.....and so it goes, generation after generation.
Sadly, there are events, and horrifying situations that have occurred in our history, which often times go completely unnoticed, as if the accounting of it has been permanently, vaporized. Unless, those events are important enough to someone closely affected. This is a story about such a sad occurrence.
On the road. Natchez Trace Parkway Mississippi.There was a man named, Carson (don't know if that's his first or last name) or, whether or not he's still alive. But, he lived someplace near Natchez, Mississippi and his days were consumed with one particular ship, the schooner Clotilde, (slave ship) and especially the shipwreck of Clotilde in 1859. The Clotilde was the last known U.S. slave ship to bring captives from Africa to the United States, and arrived at Mobile Bay in autumn of 1859. Other sources list the date as, July 9, 1860 with 110-160 slaves.
Does the date matter? Not to Carson.
You may already know about this disaster, and one well known passenger, Cudijo Lewis (1835-1935) also aboard that ship. But Carson was searching for a person unknown to most.
Sepia Saturday this week is all about- Mystery men, or just men in general, or possibly, hats as well as any other theme one could sail away with from Alan's photo above.
For my post, a mystery is about to unfold.
Where in the world is this? Follow along.
Photo by Carol Highsmith.
Beginning from Natchez, Mississippi, where Carson, a determined researcher (as far as I know) loaded up supplies for a lengthy stay away, stuffing in as much as possible inside an old and borrowed station wagon. It was a humid day when he headed toward Alabama. However Carson, still being obsessed with the story of the Clotilde, trudged on, prepared to let nothing stand in his way. His destination, a grave that we see in the photo above, with the name barely legible.
The entire trip from Natchez to his location outside of Mobile, was about 244 miles. He wasn't the only person interested in the back story. Even now, after Clotilde's fatal ending, from the hands of Captain Foster who burned and sank the ship upon arrival in Mobile Bay, archaeological searches still continue for the wreck of the Clotilde in the bay.
About half way there, Carson entered the town of Hattiesburg. If you've never been to Hattiesburg or are unfamiliar with Hattiesburg, you can view it here, and if you haven't heard the Hattie jingle, you should.
How about a few more mystery men?
I wonder if Carson ever ran into these men? All happily due for a fresh haircut at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg. Photo taken about June 1941.
Getting a haircut at Camp Shelby.
Getting back on the road again, and Carson's mission, his station wagon continued from Hattiesburg, to Africatown, Alabama. Once Carson arrived outside the gate to Plateau Cemetery, in Mobile County, Alabama, there are conflicting stories describing his search inside.
The cemetery is located at Bay Bridge Road and Cut-Off Road near the Cochrane and Africatown Bridge.
About this photo here.
Sources say he spent two solid days reading grave stone after grave stone, until he finally stumbled upon this graveside here.
Apparently, there was much care taken in preserving this grave, as many had been destroyed by vandals and other weather related events. Many of the buried remains were even exposed.
The full name reads, Keeby, as in husband, Osia Keeby, and wife, Innie Keeby, a survivor of the Clotilda crossing. Story of repairs to her graveside here.
The name Innie, is corrected as Annie, in other historical documents, and Osia is described here, as Ossa.
It seems Carson found another grave for Mrs. Lottie Dennison, also listed as a Clotilde survivor.
Did this satisfy Carson's hunger for the truth regarding at least the Keeby ancestors aboard the Clotilde?
It does seem it has, for now anyway, as he turned the station wagon around and returned to Mississippi.
Will he, or has he written a book about his discoveries? I'm still searching for that answer.
Natchez Trace Parkway Mississippi
You Just never know where the road my lead you.