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1839 in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Events from the year 1839 in the United States.

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  • ✪ A Legal Slave Uprising? | United States v. The Amistad
  • ✪ The Amistad Case | "Give us Free"
  • ✪ The Curious Case of Certain States
  • ✪ Real Conspiracies in US History
  • ✪ The Earliest Photographs of the United States of America: Part 2

Transcription

Mr. Beat presents Supreme Court Briefs Havana, Cuba June 27, 1839 A Spanish ship called The Amistad (ahmichad) leaves for the Province of Puerto Principe , another part of Cuba. On board, 53 illegally purchased African slaves. On July 2nd, one of the slaves broke free and freed others on the ship. Soon there was an uprising. After a big struggle that resulted in the deaths of the captain of the ship and at least three others, the slaves took over the ship, forcing two dudes named Jose Ruiz and Pedro Montez to redirect the ship across the Atlantic Ocean to Africa. Ruiz and Montez deceived the Africans, however, and ended up sailing the Amistad up the east coast of the United States, dropping anchor just off the coast of Long Island, New York, on August 26, 1839. The United States Revenue Cutter Service...wait wait a second...What the heck is this organization? Well just think of them as the Coast Guard before the Coast Guard existed. Anyway, the United States Revenue Cutter Service, led by Americans Thomas Gedney and Richard Meade, arrested the Africans after they reached the shore and took custody of the Amistad. Gedney and Meade made sure the Africans were brought to Connecticut, since slavery was still technically legal in that state. After President Martin Van Buren found out about them, he was like, send them back to Cuba to go on trial. Spain, who controlled Cuba at the time, was like “yeah, bring them here.” After all, the Amistad was a Spanish ship and Ruiz and Montez were Spanish citizens. Britain chimed in since they had a deal with Spain prohibiting the slave trade south of the equator and said that this slave uprising at sea fell under international law. But a bunch of abolitionists were ultimately able to pressure the United States government to keep the Africans in the country, and they got a trial in the District of Connecticut. Keep in mind that at the time, the slave trade was illegal in the United States. The Africans were charged with mutiny and murder. In court, there were a lot of people involved and wanting stuff. First, Ruiz and Montez argued the Africans were slaves and their property. They had a right to regain control of them. And then there was a lawyer representing Spain, who argued the the slaves rightfully be returned to Ruiz and Montez or sent back to Africa. The Africans, who were represented by an abolitionist group called the Amistad Committee, all argued that they were born free in their native Africa and unlawfully kidnapped to be sold as slaves. Plus, they landed in New York, where slavery was illegal. The Amistad Committee also accused Ruiz and Montez of assault, kidnapping, and false imprisonment. And then, Gedney, as well as several others who helped Ruiz and Montez “rescue” the “cargo,” aka Africans, argued they deserved a piece of the pie. They were like, we helped you get your slaves, so can we have a few? Another Spanish dude named Antonio Vega tried to get the captain’s personal slave, claiming he actually owned him. Whew. What a mess of a case. The district court ruled that the Africans aboard the Amistad were unlawfully kidnapped (and you can't do that), and ordered the U.S. government to return them to Africa. Martin Van Buren ordered the U.S. attorney, Henry Gilpin, to appeal the case to the Circuit Court for the Connecticut District, and some of the other dudes appealed for their piece of the pie as well. The United States basically argued it was legally obligated to return the Amistad and everything and everyone on it to Spain. Oh, and here’s another silly argument the United States made. Believe it or not, they argued the Africans violated the American laws that said the slave trade was illegal. You know, like they were voluntarily trying to import themselves into the United States as slaves or something? Anyway, the Circuit Court agreed with the lower court, so then the United States appealed again to the Supreme Court. By this time, the entire country was watching this case with fascination. It really opened a lot of eyes about slavery, and really fired a bunch of abolitionists up. The Court heard arguments on February 23, 1841. Former President and son of another former President, John Quincy Adams, represented the Africans in front of the Supreme Court, passionately arguing for their freedom. The main question the justices had to answer was, were the Africans aboard the Amistad the property of Ruiz and Montez? The Court said “no.” On March 9, 1841, it announced it had sided with the Africans. It was 7-1. The Court said the Africans were never citizens of Spain, and were illegally taken from their homes in Africa, where they were free people. In addition, Africans aboard the Amistad were just trying to go home. Justice Joseph Story, who wrote the opinion for the case, called the whole thing “peculiar and embarrassing.” The Court ordered the Africans be sent to the President to be sent back to Africa as soon as possible. The Amistad Committee helped take care of the Africans until they could raise enough money to return them to Africa. In 1842, the 39 surviving Africans, along with a few missionaries, sailed to Sierra Leone. United States v. The Amistad, aka The Amistad Case, was one of the most important Supreme Court cases involving slavery in American history. It helped the abolitionist movement grow, putting the issue front and center for many Americans for the first time. 24 years after the decision, the United States would abolish slavery with the passing of the 13th Amendment. I'll see you for the next Supreme Court case, jury! My Supreme Court Briefs videos haven't been doing as well as my other videos. So what might change that is if you like this video. And so I'm having this deal where, if I get 500 likes within the first 48 hours of this being posted I will do the Kiki Do You Love Me Dance Challenge. and it will be livestreamed, and you'll see me making a fool out of myself. It'll be great. This is my lovely wife, Shannon. She's holding up a board that was sent to me by Bootstrap Boards and it's pretty nice If you want one, I've put a link below. Thanks for watching! Come here! Say hi! Hi (Mr. Beat awkwardly laughs)

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This page was last edited on 9 July 2019, at 12:24
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