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THE AMISTAD SLAVE REVOLT AND AMERICAN ABOLITION by Karen Zeinert

THE AMISTAD SLAVE REVOLT AND AMERICAN ABOLITION

By Karen Zeinert

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: May 15th, 1997
ISBN: 0-208-02438-7

 Zeinert takes on the improbable story of how 53 Africans from Sierra Leone were captured, sold into slavery, and while en route to Cuba on the Spanish ship Amistad, revolted and ended up in Connecticut. The Africans spoke no English; slavery was widespread in the US; still, the abolitionists took up the cause and carried the case all the way to the Supreme Court. The Africans were eventually freed and returned home. Zeinert (The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, 1993, etc.) offers an exciting account of the injustice done to these men, women, and children, beginning with the capture of Cinque, 25, in 1839, because ``he had been unable to pay off a debt on time.'' The author dwells not only on Cinque's bravery, but on the many incidents on board the Amistad that made a mutiny possible, the events that brought them to Connecticut, John Quincy Adams's extraordinary legal arguments, and on the Supreme Court's ruling that ``all human beings have a right to fight for their freedom.'' Readers will come away with an understanding of just how important a victory the Amistad affair was for American abolitionists. This book also provides a window on a rare group of ``slaves,'' those who actually saw their homeland again. (index, not seen, maps, b&w illustrations and photos, chronology, notes, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 12+)