Lord Ligonier (slave ship)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: Lord 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
Maiden voyage: November 1, 1766
Fate: unknown, probably sold for scrap lumber after the owner's death
General characteristics
Class and type: Slave ship
Tonnage: 130 or 236 tons [1]
Decks: 6
Propulsion: Wind
Sail plan: Ship rig [1]
Capacity: 210 people
Crew: 40
Armament: 6 guns [1]

The Lord Ligonier was an 18th-century slave ship built in New England that in 1767 unloaded slaves in Annapolis, Maryland. The ship was made famous by the novel and television series Roots, as the ship that brought the main character, Kunta Kinte, from the Gambia to the United States.


The Lord Ligonier was originally laid down for construction in 1763. The ship was built for hauling cargo such as slaves, tobacco, spice, and lumber. In June of 1765 the ship's owner, Horace Andrews, hired a crew of 40 men and 1 captain named Davies.

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

1767 voyage and Roots[edit]

A surviving advertisement[2] records the arrival of the ship with a cargo of slaves at Annapolis in September 1767. This was the basis for Alex Haley's assertion in Roots that his supposed ancestor Kunta Kinte was brought on that voyage. The TV series 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 (Voyage 75775).[1]


The Lord Ligonier‍ '​s subsequent fate is unknown. There is proof that she sailed on another slave voyage but nothing is known of it. The Lord Ligonier was probably sold for scrap lumber after her owner's death.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, Search the Voyages Database, Lord Ligonier". Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  2. ^ "Reproduction of 1767 advertisement announcing arrival at Annapolis". The Kunta Kinte - Alex Haley Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 7 October 2013.