iGbo landing


Bridging Histories,

Celebrating Diversity

Academic & Cultural Conference

iGbo landing


St. Simons island, Ga

2025 date coming soon

Linking Heritage, Commemorating Varieties

The Igbo Landing Foundation is committed to historical preservation and ​bridging the historical narratives of the Igbo people and the Gullah Geechee ​culture, while celebrating the diversity of the African diaspora.

Through our annual commemorative weekend in St. Simons Island, we provide ​a platform for educators, students and professionals from various institutions ​and organizations to engage in research, dialogue, and activities that promote a ​deeper appreciation of the shared history and contributions of our people to the ​global cultural tapestry.

”Igbo Landing”, Diana (Dee) Williams

Organizational Plans

Epworth Pier Water ​Tour Excursion

Step aboard and set sail on an ​extraordinary journey through ​history with the Igbo Landing Boat ​Tour at St. Simons Island.

221st Igbo Landing ​Commemoration ​Naming Ceremony

During this sacred ceremony, you'll ​have the opportunity to receive a ​traditional Igbo name, connecting ​you to the ancestral lineage and ​celebrating the resilience of our ​community.

Guided IGBO Landing ​Tour Excursion

The land tours will provide a site ​visits throughout St. Simon’s Island ​to include the Harrington School, ​Fort Frederica, and Igbo Landing ​and more.

Archeology & ​Historical ​Preservation Research

Research is still needed to identify ​any artifacts that may aid to the ​telling of the Igbo Landing story. ​Internships & partnerships with ​educational institutions will be key.

We welcome you to the

Igbo Landing 221st Commemoration,

In May of 1803 a large group of enslaved Igbo Africans ​made history by resisting their enslavement in the most ​dramatic way possible. Inspired by a noble chief among ​them, they rose up and martyred themselves at Dunbar ​Creek on St. Simons Island, chanting ‘The Water brought ​us here, The Water will take us away’ as they walked down ​into the river, where they all drowned.

Ever since, Igbo Landing has been a ‘sacred place’ and the ​story became known all throughout the Gullah Geechee ​world. The central message: You may enslave my body, ​but not my mind, not my soul.

We seek to remember and honor these noble ancestors. ​We also seek to preserve the land itself and memorialize ​the story by official designation of Igbo Landing as a ​National Historic Site (or Monument).

2024 Presenters & ​Performers

Prof. Nkuzi Michael Nnam

Center for Igbo Studies

Dominican University

Rep. Gabe Okoye

Ga. House District 102

Dr. Gillian Richards-Greaves

Anthropologist & ​Ethnomusicologist

Maazi Kanayo Kenenna ​Odeluga, MD.

MPH Member, Advisory Board

Center for Igbo Studies,

Dominican University

Myiti Sengstacke-Rice

President & CEO,Chicago ​Defender Charities

Eunice Moungin Moore

Queen Mother of Butlers Island

Douglas B. Chambers

Igbo History Foundation LLC

Griffin Lotson

Vice-Chair, GGCHC Commission

Tanya Jones


Dr. Eric Crawford

Interim Chair of Music,

Claflin University

LaTanya Abbott-Austin

Robert S. Abbott Race Unity ​Institute

Dr. Ikechukwu Erojikwe

Department of Theatre and Film Studies, ​University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Mr. Okaey Ukachukwu

Ms. Chiazo Winifred Okeke

Lecturer of Igbo Language, ​Nnamdi Azikiwe University

Djuanna Brockington

Executive Director,

GGCHC Commission

Iya Affo

Healing Historical Trauma

Lisa Jackson

Education & Outreach ​Liaison, Savannah African ​Art Museum

Amy Lotson Roberts


Frances Lewis

Harris Neck, GA

Gerald Eze

Oja Performance

Travel information


Jacksonville, FL – ​Brunswick, GA

I-95 North

70 miles

1 hour

Savannah – Brunswick

I-95 South

80 miles

1.5 hours

Atlanta – Brunswick

307 miles

4.5 hours

Our cultural heritage is our identity.

Echoes of Resilience: The ​Igbo Landing Boat Tour

Embark on a 90-minute journey through history with the Igbo Landing Boat Tour in St. ​Simons Island. Join expert guides as they share the captivating story of the Igbo people's ​resilience and cultural heritage. Discover sacred sites and hidden gems along the coast ​while connecting with the vibrant tapestry of the African diaspora. Book your adventure ​today and experience history come alive on the waters of St. Simons Island. Tickets are ​sold separately from the IGBO Landing Commemoration.

