Friday, March 11, 2005

Adams Defends the Mutineers

Adams Defends the Mutineers. John Quincy Adams was 74 years old when he appeared before the Supreme Court on behalf of the Amistad Africans. This short biography tells of the role he played in that battle.

From the site:

After fifty-three African captives aboard the Spanish schooner Amistad mutinied off the coast of Cuba in 1839, killing the captain and cook, they tried to sail the vessel back to Africa. Captured off Long Island, their return was demanded by the Spanish government. Former president John Quincy Adams argued their case before the Supreme Court in 1841, and largely through his efforts, the captives were freed and permitted to return to Africa. Adams's legal brief, "extraordinary for its power" in the words of Justice Joseph Story, was widely circulated in print and became a milestone in the abolitionist cause.

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