According to research done by Alex Haley, Kunta Kinte was an African from The Gambian town of Jufferee. According to Haley family history he was sold into slavery in a town called “Naplis.”
Haley’s research identified a slave ship, the Lord Ligonier, which salied from Gambia River, July 5, 1767, with 140 captured Gambians. It arrived in Annapolis, Maryland on September 29, 1767, with only 98 survivors. Haley believed one of those survivors was a seventeen-year-old Kunta Kinte.
The Africans were sold into slavery on October 7, according to an advertisement in the Maryland Gazette newspaper.
Kinte would have been purchased at the ship or in one of the local inns or restaurants. He was then taken to a farm in Virginia where he continued his American heritage.
Kinte’s arrival in Annapolis is symbolic of the slave trade era when millions of African men, woman and children were captured and sent to the New World. They endured the horrors of the “Middle Passage” — the Atlantic crossing in which Africans were packed into the holds of ships for months, many dying en route.
Kinte survived to tell his story — a story that was shared by his descendent Alex Haley in the book Roots.