MuseumShipwreck of the James Matthews
About the museum
The James Matthews was a Snow Brig type vessel, that sank in rough weather 100 metres offshore from Woodman Point, in July 1841.
Whilst the vessel was lost transporting new settlers to the Swan River Colony, however it was discovered to have previously been a slave vessel, named then the Don Francisco and operating during the illegal slave trade era of the 19th century.
The remains of the wreck lie buried beneath the sands of Cockburn Sound, where the airless environment has led to part of the ship's hull being preserved, whilst exposed timbers decayed away.
As a result of the distinct features of a Slave ship, the wreck has gained significance as one of the best preserved pieces of slave trade history.
Exhibits featured with audio
Journey to Western Australia
Rediscovery, Excavation and Uncovering the Past
The Atlantic Slave Trade
Anatomy of a slave ship and Capture of the Don Francisco
Later Life and Loss
Conservation of the James Matthews and Contemporary Challenges
Representation and Comparison with other WA wrecks
Solutions and Conclusions
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