The name Amistad refers to a slave ship sailing from Cuba to the United States in 1839. It is transporting a cargo of Africans who were sold into slavery in Cuba, transported on board, and chained in the ship's cargo hold. Cinque, a tribal chief in Africa, seeks to board the ship as it travels from Cuba to the United States...
Amistad takes place in 1839, when a slave ship carrying Africans from present-day Congo sinks in the Atlantic Ocean. After floating for several days with only themselves and the animals aboard the ship, the survivors build a raft and commandeer a passing Spanish vessel to escape their captors and be returned home.
Amistad tells the story of this incident from both sides: that of the slaves and that of their captors. The narrative is told in third person, with each chapter corresponding to one of the passengers on the ship.
Amistad was written by American author Edith Wharton. She was born in New York City on July 2, 1862. Her father was an American physician who had been trained in France and her mother was French. When she was young, her family moved to New York City, where she grew up reading novels by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and George Eliot. In 1884, at the age of twenty, she married the lawyer Louis Marshall, but the marriage only lasted two years. During this time, she began writing stories that would later be published.
We discussed the Amistad case last time. The Amistad was a Cuban slave ship. It first occurred off the eastern coast of the United States in 1839. The Africans on board had murdered white crew members, including the captain. They were tried and found guilty in a New York court. The judge recommended that they be sent back to Africa to be hung.
The story made national news and caused a public outcry. It also inspired several other groups to form who wanted to liberate their own countries' slaves. One such group was the Sierra Leone Free Society which planned to send an armed vessel to Africa to free its slaves. Another group called the American Anti-Slavery Society (AAS) formed right after the Amistad trial in order to raise money for more legal actions like it. They succeeded in getting another court case started against the Spanish government. This time for violating international law by trading in slaves.
In conclusion, the Amistad case is important because it was one of the first times that there was media coverage of slavery. There had been previous incidents involving slaves but none that got as much attention at that time. It also inspired many people to fight against slavery which led to the formation of many organizations who fought against it throughout America and Europe.
A U.S. brig came upon the schooner Amistad off the shore of Long Island, New York, in August 1839. A group of Africans who had been caught and sold illegally as slaves in Cuba boarded the Spanish ship. They had been captured while working on a plantation near San Juan de Puerto Rico. The judge who heard their case believed they should be freed because they were not guilty by reason of insanity. He ordered that they be returned to Africa. But the Spanish government would only agree to send them to Cuba. There they could be held in prison until it was time for them to be transported back to Africa.
In March 1840, the trial began in Hartford, Connecticut, for those who had taken part in the mutiny. It lasted five weeks and involved some 60 witnesses. The most important witness was probably Joseph Cinqué, who had been one of the leaders of the revolt. After his testimony, he was given $10,000 in cash plus annual wages of $1,000 for life. In addition, the prisoners received land and houses in America. Many of them already had families here. The men were assigned to work on plantations in Louisiana and Florida. The women and children were allowed to stay in America.
The following year, the Supreme Court ruled against the slave trade in all countries. From then on, there was no longer any legal market for slaves in the United States.
The Amistad (pronounced [la a.mis'tad]; Spanish for "Friendship") was a two-masted schooner owned by a Spaniard settling Cuba in the nineteenth century. The revenue cutter Washington of the United States captured the Amistad off the coast of Long Island, New York. Pieh and his companions escaped the ship but were apprehended by residents off the coast. They were taken to Connecticut where they were tried for piracy.
In court, the prisoners argued that as slaves they had no choice but to take part in the raid. They also claimed that once they reached Africa, their owners would give them their freedom. The judge rejected these arguments and all four men were sentenced to death. The sentence was carried out on March 23, 1839.
Amistead came from a wealthy Cuban family and was married with children. After hearing the news of his conviction, he fled to New York City where he hired an attorney. His lawyer managed to have the death sentence commuted to life imprisonment because of his good reputation and lack of previous offenses. Amistead was sent back to Cuba where he spent the rest of his life in prison. There is no evidence that any effort was made by Spain or its allies to free him.
The Americans felt guilty about having captured the ship without trying to contact Spain first and offered to release it if Cuba would agree to return the captives to America.
The Amistad narrative began in February 1839, when Portuguese slave hunters captured hundreds of Africans from Mendeland, Sierra Leone, and carried them to Cuba, then a Spanish province. When the captives arrived in Havana, they were taken to a prison where they were held for two years while their cases were heard by Cuban courts. If they were found to be slaves, they were freed; if not, they were sold into slavery.
A group of former slaves led by Nana from Liberia formed to seek revenge for the deaths of their friends and family members at the hands of the Portuguese. The survivors of the voyage on the schooner La Amistad bought out the remaining months of their sentences so they could go free. They left Havana on June 23, 1839, with plans to reach New York City and present themselves to the United States government for protection.
However, the men were arrested upon reaching Louisiana and charged with murder. The case was tried before an all-white jury in New Orleans that convicted them despite strong evidence of racial discrimination used by police to arrest and convict black people during this time period. The judge sentenced the men to death by hanging.
Nana was given a new trial because no black person had ever been granted one before. This time the jury voted not guilty and released him back to Liberia.