discovered the Henrietta Marie?
ship was discovered by Mel Fisher’s sub-contractors in
1972 and excavated briefly in 1973 and not touched again
until another brief excavation in1983.
His crews spent little more than a month all told
over the years. In 1991, Mel Fisher donated the site to the Mel Fisher
Maritime Heritage Society, who has had sole responsibility
for the site ever since.
This has included five archaeological field
seasons, an extensive survey of New Ground Reef on which
the shipwreck is located, and continuous conservation of
the objects found on the site.
many slave ships have been discovered worldwide?
number is uncertain, but fewer than ten have been
identified and the Henrietta Marie is the only one
to have been excavated in the Americas.
developed the Henrietta Marie exhibition?
Slave Ship Speaks, the Wreck of the Henrietta Marie”
was developed by the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society
together with a team of prominent historians, recruited
nationally, among them are Russell Adams, PhD, (Howard
University); Linda Heywood PhD, (Howard University); Colin
Palmer PhD, (City University of New York); James Rawley
PhD, (University of Nebraska); and John Thornton,
The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum’s curatorial team
was led by Tonia Barringer and included Andrew Kelly and
Madeleine Burnside PhD.
Many other people worked with the scholarly and
curatorial teams to make the exhibition a success.
Particular thanks go to Oswald Sykes (Chair, NABS Henrietta
Marie Shipwreck Committee), and Michael Cottman
(journalist) and the other members of the National
Association of Black Scuba Divers who helped to test
exhibition modules, produce videos, and promote the
has performed the archaeology on the Henrietta Marie?
Moore was the original project archaeologist, who worked
first for Mel Fisher and later for the Mel Fisher Maritime
Heritage Society. Mr.
Moore completed his master’s thesis on the shipwreck in
1987 and has updated this into an archaeological survey of
the site in 1996. Corey
Malcom, the Society’s Director of Archaeology, has led
the archaeological team since 1991 and has spent five
field seasons on the site.
Mr. Malcom has published numerous articles on the
wreck and has conducted many months of work on the site
itself as well as years of research on the artifacts.
Much of his work is available on this website.
Where can I go to see
the Henrietta Marie Exhibit?
Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society maintains a modern,
permanent installation on site in Key West, Florida. To
find out more about this location please click
here. To find the Henrietta Marie national exhibit tour
locations and dates, please click
Do you know the names of the
captives on the Henrietta Marie? Can I research whether or
not I am a descendant of anyone on the Henrietta Marie?
It is not known
where in Africa the Henrietta Marie traded in her first
voyage of 1697-98, but she did deliver 250 people to
her second voyage, 1699-1700, the evidence suggests the Henrietta
Marie carried over 200 people sold from the New
Calabar region of what is now Nigeria. Their original
homelands were probably somewhere further inland. It is
thought they were of the Igbo cultural group, but there is
no record of their specific identities. These people were
sold in Port Royal, Jamaica
How many people died
when the Henrietta Marie Sank?
English and European crew members, approximately 18 of
them, were the only passengers on the ship when it sank.
When and where did the Henrietta
Henrietta Marie sank in July of 1700. The wreck is
about 35 miles west of Key West, Florida
What protection does the
site have against looters?
known portions of the site have been excavated, and little
remains on the sea-floor. As with most shipwrecks though,
nature is the best protector. The remains of the Henrietta
Marie are found as deep as 8 to 10 feet below the
sand, and require extensive know-how to recover.
Also, the site lies within the Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary, and special permission is
required to conduct research there.
the museum’s archaeology team still working at the Henrietta
the search for other portions of the ship is underway. All
of New Ground Reef, where the Henrietta Marie sank,
is being explored. Click here to read what currently is
being done “Magnetism of
New Ground Reef.”
How can I help the
museum continue its work on the Henrietta Marie?
the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society for $35 and
receive the monthly newsletter and Henrietta Marie
here to join now.
Where can I find out
more about the Henrietta Marie? Are there any books
here to visit our booklist for more information on the
How can I help to bring
the Henrietta Marie to a museum near me?
with the exhibition staff at your local museum. The
exhibition needs gallery space of no less than 2,500 sq.
I want to know more
about the Henrietta Marie objects?
here to go to research.