Images: Armed Struggle in Africa and in the Middle Passage

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The <em>Amistad</em>

Barber, John Warner, A history of the Amistad captives: being a circumstantial account of the capture of the Spanish schooner Amistad, by the Africans on board; their voyage, and capture near Long Island, New York; with biographical sketches of each of the surviving Africans;, New Haven, Ct., E.L. & J.W. Barber, 1840.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture / Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division

ID# 485453

The Amistad

The most famous slave revolt took place at the very end of the Middle Passage. In February 1839, Portuguese slavers transported captives from Sierra Leone to Havana, Cuba. Fifty-three were put aboard the schooner La Amistad for transfer to plantations in another part of the island. On July 1, the captives killed the captain and the cook, and ordered their owners, two planters, to sail back to Africa. On August 24, after the planters steered the ship at night toward the American coast, the Amistad was seized off Long Island, in New York. Following a long trial and a Supreme Court decision in January 1841, the thirty-five surviving Sierra Leoneans returned home.