Now a British researcher, Hannah Durkin, says she has discovered testimony from someone who may have lived even longer — a woman named Redoshi.
The journal Slavery & Abolition published information last week that is likely to be subject to debate, because there are few records documenting the lives of the last Africans to be captured and brought to the United States on slave ships.
Durkin has pieced together accounts from different sources and census records to carve out the remarkable life of a woman who survived the treacherous Middle Passage voyage at age 12, was sold as a child bride, and lived through the Civil War and the Great Depression. According to Dr. Durkin, Redoshi died in 1937; Lewis died in 1935.
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PHOTO: Courtesy of the Department of Agriculture