Dr. Clarence Maxwell


An assistant professor of Caribbean and Latin American History at Millersville University in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA.


His research interests focus on the history of the Atlantic World, Transatlantic Slavery, and the history of the African Diaspora. He formerly served as Registrar and Director of Historical Research at the Bermuda Maritime Museum (now National Museum of Bermuda) (1999—2005).


He was editor of the Bermuda Maritime Museum’s Bermuda Journal of Archaeology and Maritime History (2001-5).


Dr. Maxwell holds a doctorate degree in Caribbean Studies from the University of Warwick (UK).


For the 2012 ADHT Conference, Dr. Maxwell speaks on the topic, “The Manilla Wreck”. During the winter of 1975 a debris pile was discovered in a shallow underwater section of the reef six miles northeast of Bermuda. The pile was found to contain a number of items connected with the Transatlantic Slave Trade such as manillas and glass beads. It became known as the ‘Manilla Wreck’ site. Subsequent research carried out by the Bermuda Maritime Museum determined that the wreck site reflected a larger Anglo-French smuggling system in which sugar products were transported to English colonies in contravention of 18th Century mercantilist regulations. The museum applied an interdisciplinary approach to determining the character of this system, specifically archaeology and historical research. What is left is to examine the African questions related to this wreck site and other slave-shipwrecks around the reef system of Bermuda: origins of captives; locations of departure; history connected with departure from the African port. A research institute must now focus on these African questions.