Day 5 – Black History Month – The Guerrero and the Mimble!

The Guerrero was an “illegal” slave ship operated by Spanish pirates headed to Cuba with 560ish Africans aboard. The Guerrero wrecked and capsized during an intense battle in May 1827 some nautical miles from the Florida Keys.

According to records and vague stories, it was nighttime when hundreds of Africans drowned when the British Navy ship HMS Nimble, an “anti-slavery” patrol ship, stationed on the northern approaches to Cuba pursued, fired upon Guerrero to stop its passage. Because of an intense storm, both ships were pushed onto a large reef near Key Largo.

Guerrero began to sink while the Nimble, which (doubled in size) acted quickly. They threw ordnance and ballasts from the hull overboard to lighten the load, which allowed them to be freed from the reef.

The two ships were attended by two wreckers, who rescued some of the Spanish pirates and surviving Africans.
When wreckers arrived, they received an unexpected greeting. Determined pirates hijacked one of the wrecking vessels and took what “live Africans” they could to Cuba, to be sold.

Less than a hundred slaves were rescued in total. Some were given medical attention in Key West, and eventually made their way back to Africa – to Liberia. This is yet another example of the violent and complicated Transatlantic Slave trade. Check out this video!

*Feel free to like & share!

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