SLAVE MUTINY: The Revolt on the Schooner Amistad by William Owens

SLAVE MUTINY: The Revolt on the Schooner Amistad

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This dramatic retelling of an historical event has many qualities... essentially, it is the story of one man's fight for freedom, and so it begins when in 1839 Cinque, son of a Mendi chief, was captured and sent via the slave factory to Havana. The terrible conditions on shipboard, the fear of what slavery would bring, the longing for Africa drove Cinque to agitate his people to revolt aboard the Amistad en route from the fattening quarters of Havana. When the Africans were finally brought to New England by ever-treacherous whites, their story took a new turn, and the book a new dimension. For in America, the Abolitionists took their cause to the Supreme Court, where John Quincy Adams, fighting the executive powers of the United States and of Spain with backing from England pleaded eloquently and tellingly for their freedom. The Spanish claim that the slaves were their property, the American claim that the goods aboard ship were a salvage prize fell by the way. In company of missionaries the Africans returned home, Cinque to his land where the village of Mani no longer stood, where family had been taken from him through their slavery, where the ways of the whites were profitable and he lived to old age. The techniques of slave trading and the view of ferment in the U. S. deepen this account...Cinque's words, ""Give us free"", were spoken for men of all times. A unique annal in New England history coupled with wider appeal.

Pub Date: April 20th, 1953
Publisher: John Day