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History & Academia

Today we remember the U.S Supreme Court ruling that declared Joseph Cinqué, the son of an African king and his fellow Africans free 

Today we remember the U.S Supreme Court ruling that declared Joseph Cinqué, the son of an African king and his fellow Africans free

On June 30 1839, in the most famous slave revolt ship in history, Joseph Cinqué a West African prince of the Mende people led a revolt of many Africans on the Spanish slave ship La Amistad They killed the captain and his officers and took over the ship. 

The ship was taken into custody when it docked in waters near Long Island, New York, two months after in August 1839 and was boarded by members of the United States Revenue Cutter Service who discovered what had happened. 

Cinqué and his fellow Africans were eventually tried for mutiny and murder, in a case known as The United States vrs The Amistad. 

After the case was ruled in favor of the Africans in the district and circuit courts, the case was appealed by the Spanish parties, including its government, to the Supreme Court of the United States . On March 9 1841, the Supreme Court ruled that, Cinqué and his fellow Africans rightfully defended themselves from being enslaved through the illegal Atlantic Slave Trade and were released. 

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