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THE AMISTAD (SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) AMISTAD CASE. Group of three U.S. Government documents dealing with the Amistad case. [Some portions in Spanish and English]. Message of the President. February 12, 1841. 29 pp * Schooner Amistad. Message of the President. January 27, 1844. 21 pp. * Schooner Amistad. [To accompany bill H.R. No 328] April 10, 1844. 14 pp. Uniform 8vo's, disbound, with some light wear and foxing. Washington, D.C.: 1841-1844
Three official government documents dealing with the case of the "Amistad Captives," as they were called. In 1839, after having survived the horrific "Middle Passage," 52 Mendi tribesmen rose up and seized control of the small schooner "Amistad" on which they were being transported by their new Cuban owners. Led by Cinque, they forced the Cubans to turn the boat around to return to Africa. But at night the Cubans turned the boat back toward the U.S. coast, where it was eventually spotted off Long Island by a U.S. Coastal Survey boat. Thus began a long three-way "tussle" among the Abolitionists, the United States government and the Spanish government. While President Martin van Buren did his utmost to appease the Spanish government, and thus his Southern supporters, President John Quincy Adams came out of retirement to successfully defend the captives in 1841. After considerable fundraising, they were eventually returned to Africa in 1842. Two of the present documents deal with the Spanish government's claims against the U.S. for seizure of the "Amistad" and outline a history of the whole affair.
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