A history of the amistad case

A small group of activists wanted to totally end slavery. The Spanish cargo owners appealed the salvage award to the officers of The Washington. The Amistad case brought attention once again to the issue of slavery in the United States.

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She says most 19th century white women mainly cared for their families in the home, but women abolitionists played an important public role. January 8, The Amistad civil trial begins in New Haven.

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They were not and had never been slaves, Justice Story said. The Mende people were placed in the custody of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut and the legal battles began. Gedney and others, was made on the high seas, in a perilous condition, and they were first brought into the port of New London, within the District of Connecticut, and libelled for salvage," [The decree then proceeds to adjudge to Lieutenant Gedney and others, as salvage, one-third of the gross proceeds of the vessel and cargo, according to an appraisement which had been made thereof; and, if not paid, directed the property to be sold, and that proportion of the gross proceeds of the sale to be paid over to the captors, the residue, after payment of all costs, to be paid to the respective owners of the same. The conflict of rights between the parties, under such circumstances, becomes positive and inevitable, and must be decided upon the eternal principles of justice and international law. She says newspapers reported on the Amistad case, and people began talking about slavery and the slave trade. January 8, The Amistad civil trial begins in New Haven. But the two remaining slave traders on the ship secretly sailed the Amistad toward the United States. They killed the captain and other crew and ordered the two Spaniards who had purchased them to sail them back to Africa. Howard Jones says the incident was the only time he knows that black people who had been brought to the new world as slaves actually made it back home. July Mutiny led by Cinque; Amistad's captain and cook killed while two crewmen escape; Africans control Amistad. The district court judge ruled that the African slave trade was illegal under international treaties; for that reason, the Africans were wrongly taken. January 15, Judge Hudson presiding in District Court rules the Africans are to be turned over to the President for return to Africa. That on or about the 28th day of June, , Ruiz and Montez, confederating with each other, and with one Ramon Ferrer, now deceased, captain of the schooner Amistad, and others of the crew thereof, caused respondents severally, without law or right, under color of certain false and fraudulent papers by them procured and fraudulently used for that purpose, to be placed by force on board the schooner to be transported with said Ruiz and Montez to some place unknown to the respondents, and there enslaved for life. Gilpin contended that if the Africans were slaves as evidenced by the documents , then they must be returned to their rightful owner, in this case, the Spanish government.

Professor J. Jeffrey says some black abolitionists wanted more respect from white activists. August Africans taken to Westville.

A history of the amistad case

They contended that government officials in Cuba condoned such mistaken classifications. Ruiz and Montes had secured documents signed by Spanish officials falsely affirming that the Mende people, having lived on Spanish territory for years, were legally owned as slaves. Their arrest in New York City in October had outraged pro-slavery rights advocates and the Spanish government. Lewis Tappan and Mr. In September , a grand jury appointed by the U. That on or about the 28th day of June, , Ruiz and Montez, confederating with each other, and with one Ramon Ferrer, now deceased, captain of the schooner Amistad, and others of the crew thereof, caused respondents severally, without law or right, under color of certain false and fraudulent papers by them procured and fraudulently used for that purpose, to be placed by force on board the schooner to be transported with said Ruiz and Montez to some place unknown to the respondents, and there enslaved for life. All these were stated to be slaves, and the property of the claimants, purchased by them at Havana; where slavery is tolerated and allowed by law; and they and the merchandise on board the vessel, the claimants alleged, by the laws and usages of nations, and of the United States of America, and according to the treaties between Spain and the United States, ought to be restored to the claimants without diminution, and entire. Ruiz and Montes agreed and set a course due west.

Gedney, Esq. But the Amistad case and abolitionism made more people want to share their beliefs with others. Meade, officers of the United States surveying brig Washington, on behalf of themselves and the officers and crew of the brig Washington, and of others interested and entitled, filed a libel in the District Court of the United States, for the District of Connecticut, stating that off Culloden Point, near Montauck Point, they took possession of a vessel which proved to be a Spanish schooner called the Amistad, of Havana, in the island of Cuba, of about tons burden; and the said libellants found said schooner was manned by forty-five negroes, some of whom had landed near the said point for water; and there were also on board, two Spanish gentlemen, who represented themselves to be, and, as the libellants verily believe were part owners of the cargo, and of the negroes on board, who were slaves, belonging to said Spanish gentlemen; that the schooner Amistad sailed on the 28th day of June, A.

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But the Amistad case and abolitionism made more people want to share their beliefs with others. Gilpin contended that if the Africans were slaves as evidenced by the documents , then they must be returned to their rightful owner, in this case, the Spanish government. July - August Amistad steered by Montes east by day and northwest by night, toward United States. April - June Cinque and others resold to another slave trader and put aboard the Tecora which sailed to Cuba. The district court ruled that the case fell within Federal jurisdiction and that the claims to the Africans as property were not legitimate because they were illegally held as slaves. Treaty-or-not, Judge Judson ruled that since they were free when they were captured in Africa, the Mende were not Spanish slaves and should be returned to Africa. Resource Type. People wanted to know what President Martin Van Buren was going to do about the case. Ellis Gray Loring, to appear before the Court as one of the Counsel for these unfortunate men.

So they turned to former president John Quincy Adams.

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Supreme Court Rules in Amistad Slave Ship Case