The Amistad Mutineers Trial
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 ...to the bridge and ordered them to steer... toward Africa.
Pictorial History of African Americans, NY 1995, p.ll0
Africans used the sun to steer by during the day. At night they had
to depend upon the Spaniards to navigate.
Slave Mutiny by William A. Owens, NY 1953, pp.80-1
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. "
Practical History of African Americans, NY 1995, pp. 110-Il
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