February is “Black History Month,” a remembrance of important people and events in African-American history. One such event is the Amistad incident.
In June 1839, the Amistad set sail from Havana with 53 Africans who had been abducted from West Africa and sold into slavery aboard. Three days into the voyage, the Africans, led by 25-year old “Cinque,” revolted, killing the captain and ordering the ship back to Africa. After several months at sea, the ship was seized, and the Africans were sent to a New Haven jail and charged with piracy and murder.
For more, see:
- Famous American Trials: The Amistad Trials 1839-1840
- Drawings of the Amistad Prisoners (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University)
- Trial of the Prisoners of the Amistad Before the US Circuit Court for the District of CT at Hartford
- The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (Amistad Case)
- Steven Spielberg film Amistad starring Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, and Anthony Hopkins (Library DVD)
- Connecticut State Library Research Guide to the “Amistad Affair”