The Amistad Mutineers Trial


     "[I]n the spring of 1839 a *young African, whose name was Cinque, was seized * to be sold into slavery... At Havana, Cinque and some fifty blacks * were purchased by two Spaniards who chartered the Amistad.... At night, the Africans, seizing weapons from the sleeping sailors, killed [the] Captain and the cook. With Cinque now in command, they tied the two owners the bridge and ordered them to steer... toward Africa. "

     -A Pictorial History of African Americans, NY 1995, p.ll0

     The Africans used the sun to steer by during the day. At night they had to depend upon the Spaniards to navigate.
"Days sailing east, nights sailing north by west - the Amistad left a zigzag wake in the waters of the Atlantic. By day Cinque steadfastly held her pointing to the east. By night, Montes, still hoping to... fall in with some man-o-war or to make some port, set the course as near a westerly direction as he dared.... On a blistering August day the Amistad came in sight of Long Island. "

     - Slave Mutiny by William A. Owens, NY 1953, pp.80-1

     "The Amistad was convoyed to New London, and the Africans... were charged before the United States Circuit Court... with murder of the Amistad's captain.... Abolitionists flocked to their defense.... A brilliant battery of lawyers was in charge of the Africans' defense. "

     -A Practical History of African Americans, NY 1995, pp. 110-Il

     "Enemies of President Van Buren... took issue with him openly.... Papers published statements that Van Buren had written [Judge] Judson personally while he had the Amistad case under consideration, urging Judson to return the Africans to the Spaniards. 'Such flagrant interference of the Executive with the Judiciary strikes at the roots of our system of government', the papers editorialized. "

     - Slave Mutiny by William A. Owens, NY 1953, p.242

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