KIDS: The Amistad Court Case - part 1

{Connecticut History} Connecticut History
The Amistad Court Case - part 1

{picture of the ship la amistad }

The Amistad Court Case was one of the first major rulings in the United States against slavery. This incident also brought understanding to Americans how slaves were being treated.

Slavery is when someone is forced to do work without having a choice. Slavery has existed for thousands of years and it still goes on today. The Amistad Incident involved the Triangular Trade.

{map of north america} {map of Africa}

The Triangular Trade was when America, Africa, and Europe traded products with each other. People taken from Africa became slaves while African countries received goods.

{notice about sale of africans} In 1839, Jose Ruiz, a wealthy, Spanish, plantation owner, owned the 'La Amistad' schooner. He bought fifty-three Africans in Cuba.  

Ruiz and the crew were mean to the slaves. The slaves did not receive much food and water. The crew beat and threatened to kill these Africans.

Sengbe Pieh, who was a slave, had enough. He led a group that took over the ship. They defeated the crew and killed the Captain, Ramón Ferrer and the Cook, Celestino. Sengbe now controlled La Amistad. He made the remaining sailors and Ruiz agree to take the ship back to Africa.

The crew was not able to bring the ship back to the Africans' homeland because of strong sea winds. The vessel ended up zigzagging up America’s east coast. People on other boats saw its odd movement and told people on land. The U.S government now sent their navy to catch this strange ship.

{sngbe pieh}

{notice about uprising}  

The boat was docked in New London, Connecticut since it needed supplies. There, Sengbe and the Africans were arrested for murder and piracy.

These prisoners did not know the English language and what rights they had. Connecticut people were outraged because a trial would not be fair to the Africans. So they raised money for a legal team to defend the Africans in court.

Go to part 2 of the Amistad Court Case

Content Last Modified on 5/21/2010 8:22:30 AM