Amistad Case

In: Historical Events

Submitted By lorenzopelloux
Words 583
Pages 3
Within the Declaration of Independence, it states “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence). We Americans live by the notion that all men are created equal. Now that should not exclude any man, woman, or child no matter what their race is. In 1839, 63 years after the Declaration of Independence, 53 African Americans were boarded on the Spanish ship, the Amistad, illegally. The boat was seized by the U.S. navy and the navy held the Africans as pirates. The “pirates” were imprisoned in New Haven, CT on charges of murder. Since Connecticut, being up north, there was a strong opposition to slavery and had worked to allow all African Americans after age 25 to be free after March 1, 1784. These are regular people who were taken by force out of their homeland, put in manacles, thrown on a boat to be sold s slaves. These people have the same natural rights that Americans are born with. The Amistad case made its way up to the Supreme Court where former president John Quincy Adams made his argument to free the prisoners. He states “. . . I derive, in the distress I feel both for myself and my clients, consolation from two sources- first, that the rights of my clients to their lives and liberties have already been defended by my learned friend and colleague in so able and complete a manner as leaves me scarcely anything to say, and I feel that such full justice has been done to their interests . . . secondly, I derive consolation from the thought that this Court is a Court of JUSTICE. And in saying so very trivial a thing, I should not on any other occasion, perhaps, be warranted in asking the Court to consider what justice is” (Adams 1). John Q. Adams convinced the court to rule in favor of returning the Africans to their…...

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