Barbie asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 9 years ago

United states v amistad what really happened?

I don't understand it...

1 Answer

  • Arbie
    Lv 6
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Certain slaves were imported into the Spanish West Indies, where slavery had been illegal since 1820, as part of a scheme to relocate them to America. During an effort to move some of these slaves from the West Indies to the United States, the slaves coalesced around a leader, Joseph Cinque, captured the ship, and killed most of the crew. Cinque, however, knew nothing of ships or navigation, so he spared the ship's navigator and ordered him to sail everyone back to Africa. The navigator realized that the slaves had no knowledge of northern constellations, so during the day, he sailed the ship eastward, but at night, he sailed the ship northwest. Eventually the ship was accosted by an American cutter in Long Island Sound, and the Africans were jailed in Connecticut for murder.

    At the resultant trial and libel action for the ship (which eventually reached the Supreme Court), John Quincy Adams successfully argued excusable homicide, since the slaves had become free men by the side trip to the West Indies. That made the slavers who tried to remove them to America kidnappers, who could be rightfully killed since they were perpetrating a felony. In the end, the Supreme Court agreed with Adams, and Cinque & Co. were released and repatriated to Africa.

    The trial took place in New Haven, Connecticut, at a time when (believe it or not) slavery still was legal in Connecticut. As a result of this incident, in 1844, Connecticut joined the group of states in which slavery was outlawed (a step toward the Civil War). Today, a monument to Cinque and his little band stands before New Haven's town hall, across the street from the Green, as a reminder to all that it's still legal to kill for your freedom.

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