John Warner Barber. A History of the Amistad Captives. New Haven, Conn.:
E.L. & J.W. Barber, Hitchcock & Stafford, printers, 1840.
In 1839, Joseph Cinque led a bloody revolt on the slave ship Amistad,
which had embarked from Cuba. Under the control of Cinque and his fellow
Africans, the crew secretly sailed to Long Island, New York, instead of
to Sierra Leone, where they were supposed to return. On arrival in New
York, the Africans were arrested and charged with murder and piracy. The
sensational trial that followed went all the way to the Supreme Court,
where the defendants were represented by the former U. S. President, John
Quincy Adams. In 1841, the Supreme Court ruled that the Africans were
illegally incarcerated and that they must be returned to Africa, which
they were, the following year.
Samuel J. May Antislavery Collection