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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: January 2020

Chapter 4 - Mobile to New Orleans


Repulsed from Mobile, William H. Williams offloaded the convict slaves from the Uncas on to a different vessel, the steamboat Roanoke. As the Uncas continued on to New Orleans with the remainder of Williams’ shipment of slaves, the Roanoke took the inland waterways to Lake Pontchartrain, a maneuver that required no new slave manifest and that would lessen the odds of interception by a British cruiser seeking out illegal slaving ships. This chapter reviews the crimes for which many of the slaves were convicted, the most common of which was theft. Soon the Roanoke reached Port Pontchartrain. Williams desperately tried to arrange a meeting with New Orleans mayor William Freret to secure safe passage through the city for his convict cargo. Unsuccessful in doing so, Williams nevertheless placed the convict slaves on to the railcars bound for New Orleans. When he arrived at the railroad depot, city authorities confiscated Williams’ shipment of bondpeople.