Round up of our reading on the Amistad
What we know:Listen to this post
They were from Mendeland in Africa Which today is Sierra Leone (See Map Below)
This is an important, because the slave trade had been outlawed across the Atlantic Ocean since 1808 the year at that time was 1839 twenty one years after it became illegal to transport slaves across the Atlantic Ocean.
*Remember it was illegal to import slave into North and South America at the same time it was legal to own slaves in both of these continents.
We know that two plantation owners Jose Montes And Pedro Ruiz bought 53 of these Africans and put them aboard the spanish schooner the Amistad . We also know that the Amistad was too small of a boat to have made the journey from Africa across the Atlantic Ocean.
On board the Amistad a slave that would be called Cinque had heard the cook say that the slaves would be killed and eaten. He was only Joking but that was enough for him he dug a nail out of the wood of the ship and he and slave who had been a blacksmith in Africa ( a man that works in metals making tools) took the nail and got their chain locks open they freed the rest of the slaves. The group then during a storm broke into a box that contained large knives used to cut down sugar cane and went on deck murdered some of the sailors and then took the ship over. They wanted to sail back to Africa and tried to force the two slave owners Montes and Ruiz to sail east. Montes and Ruiz tricked them and kept sailing east during the day but west at night so they just were climbing north up the coast of the United States.
We know that some of the Africans around 10 died on this two month journey from thirst mainly leaving 43 alive of which 4 were children.
We know the 43 Africans were put into Jail. We know that the Africans did not speak English or Spanish one Mende.
We know that some famous abolitionists immediately took an interest in the case most notably Lewis Tappan
a rich businessman who saw it as his life’s’ work to get slavery abolished. He would fund the legal defense to get the slaves freed.
We know that the judges decision would be based on where they were born and we know that the Judge suspected they were from Africa as they looked the part and did not speak spanish which they would have if they had been born in Cuba.( all circumstantial evidence)
We know that the Judge told the defense that if the slaves were born in Africa they would be freed. We also know that finding proof would be hard especially because no one could speak to the Africans.