Amistad The Portuguese abducted a group of Africans, and shipped them to Havana, Cuba. The Africans were then purchased by two Spanish men and put aboard the schooner Amistad for a voyage to Principe. The Africans seized the ship, killed two of the crew, and ordered the schooner to be navigated for the coast of Africa. The remaining crew altered their course and steered for the American shore. In August of 1839, the Amistad was seized off Long Island, NY, by the U.S.
brig Washington. The Spaniards were freed and the Africans were imprisoned in New Haven and Hartford Connecticut. The Spanish men claimed the Africans as their property and others claimed that they saved the schooner Amistad and cargo and that the Africans should be counted as property when determining a salvage amount given to them (under the law of salvage, those who saved a sea vessel were entitled to a portion of the value of what they saved). The case went to trial in September where the Federal District Court ruled the Africans were illegally held, and therefore were not liable for their acts nor were they property. The Circuit Court upheld the District Court Decision. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, where former President John Quincy Adams argued the defendants’ case.
The Supreme Court upheld the nearly all of the previous Circuit Court’s opinion stating the Africans were free men and women, illegally taken from Africa, were never citizens of Spain and were not guilty of murder for the deaths of the crewmen during the Amistad takeover. In All That was said Above you can see that The Court as well as the Spanish men as well as the people in Cuba all had different aspects on slavery in this movie. History Essays.