History of the Igbo Landing

History of the Igbo Landing

Igbo Landing, also known as Ebo Landing, Ibo Landing, or Ebos Landing, is a historic site located near Dunbar Creek in Glynn County, Georgia, on St. Simons Island. In 1803, a group of Igbo captives who had taken over their slave ship and refused to accept being sold into slavery in the United States committed a mass suicide there. African American folklore, such as the legend of the flying Africans, and literary history both place symbolic emphasis on the event’s moral significance as a tale of struggle against slavery.

History of the Igbo Landing

After surviving the Middle Passage, a shipload of West African captives was brought to Savannah by American-paid kidnappers in May 1803, where they were put up for auction at one of the region’s slave markets. Among the enslaved passengers on board the ship were several Igbo people from modern-day Nigeria. Planters and slave traders in the American South knew the Igbo for their staunch independence and opposition to chattel slavery.

The seventy-five Igbo slaves were purchased for $100 apiece by agents of John Couper and Thomas Spalding to be used as forced labor on their estates on St. Simons Island.

The chained enslaved people were packed under the deck of a small vessel named The Schooner York to be shipped to the island (other sources say the voyage took place aboard The Morovia[6]).

During this voyage the Igbo slaves rose up in rebellion, taking control of the ship and drowning their captors, in the process causing the grounding of the Morovia in Dunbar Creek at the site now locally known as Igbo Landing.

There are multiple narratives regarding the revolt’s evolution, some of which are regarded as mythical, therefore it’s unclear what happened in what order. Under the guidance of a prominent Igbo leader, the Africans reportedly disembarked and proceeded to sing “The Water Spirit brought us, the Water Spirit will take us home” as they marched into the creek together. As a result, they chose death and the protection of their god Chukwu over the option of servitude.

One of the few contemporaneous reports of the tragedy was written by Roswell King, a white overseer on the adjacent Pierce Butler plantation (Butler Island Plantation). According to King, as soon as the Igbo people arrived on St. Simons Island, they fled to the swamp and committed suicide by entering Dunbar Creek. The captain is identified by his last name, Patterson, in a 19th-century narrative of the incident, and Roswell King is credited with retrieving the drowning victims’ bodies.

The Igbo walked into the swamp, where 10 to 12 drowned, according to a letter detailing the incident written by Savannah slave dealer William Mein. Some were “salvaged” by bounty hunters who got $10 a head from Spalding and Couper. Certain sources state that.