Amistad Incident - FREEDOM!

FREEDOM! (Illustration) American History American Presidents African American History Civil Rights Film Law and Politics Nineteenth Century Life Trials

The U.S. Supreme Court heard the Amistad case in the Court's "old courtroom."  This image, from the Library of Congress, gives us a view of that special place.  PD


The U.S. Supreme Court's decision (this link takes you to the handwritten original) set the Africans free.

The court determined Sengbe and his compatriots had been kidnaped from their homeland. Their rights had been violated. Justice Story’s opinion, like the argument of John Quincy Adams, was based on the "eternal principles of justice."

One additional holding prevented a complete victory. No American statute required the United States to return the captives to their homeland. Private money would have to be raised to pay for return passage. In the meantime, the newly freed prisoners lived in Farmington, Connecticut.

Sengbe helped to raise the needed transport fees. He wrote a letter on the 5th of October, 1841, which included these words:

...They say we are like dogs without any home. But if you will send us home you will see whether we be dogs or not. We want to see no more snow. We no say this place no good, but we afraid of cold. Cold catch us all the time...We want to go very soon, and go to no place but Sierra Leone.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Feb 24, 2015

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"FREEDOM!" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Feb 21, 2020.
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