La Amistad (Spanish: Friendship) was a 19th-century two-masted schooner built in
Spain and owned by a Spaniard living in Cuba.
While it was transporting Mende captives originally kidnapped in Sierra Leone from
Havana, Cuba, in July 1839, the Africans took control of the ship.
La Amistad was captured off the coast of Long Island by the Revenue Cutter USS
Washington. The Mende and La Amistad were interned while court proceedings were
undertaken for their disposition.
The case, United States v. The Amistad (1841) was finally decided by the Supreme
Court of the United States in favor of the Mende, restoring their freedom. It became
a symbol in the movement to abolish slavery.
• Write a brief reflection about what you’ve seen. How do you feel?
What value, if any, can be gained from viewing these images? What
questions do you have?