Nearly 221 years after the sinking of the Portuguese slave ship, São José Paquete [de] Africa, a reminder of the horrific realities of slavery were recovered from the bottom of the ocean. According to the New York Times piece, the slave ship carried between 400 and 500 slaves packed on top of one another for a trip that was to last nearly four months. The story of this ship’s journey tragically ended just 24 days later.
As the ship traveled around the Cape of Good hope, it along with approximately 212 African slaves were lost at sea. Centuries later, fragments from the ship were found exactly where it went down. The wreckage was discovered as a result of the ballasts that were used to balance the “live cargo” whose weight moved and shifted throughout the journey.