KIDS: The Amistad Court Case - part 2

{Connecticut History} Connecticut History
The Amistad Court Case - part 2

The trial began.

The defense team was made up of Connecticut natives, Roger Sherman Baldwin and Theodore Sedgwick.

They both attended Yale College. They both supported the Abolitionist Movement that wanted to end slavery.
Baldwin would later become a Connecticut State Senator and Governor. Sedgwick became Speaker of the House in Washington D.C.

{Am I not a man and a brother. image of man} The Africans were being taught English by teachers.

The defense team found them a translator so the Africans could tell their story. Sengbe told the court room about Ruiz's cruel treatment.

Baldwin and Sedgwick proved the Africans were not slaves. They found that the slave contracts on La Amistad were false.

The Hartford Court ruled in favor of the Africans. They were not slaves. They could defend themselves against Ruiz.
{images of three people in chains}


{supreme court building} President Martin Van Buren appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court. He believed that since the vessel and slaves were owned by Spanish citizens, Spain should deal with them.

The Amistad Defense Team needed to find someone who was well-known like Van Buren to help defend the Africans before the Court. They found John Quincy Adams, who was a former president and lawyer.

The court heard the arguments of Van Buren and the Amistad Defense Team. It ruled the Africans were free from Spain as they were not slaves.

The court also said that the government must send the Africans back to their homeland.

{map of africa}

President Van Buren refused to pay for a ship, but the Africans got the money. They went around the country telling people about the horrible slave trade.

People gave them money. They started to become active in the abolitionist movement.

{image of sunset over ocean} Eventually, the Africans were able to go back home.

In the 1860's slavery was ended here by Congress, because events like the Amistad Incident showed Americans how cruel slavery was.

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Content Last Modified on 8/23/2007 9:33:16 AM