Story of 75 Igbos that killed themselves rather than being slaves in a foreign land (photos)
Every ethnic group have bad and good stories in the past. Some of this stories are mere folklores and without evidence, while others are true life events.
One ethnic group in Nigeria that shares a large proportion of history around them is the Igbo ethnic group.
The Igbo ethnic group is found around the eastern part of Nigeria.
They are kwown to be great travellers, and risk takers. They are also very ambitious. An average Igbo man is said to value his freedom above anything and will go any length to achieve it. Hence, the saying that “Igbo amaghi eze” which means “Igbo does not know/have a king”
These behavioural pattern and beliefs perhaps shaped one of the greatest story that was told in the history of the Igbo race. This story is kwown as the Igbo Landing.
Around the 19th century, slavery as a business was still thriving and infact was at its peak in Europe and America. Africa was a slave market.
Some Igbos from Eastern Nigerian had been captured by slave masters from Europe and were been transported to Europe through a site at Dunbar Creek on St. Simons Island, Glynn County, Georgia.
By May of 1803, the Igbo slaves had arrived in Savannah, Georgia, on a slave ship called the “WANDERER” . Each of these slaves were sold for an average of $100.
The Igbo slaves were loaded in another coastal vessel called the “York”, chained and packed under its deck . This vessel would take them to St. Simons.
During this Journey, about 75 Igbo slaves rose up in rebellion, overpowered their slave masters, drowned their captors and took control of the vessel. This process caused the grounding of the ship in Dunbar Creek.
After this, the Igbo slaves now freed, marched ashore, and begun singing songs of freedom. Being led by their Chief, they marched into the waters of Dunbar Creek, and therein, drowned themselves.
About thirteen bodies were however recovered, while the rest of the crew remained missing till today.
The heroic death of the Igbo slaves brought about a powerful aura of resistance among the Igbos. The fact that these Igbo slaves who were bound were able to overpower their captors, but yet committed suicide rather than remain in a strange land says alot about the bravery of the Igbo.
This story was subsequently recorded and told by various oral sources in the 1930s by members of the Federal Writers Project.