First in a limited series, The Amistad Trilogy.
In 1839, 53 captive Africans rebelled aboard the Spanish schooner La Amistad. They took over the ship, but were captured by the US Navy in Long Island Sound and taken into custody. They then allied with local abolitionists in Connecticut to fight for their freedom through the US court system, and ultimately won. Over 150 years later, the Connecticut legislature established the CT Freedom Trail. Its mission is documenting and designating sites that embody the struggle toward freedom and human dignity, and celebrating the accomplishments of the state’s Black and African American communities. The story of the Amistad is one of the most famous stories along the CT Freedom Trail.
Join us for the Connecticut Freedom Trail’s upcoming Amistad Trilogy. This series of programs will dive into the legacy of the Amistad saga in Connecticut and beyond. Explore some of the lesser known or untold sides of the story, and discover the countless ways the Amistad is remembered today!
Episode 1: The Amistad Affair
In 1839, Connecticut’s Old State House was the site of the first of the famous Amistad trials. The trials grabbed international headlines, but after the US Supreme Court resolved the case in 1841, the story faded from collective memory. In 1997, Steven Spielberg reintroduced the dramatic Amistad incident to the world, sparking new interest among historians, educators, and the public. Since then, new research has shed light on the story and corrected some of the omissions and errors in the public’s knowledge.
Tammy Denease, Connecticut Freedom Trail Outreach Director, has studied the life journey of Margu, one of four children held captive on the Amistad. Tammy will share her remarkable story through a first-person recorded portrayal of Margu. Charles Warner, Jr., Chair of the CT Freedom Trail, will then lead a discussion with Tammy and Adrienne Joy Burns, who has studied the history of enslavement in New Haven with a focus on the Pardee-Morris House.