It seems plausible and the steps are a neat feature at Clifton, but as Larry Smith explained in a column back in 2013, it's all a myth.
Read it here...
"Unfortunately for the romanticists, there was no 'Middle Passage' transport of Africans across the Atlantic to Clifton. As the late Paul Adderley explained in a 2000 interview, "these (loyalists) who came here from what is now the United States brought their slaves with them."
"Even more to the point, the stone steps had nothing to do with either slaves or pirates. According to the 1924 Tribune Handbook the "narrow stairway was cut into the cliff by the Williamson Moving Picture Company" to access what was then known as the Jane Gale Cave. Gale acted in the 1916 film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, shot using the newly-perfected Williamson Photosphere, a nine-foot-long underwater tube with a diving bell at one end."
It's not unusual for a movie set to create enduring myths, but sometimes a good story just feels right.
Oh well, I still enjoy Clifton.