Historic Markers Across Alabama

Cudjoe “Kazoola” Lewis

Marker ID:  
Location: 506 Bay Bridge Rd, Mobile, AL
County: Mobile
Coordinates: N 30° 43.923    W 088° 3.61
  30.73205    -88.06016666
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: None


Cudjoe"Kazoola” Lewis

c. 1840-1935

Last known survivor of the last known slave ship to enter the United States

Circa 1859, Cudjoe Lewis, a native of the Yoruba tribe in what is now the West African country of Benin, was one of over a hundred African men and women purchased and brought across the Atlantic to Mobile, Alabama, aboard the slave ship Clotilde.

After a period of de facto slavery, Mr. Lewis and other members of the Clotilde group became free and organized a community in Plateau, part of today's Africatown Historic District. They formed a self-governing society and established the Old Baptist Church; which is now known as The Union Baptist Church of Plateau.

Mr. Lewis married Celia"Abile” Lewis, another Clotilde survivor, with whom he had several children. He was known for working diligently to keep and share the group's epic history.

Upon his death, he was laid to rest in the nearby Old Plateau Cemetery, where a commemorative marker may be found.

This memorial, honoring Mr. Lewis and the survivors of the Clotilde, was made possible through the efforts of The Union Baptist Church and the generosity of donors spanning race and creed.

May the example set by Cudjoe Lewis and the Clotilde group inspire all citizens of humanity to choose perseverance and hope in the face of tremendous adversity.

– Sculpted by April Terra Livingston in 2016 –

the Union Baptist Church.

Photographs of the marker can be found on HMDB.org

End of Cudjoe “Kazoola” Lewis