The Amistad 1839 – Origins of Rebellion
The Amistad Mutiny occurred on the slave ship Amistad on the coast of Cuba on July 2, 1839, and had significant political and legal ramifications for the American abolition movement. The mutineers were apprehended and convicted in the United States, and the country’s antislavery forces won an unexpected win in 1841 when the United States Supreme Court liberated the rebels. The American Missionary Association grew out of a group created to safeguard slaves (incorporated 1846).
The Spanish schooner Amistad was travelling from Havana to Puerto Prncipe, Cuba, on July 2, 1839, when the ship’s reluctant passengers, 53 African slaves newly kidnapped, revolted. They killed the captain and the cook but spared the life of a Spanish navigator so that he could sail them back to Sierra Leone, headed by Joseph Cinqué. Instead, the navigator was able to steer the Amistad northward. The ship was taken by the US Navy off the coast of Long Island, New York, and hauled to New London, Connecticut, two months later. The mutineers were imprisoned in a jail at New Haven, Connecticut, which allowed slavery.