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In 1839, in waters off the coast of Cuba, a group of forty-nine Africans ensnared in the Atlantic slave trade struck out for freedom. They had been captured, sold into slavery, carried across the ocean, sold again, and they were being transported on what was, for millions of Africans, the last leg of the slave trade when they found the chance to seize the initiative. One of them, a man the world would come to know as "Cinque," worked free of his chains and led a shipboard revolt . The vessel they won was a schooner that had been named, in a grim bit of irony, the Amistad ("Friendship"). The Africans tried to force two Cuban survivors to sail them back to Africa, but the Amistad wound up instead in U.S. waters, just past Long Island Sound, where the Africans were again taken into custody. Spain promptly demanded their extradition to face trial in Cuba for piracy and murder, but their plight caught the attention of American abolitionists, who mounted a legal defense on the Africans' behalf. The case went through the American judicial system all the way up to the Supreme Court. The Amistad Case became one of the most important slavery cases that the nation had ever seen. A case that would not only bring different anti-slavery groups together, but a case that would prove to be a corner stone in the fight against slavery. It would prove to be a case that would have many influential people step in or try to, including the president of the U.S., martin Van Buren, and a former president, John Quincy Adams. Both cases were strong and provable, but it would be the Supreme Court that would have the final decision to free the slaves.
The Amistad Case was one of the only times when three main groups of abolitionists came together to form one group in the fight against slavery. "Moral Suasion,” was one of the main groups that used graphic illu...
53 Africans were abducted from west African tribes including Mende (Sierra Leone), by Portuguese slave hunters and shipped to Havana, Cuba. The abducted Africans were given Cuban names in order to hide the fact that they were abducted from their homelands. Later sold to Jose Ruiz and Pedro Montes who were planters from Spain. After the Africans arrived in Havana, Cuba, they were loaded onto the Amistad ship (Spanish word for friendship) and destined for placement in the Caribbean. During transit, the Africans rebelled, killed two crew members including the chef and captain. After seizing control of this ship and disarming Jose Ruiz and Pedro Montes, the Africans attempted to sail back to Africa. Due to the lack of sea navigation of the Africans, they commanded the navigation of Ruiz and Montes. Ruiz and Montes routed the ship towards New York instead.The ship was then captured by the U.S. Navy and taken to New London, Connecticut. The Africans seen as slaves and murderers were imprisoned in Connecticut. They were tried for murder, but the charges were dismissed. Former President John Quincy; defense attorney argued the legitimacy of the thirty-five remaining Africans and their right to defend themselves as well as the right to their freedom.
Case Grounds…...

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