La Amistad Essay

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La Amistad
In 1839, Africans being carried from Havana, Cuba, to Puerto Principe, Cuba, revolted against their captors aboard the ship La Amistad (Spanish for 'friendship'). They were stolen from Africa, transported to the Americas, and were “passed off” as having been born in Cuba. After the revolt, the Africans demanded to be returned home, but the ship’s navigator lied to them about their course, and sailed them north along the North American coast to Long Island, New York. The schooner was subsequently taken into custody by the United States Navy. The Africans, who were deemed salvage from the vessel, were taken to Connecticut to be sold as slaves. A widely publicized court case ensued about the ship and the legal status of the
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Her normal route ran from Havana, Cuba to her homeport, Guanaja, Honduras. The captives that La Amistad carried during the incident had been illegally transported to Cuba aboard the slave ship Tecora. After being stored at the wharf behind the US Custom House in New London, Connecticut, for a year and a half, La Amistad was auctioned off by the U.S. Marshal in October 1840. Captain George Hawford, of Newport, Rhode Island, (history.com) purchased the vessel. He renamed her Ion. In late 1841, he sailed the ship to Caribbean with the typical New England cargo of onions, apples, live poultry, and cheese. After sailing Ion for a few years, Hawford sold the ship in Guadeloupe in 1844. There is no record of what became of the Ion under her new French owners.
The Mutiny at Sea
In 1839, the slave trade is illegal in many parts of the world, but some slave traders pay no attention to the laws. It was in a place called Mendeland (modern day Sierra Leone) that a group of Mende Africans were kidnapped and taken to the port of Lomboko. There a Portuguese slave trader purchased about 500 of the Africans and illegally transported them to Havana, Cuba on the slave ship Tecora (history.com). Almost a third of the slaves died during the long trip, most from malnutrition and beatings. In late June they arrived in Cuba, the slaves were quickly separated and then sold. Two Spaniards, named Jose

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