The water brought us here,

The water

will take us away

Historical Evidence

Compiled by Douglas B. Chambers, Ph.D.

April 2023

Roswell King to Pierce Butler, 13 May 1803

13th May 1803

Honoured Sir,

I have Recd. yr three letters Dates Chston April 27th May 2 & 3rd & the purport of them shall be strictly ​attended to. I am sorry to inform you that I have had a most tedious passage, But probible found things at ​home as well as if I had had a good passage. I landed the Negroes all safe & in good health except one that was ​sick when I took him on Board with small fevers, he is recruting—the Day after you left Savannah the Schooner ​York didnot arive Messrs. M.M & Co. hired a Schooner & on thursday the wind answered to drop Down & on ​Saturday I took the Negroes on Board from Scidway Island it being the 23rd Ult [April] and with all exertions ​with a pilot on Board could not make more Speed and on Sunday the 8th Inst [May] at half Ebb got a ground off ​Little St Simons near the hallover wind Very heavy E, N, & I landed on the Marsh and walked home & in the ​Morning Early I went to Experiment & about 12 o’Clock the Schooner Came up & anchored about two Cables ​length of the Shore at £5 Landing I made out to git on board but the gale begun so severe that it was not ​prudent to land them untill the Next Day about 2 o’Clock—the day after which was Wednesday the 10th I ​carried them up to Tide Island—& you would have been much gratified to have seen there rejoicing when they ​found they could Drink the water out of the River which is a proof that they have been acquainted with the ​Same Soil—& hopeful they will be healthy—they Landed very Cheerfull & happy—you have no people that can ​talk with them, but they are so smart your Young wenches are Speculating very high for husbands— [...] Albert & ​Jessy Ran-away on the 29th Ult [April] Jessy Caught again 5 days after Near Darien, Albert Cleared himself— [...] ​Sherman the Machine Carpenter, has come on. he put his tools on Board the Schooner York which sailed 15 ​days ago from Savnh & had not arrived Yesterday so that he has done nothing, he examined the Barn and says ​it will answer every purpose, the Mill Stones he approves of, Likewise the Screens & Situation. [...] I got on your ​account two hundred Dolls. [dollars] from Messrs MM & Co but have not Room here to tell you how I spent it.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Butler Family Papers 1447, Series II, Box 2, File 10 (Correspondence May – Sep 1803) 13 May 1803 (ALS) [NB: Roswell King ​was the newly hired plantation manager]. True copy, Douglas B. Chambers (2013)

Mein Mackay & Co. to Pierce Butler, 24 May 1803

Mr King advises his having got safe sound with the Negroes + that they are behaving well. We have had a great ​many Ibos + Angolas – all of which have readily sold about ₤100 round for the prime. Spalding + Couper bo’t a ​Whole Cargo of Ibos + they have suffered much by Miss management of Mr Couper’s Overseer Patterson who ​poor fellow lost his life – The Negroes rose by being Confined in a small vessell Patterson was frightened + in ​swimming ashore he with Two Sailors were drowned. The Negroes took to the Marsh + they have lost at least ​Ten or Twelve in recovering them besides being subject to an expense of Ten Dollars a head for Salvage. our ​friend Putnam in his Zeal for the Service of the United States boarded the Sloop your Negroes were sent [ ? ] by ​+ took from Mr King a Bond – for the Consequences on shewing it however to his Counsellors they satisfyed him ​that he had not only done wrong but that he was not otherwise to touch the Property or any Person else unless ​he took them in the act or had good proof of their being Importers – so that we bona fide Purchasers on the ​Terra firma of the U.S. are at risk as to the extent of the Laws of Congress as well as that of the State of Georgia. ​We have got up the Bond + Transmitted same to Mr King.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Butler Family Papers 1447, Series II, Box 6, Folder 27, 24 May 1803 (ALS), from Savannah [NB: written in the hand of William ​Mein; Mein & Mackay were a merchant firm based in Savannah, Georgia]. True copy, Douglas B. Chambers (2013)

