"The Pearl" is the name of a sixty-five foot Chesapeake Bay Schooner that played an important role in the transportation of enslaved people to safe harbors from Washington, D.C.
In 1848, the schooner was chartered by free African Americans for $100 to help 77 people escape the shackles of slavery. This heroic journey has been documented and is one of the more harrowing stories of the underground path to freedom right here in Washington, D.C. The free and enslaved passengers were ultimately captured in the Chesapeake Bay and returned.
The goal of the Pearl Coalition is to restore and rebuild a replica of the The Pearl Schooner to its original likeness. Once completed, The Pearl will be a fully operational sailing vessel and educational destination along the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers.