On this day in 1841, Amistad Rebellion survivors set sail from New York City, bound for their African homeland

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Contemporary painting of the sailing vessel La Amistad off Culloden Point, Long Island, New York, on 26 August 1839; on the Contemporary painting of the sailing vessel La Amistad off Culloden Point, Long Island, New York, on 26 August 1839; on the left the USS Washington of the US Navy (oil painting)left the USS Washington of the US Navy (oil painting) | Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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On November 27, 1841, 35 survivors of the Amistad Rebellion set sail from New York City, bound for their African homeland.

These individuals, belonging to the Mende tribe, had been forcefully taken aboard the Spanish vessel, La Amistad, where they bravely rebelled against their captors, seeking to steer the ship back to Africa. However, instead of reaching their intended destination, the ship ended up off Long Island, New York.

Warrant for Habeas Corpus; 9/21/1839; United States v. Cinque and the Africans; Case Files, 1790 – 1911; Records of District Courts of the United States, Record Group 21; National Archives at Boston, Waltham, MA.

This led to a legal battle for their liberty as they were tried in the United States. Despite the struggle, they were ultimately acquitted of mutiny after the case reached the Supreme Court. Their voyage back home was funded by abolitionist allies.


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