One of the first slave trade ships to be overthrow was the Amistad. The Amistad was a slave trade ship where all the captives are stored in the hull with absolutely no room and usually people’s feet are in your face and yours are in someone else. It started by a group of Portuguese slave traders by capturing 53 the Africans from sierra leone in 1839. These captives were loaded onto the boat and transported to a local plantation. During the journey, the bravest Cinque led a revolt over the Portuguese and killed one of them. He ordered them to take them back to Africa but the captain steered them the wrong way which led them to America where all the Africans were put in jail for murder and being slaves. Therefore the Africans were put on trial and the trail went all the way to the supreme court where the judge found them not guilty.However when they were freed they did not have enough money to go back to Africa and a nearby town in Connecticut took them in and fed, clothed and took care of them until they had raised enough money to send them back.
The events that took place during the Amistad case changed the views and beliefs of many Americans citizens about slavery.Farmington was an influential part of the belief change of many American citizens about slavery. After the Amistad case ended many people and towns changed their minds on slavery due to the extensive help of a small town in Connecticut called Farmington. Many places thought that the captives should be killed or exiled but Farmington took the captives in and fed and clothed them. When the townspeople of Farmington heard that the captives had won the trial they understood that the captives had nowhere to go so they said that they could come to Connecticut until they had enough money to send them back to Africa.”Farmington resident made 53 shirts and coats in just 2 days for the captives”(Bickford 43). Farmington showed all the towns around them that just because people from other counties skin colors are different doesn’t make them slaves or bad people. Also because of this many towns started to think differently about slavery because they got to know these people and they understood that differences can be good.
Another way Farmington helped these captives is by paying for a full trip back to Africa even though the Africans had never done anything for them. Without Farmington these captives might have been homeless.The Amistad captives went through a rigorous and tough journey to obtain their freedom.In February of 1839, Portuguese slave hunters kidnapped 53 Africans from Sierra Leone and shipped them to a slave trade post in Havana, Cuba. This abduction was a violation of everything that the constitutions fights for. On July 1, 1839, the africans took over the ship and killed the cook and the captain.
They then order the planters to sail back to africa. This was a big struggle for the captives, even though they instructed the planters to sail them back to Sierra Leone the planter kept on staring them the wrong way which lead them to go round and round until on August 24, 1839. The Amistad was seized off Long Island, NY, by the U.S. brig Washington.The planters were freed and the Africans were imprisoned in New Haven, CT, on charges of murder.Although the murder charges were dismissed, the Africans continued to be held in confinement as the focus of the case turned to salvage claims and property rights. President Martin Van Buren was in favor of sending the captives to Cuba, However many abolitionists from the north and south came together and defended the Africans.
After all of that claims from the planters, the captain of the brig and the government of Spain came into the Africans. The trail started in a local court but it was ruled to be in federal jurisdiction . Eventually, the case went to trial in the Supreme Court in January 1841, and former President John Quincy Adams argued the defendant’s’ case. Adams defended the right of the accused to fight to regain their freedom. The Africans went through a lot during the trial and this was a tough one. Lots of the captives died throughout it by the end there was about 46 left. All things considered the amistad captives went through and extremely painful and challenging journey.Many influential people helped change the views people had on the amistad case .
The US government had originally put the Africans in a low-security prison in New Haven, Connecticut due to the charges against them and they made plans to take the Africans to court. A judge would decide whether the occupants of the ship were slaves who had rebelled, murderers and slaves, or captives who had been taken from their homes without their consent .The Amistad case brought attention once again to the issue of slavery in the United States. At the time, slavery was legal in most parts of the country and an important part of the country’s economy. But the U.S, and several European countries had banned the international slave trade and only allowed slaves that were already in the country. President Martin Van Buren, who claimed to be neutral about the topic of slavery due to the concern for the southern state votes, supported Spain’s claim.After two district courts ruled in favor of the Captives and all of the abolitionist , President Van Buren immediately asked the Attorney General to appeal the ruling .
Soon after abolitionists hired Adams. In a seven-hour argument that lasted two days, Adam’s case deflated the U.S. attorney’s argument that the treaty with Spain should override U.S.
principles of individual rights. In appeasing a foreign nation, Adams argued that the president committed the “utter injustice of interfering in a suit between parties for their individual rights.” (United States v. Amistad )