3 mi.
Mobile Carnival MuseumMobile Carnival Museum, Mobile, AL - 3 mi.
In the region:
See Alligators from Town Boardwalk, Daphne, AL - 10 mi.

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