Remembering the Amistad new haven, Connecticut

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Remembering the Amistad

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut In 1839, slaves aboard the ship Amistad rebelled against the crew. It was a courageous attempt to regain their freedom. One hundred and sixty-eight years later, another ship called Amistad set sail for the Atlantic. This ship is tracing a route that many 19th-century slave ships followed.

In June, the Freedom Schooner Amistad left its home port in New Haven, Connecticut, for a 16-month, 14,000-mile voyage. The ship, a near-replica of the one on which the slaves revolted in 1839, is bound for Nova Scotia, Britain, and Africa. As the schooner sailed off, hundreds of onlookers cheered, shouting "Amistad!" and "Freedom!"

It was a fitting sendoff. The crew and guests of the Freedom Schooner Amistad said they hoped to inspire the world with the story of the original Amistad. It is a story of courage, perseverance, and freedom.

The Amistad rebellion took place in 1839. The ship was carrying more than 50 African captives, all bound for Cuba, where they would be sold into slavery. On July 2, the captives rebelled and took over the ship, killing the ship's cook and captain. The struggle also led to the death of two of the Africans. The captives spared the lives of some crew members who promised that the ship would return to Africa. The crew members did not keep their vow, however. The ship's navigator took the Amistad to the U.S., stopping the ship at Long Island, New York. There, the captives were captured and then sent to a jail in New Haven.

With help from area abolitionists, the surviving Africans took their case to court. The legal battle started in Connecticut and ended in the U.S. Supreme Court. Former president John Quincy Adams represented the captives. The court decided in favor of the captives, who eventually returned to Africa.

The Freedom Schooner Amistad, the modern version of the famous Amistad, set sail this summer with seven college students from Britain and the U.S. on board. During their voyage, the students will learn the legacy of the slave trade. They plan to share their experiences through live Webcasts and e-mail correspondence with schools and museums around the world.

"It's hugely exciting," said Logan Senack, a 20-year-old student at the University of Connecticut. "We're ready, and we're all very excited."

The voyage will help the students learn about the slave trade by following the triangular trade route. In the 19th century, slave ships took a route that involved three key points of trade. It therefore became known as "triangular trade." The ships started at their point of origin (either Europe or the U.S.) and traveled to Africa to pick up enslaved Africans. The ships then took the slaves to the Americas and sold them there. The money from the sale of the slaves was used to ship raw materials, such as sugar and cotton, from the Americas. The raw materials were sent to places where they could be manufactured, such as England and the northern U.S.

The Freedom Schooner Amistad will follow a slightly different route in order to provide a complete picture of the slave trade. It will go from Connecticut to Nova Scotia, Canada and then to London. There it will honor the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain. The vessel will head to Liverpool for the opening of the International Slavery Museum.

Then it will travel to Portugal and Sierra Leone, the original West African homeland of many of the Amistad captives. Along the way, it will stop at nearly 20 Atlantic ports that played important roles in the slave trade. The Freedom Schooner Amistad will return to the United States next year to honor the 200th anniversary of legislation to ban the importation of slaves.

The voyage will serve as a reminder of the injustice of the slave trade. It will also honor those who fought against it and overcame it.

"We're taking the message of Amistad, of the story of resistance and human rights and the unquenchable human spirit, to the world," declared modern Amistad captain William Pinkney.


abolitionist (noun) a person who supported outlawing slavery

legacy (noun) something handed down to a new generation

perseverance (noun) determination to do something

replica (noun) an exact copy

Multiple Choice: Circle the letter of the choice the best completes the statement. (2 points each)

1. Based on information in the article, how is the Freedom Schooner Amistad like the original Amistad?

  1. It was also made from materials from the 19th century.

  2. It will carry the same message of freedom that the original ship carried.

  3. It looks like the original ship and it will sail into some of the same ports.

  4. It will have a mutiny staged by the actors aboard the ship.

2. The best alternate headline for this article would be ___________.

  1. Amistad Rebuilt as Freedom Schooner Amistad

  2. Amistad Students Send Messages to People Worldwide

  3. Amistad Sets Sail on Slave Trade Route

  4. Amistad Sails to Sierra Leone, Africa

3. Based on information in the article, the reader can infer that __________.

  1. The African captives of 1839 were happy to be freed and returned to their homes.

  2. Crew members of the Amistad tried to keep the navigator from sailing to Long Island.

  3. Crew members of the Amistad felt sorry for the African captives aboard.

  4. The African captives of 1839 had set sail on the Amistad many times before.

4. Which of these happened first?

  1. Freedom Schooner Amistad left its port while hundreds of onlookers cheered, shouting "Amistad!" and "Freedom!"

  2. The Amistad crew members took the African captives to Long Island, New York.

  3. Freedom Schooner Amistad will head to Liverpool for the opening of the International Slavery Museum.

  4. The Amistad set sail for Cuba with more than 50 African captives to be sold into slavery.

5. Which is the closest synonym for the word perseverance?

  1. Commotion

  2. Merit

  3. Investigation

  4. Insistence

6. Which sentence fits best into the sixth paragraph of the article?

  1. The Freedom Schooner Amistad crew and members will eat food much like what was served on the original ship.

  2. Students will have the opportunity to log in to live Webcasts throughout the 16-month voyage.

  3. The Freedom Schooner Amistad was built with the same materials as the original Amistad.

  4. College students on the Freedom Schooner Amistad will be sleeping in small quarters on the ship.

7. The article states: The captives spared the lives of some crew members who promised that the ship would return to Africa. The crew members did not keep their vow, however. Which would be the closest synonym for the word vow?

  1. Melancholy

  2. Anguish

  3. Suspicion

  4. Pledge

8. Which question is not answered by the article?

  1. Who was the captain of the original Amistad?

  2. How were the African captives on the Amistad deceived by the crew?

  1. How will students on the new Amistad report their experiences?

  2. Who is the captain of the modern Amistad

Opinion Question: Now that you have read the article, indicate whether you agree or disagree with this statement. What do you think is the best thing about the new Amistad journey?

  • It will teach students a great deal about slavery. Students can learn a lot following the same route of the first Amistad.

  • It will honor the slaves who fought for freedom.

  • It will allow students to share what they learn on the voyage with people around the world, through the Internet and e-mail.

Thought Question: The students on the Freedom Schooner Amistad will be sending e-mails to schools around the world. Suppose you are one of the students on the ship. Write an e-mail to a school and tell the story of the Amistad. Explain why you think it is important to participate in this journey. Use ideas from the article, as well as your own ideas, in your response. (5 points)

Math- Below is table that shows the number of miles the Amistad crew plans to travel each month. Assuming this arithmetic progression continues, how many miles will the Amistad likely travel in February?

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