Anna Matilda Page King, Retreat Plantation, 1857

“5 th March 1857

...We have had quite an exciting adventure with a great big old hog which Alic Boyd purchased from Dubignons ​negro. It got out of the pen—& as the corn is now being planted it could not be suffered to have the run of the ​field. Two nights ago he was met in the road—a fine racoon dog belonging to William put on him—he killed the dog ​with one of his enormous tusk[s]—poor William shed tears for his trusty dog. Yesterday Floyd & Cuyler fully ​armed with pistols & double barrel guns—with Jimper to assist were out from 10 oclock in the morning until dark​—they took Rock & all the tarriors. They traced the beast from where he had killed Williams dog—In & out until ​they reached Ebo landing on the Wrights old place—The best tarrier we have received I fear a mortal wound—​Rock got a bad cut on his leg. I think the boys fired 16 times into him before he gave up the ghost. He was very fat ​& the most of the shot took effect in his sides. They were tired & hungry enough when they got home. If he had ​not been killed we would have been constantly fearing he would be in this corn field. Dear Cousin do not laugh at ​me for writing the history of a wild hog.”

Anna Matilda Page King, Anna: The Letters of a St. Simons Island Plantation Mistress, 1817-1859. Edited by Melanie Pavich-Lindsay (Athens: University of ​Georgia Press, 2002), pp.326-327. [Reference: Maj. Samuel Wright farm, ‘Dunbar’, later Abbott farm, modern Glynn Haven subdivision] Emphasis in the original

Lydia Parrish, St. Simons Island [1920s]

“When it comes to terse economy of speech we are obliged to concede that no one can equal the Negro. Mrs. ​Annnie Arnold, born on St. Simon’s in 1844, gave me the perfect example of this fact in recounting a bit of local ​history. A cargo of slaves of the Ebo tribe had been landed at a suspiciously secluded spot on the west side of ​the island. They preferred death to a life of captivity, and as they walked into the water the leader said: ‘The ​water brought us here. The water will take us away’. No one but an African could have expressed such poignant

unhappiness in so few words. In view of the fact known to traders that the Ebo men made poor slaves and were ​prone to suicide, the account is probably true. The Negroes believe the story, and to this day they have to be ​extremely hungry to fish by themselves at Ebo Landing. One night a few years ago some colored boys braved ​tradition, and went ‘possum hunting in the neighborhood. I have my own ideas as to the real cause of their ​terrifying experience, but the fact remains that no others have been tempted to repeat it.”

Lydia Parrish, Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands. Foreword by Art Rosenbaum, Introduction by Olin Downes, Music transcribed by Creighton Churchill ​and Robert MacGimsay (1942; repr. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1992)

Floyd White, New Fields, St. Simons Island [1938]

“Heahd bout duh Ibo’s Landing? Das duh place weah dey bring duh Ibos obuh in a slabe ship an wen dey ​git yuh, dey ain lak it an so dey all staht singin an dey mahch right down in duh ribbuh tuh mahch back ​tuh Africa, but dey ain able tuh get deah. Dey gits drown.”

Georgia Writers’ Project, Work Projects Administration, Drums and Shadows: Survival Studies Among the Georgia Coastal Negroes (1940; repr. ​Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986), p.185

Harrington Community, St. Simons Island [1980s]

“Afro-American residents of the island’s Harrington community, also as one, give a version of

the drowning story which they assert that they once heard from their ancestors.

  • Long ago, during Slaverytimes,
  • a slaveship
  • holding a large number
  • of Eboes (Igbo) [sic]
  • sailed down Dunbar Creek
  • to a point since known as Ebo Landing.
  • Under the leadership of a chief,
  • the Igbo overcame their Captors,
  • then went ashore, and
  • began to sing: ‘The water brought us and the water will take us back home’.
  • Having chosen death by drowning over life in slavery,
  • they turned and together walked into the creek
  • and drowned.

The Harrington accounts have been consistent except for disagreement over whether the

event took place during daylight or under a moon, whether the Igbo were chained when they

entered the water, and whether there were survivors of the event. References to ‘marsh’ and

‘creek’ were made inter-changeably, and one account had it that the Igbo went backwards into

the water.

All of the Harrington sources stated the belief that their accounts described an actual


H. A. Sieber, The Igbo Stroke of 1803: Rebellion and Freedom March at Ebo Landing (published privately, 1988).

Coastal Georgia Historical Society, St. Simons Island, GA. Ebo Landing Vertical File. True copy, Douglas B. Chambers, 2013

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