SECRETS OF THE DEAD "Slave Ship Mutiny"

SECRETS OF THE DEAD "Slave Ship Mutiny"

Thu, 01/24/2013 - 9:00pm

Pictured: A scene from Secrets of the Dead's "Slave Ship Mutiny"

Credit: Courtesy of Katharina Pechel

When the Meermin set sail from Madagascar for South Africa in 1766, the Dutch crew had no idea they were about to make history.

The ship was filled to capacity with human cargo, slaves bound for hard labor building the Dutch West India Company’s colony at Cape Town. But the Meermin with its crew and cargo would never make it to Cape Town. Instead, in a dramatic altercation, the slaves mutinied and managed to overpower the Dutch crew, ordering the ship be sailed back to Madagascar and freedom. But the crew of experience sailors deceived the slaves and turned the boat around each evening to make for Cape Town. And so the circumstances for a dramatic climax – and shipwreck – were laid when the ship and its desperate passengers finally spied land. SECRETS OF THE DEAD "Slave Ship Mutiny" airs Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 9 p.m. on WXXI World (DT21.2/cable 524).