Lord Ligonier (slave Ship)
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Lord Ligonier Slave Ship
Kingdom of Great Britain
Name: Lord Ligonier
Namesake: John Ligonier, 1st Earl Ligonier
Owner: 1765, James Debatt, Daniel Vialars[1]
Operator: Thomas Davies
Port of registry: London, England[1]
Route: Annapolis, Maryland to London, England to The Gambia
Builder: Built in New England[1]
Laid down: 1763
Launched: 1765
Completed: July 1765
Acquired: c. 1765
Fate: Unknown
General characteristics
Class and type: Slave ship
Tons burthen: 130[1] (bm
Decks: 6
Propulsion: Wind
Sail plan: Ship rig[1]
Capacity: 210 people
Crew: 40
Armament: 6 guns[1]

Lord Ligonier was an 18th-century British slave ship built in New England that unloaded slaves in Annapolis, Maryland in 1767. The ship was made famous by Alex Haley's novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, in which it brought his ancestor, Kunta Kinte, from The Gambia to the colonial United States.


Lord Ligonier was originally laid down in 1763. The ship was built for hauling cargo such as slaves, tobacco, spice, and lumber. In June 1765 the ship's owner, Horace Andrews, hired a crew of 40 men and a captain named Davies.

The ship had six decks in all, four for carrying slaves and two for hauling spice, lumber, and tobacco. Lord Ligonier was a sailing ship, built to weather Atlantic storms. It could carry 170 slaves, 40 crew members, and various amounts of other cargo. Although it could carry 170 slaves if they were packed in sideways, the ship's capacity was reduced to 140 when they lay on their backs.

1766 voyage and Roots

Lord Ligonier visited the Gambia at least once before the slave trading voyage for which she became famous. In April 1766 she was reported to have returned from there with dispatches from Governor Debatt of Fort James reporting that the French were establishing armed factories on the coast in violation of their treaty undertakings.[2]

Captain Thomas Davis sailed from London on 17 July 1766 and arrived in Africa on 13 September. Lord Ligonier acquired her slaves at the Gambia and sailed from Africa on 5 July 1767. She arrived at Annapolis on 29 September. She had embarked 140 slaves and she arrived with 96. She had left London with 26 crew members and she arrived with 18. She arrived back in London on 25 January 1768.[1]

A surviving advertisement[3] records the arrival of the ship with a cargo of slaves at Annapolis in 1767. The ship was the basis for Alex Haley's assertion in his novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, that his ancestor, Kunta Kinte, was brought on that voyage. The miniseries based on the book invented a failed slave uprising during the voyage.

This is the only voyage of the Lord Ligonier recorded in the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database.[1]


Lord Ligoniers subsequent fate is unknown. There is proof that it sailed on another slave voyage but nothing is known of it.[] The ship did not appear in the 1776 volume of Lloyd's Register.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database - Lord Ligonier voyage #75775.
  2. ^ "News". St. James's Chronicle or the British Evening Post (London, England), April 24, 1766 - April 26, 1766; Issue 803.
  3. ^ "Reproduction of 1767 advertisement announcing arrival at Annapolis". The Kunta Kinte - Alex Haley Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 2013.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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