Amistad departs London

September 18, 2007
Story by Robert Edmonds, London, England

Today the American Schooner Amistad leaves Canary Wharf, London on the next leg of her historic journey which started in New Haven Connecticut on 21 June. Amistad flying the "stars and stripes" is a true replica of the slaver La Amistad upon which in 1839 fifty-three of the slaves onboard mutinied against the Spanish crew, killed the captain and tried to sail back to Africa. They arrived instead at Long Island where a U. S. warship captured them and they were incarcerated and tried for murder. A keystone case emerged which resulted eventually after many years in the U. S. government accepting a U. S. court ruling that as kidnapped persons the slaves had the right to escape by any means available and in January 1842 thirty-five survivors arrived back in Sierra Leone and the attitude of the U. S. in these matters was dramatically reviewed.

The voyage of the present Amistad coincided with the celebrations in the UK of the 200th anniversary of the UK abolition of slavery . The next stages of her journey will encompass the slaver triangle of Spain, West Africa down to Freetown across to the Caribbean and back to east coast U. S.

Amistad America, the non profit organization in charge of the Alt antic Freedom Tour regards the enterprise as an exciting event commemorating a piece of history which deserves to be retold and recognized for its importance. The crew of Amistad is joined onboard by U. S. and UK students who communicate with schools and museums around the world about the activities, the Amistad episode etc. by email and webcasts.

© 2007 Robert Edmonds all rights reserved


Sept. 18, 2007, Amistad in London.

(Photo courtesy of Phil Edmonds)
© 2007 Phil Edmonds all rights reserved