The reconstructed schooner “The Amistad” made it’s triumphant return to New Haven this morning amid a blanket of rain and wind.
The 20 year old ship is a reimagination of “La Amistad”, the Spanish owned ship that hosted a slave rebellion in 1839.
The slaves from Sierra Leone, 54 adults and 4 children, took control of the ship after getting fed up with their assumed fate as slaves under the American republic.
These freedom fighters said no, we are not going to accept that, and promptly took over the ship.
The subsequent legal battle would become one of the most famous court cases in history.
The Mayor arrived at the Long Wharf Pier around noon, and visited with the staff of Discovery Amistad.
The Chairman of the board, and the ship’s Captain provided a crash course on the history of the Amistad, and what it means to New Haven.
The 20 year old ship was built in Mystic, and inspired a trove of reaction from the academic community when it was built.
Tastie Fish was permitted to visit the Captain’s quarters as well as the presumed slaves quarters that have been retrofitted with bunkers for the crew that travels with the ship.
The ship is majestic, and a classic, similar to a 70’s muscle car, a collectors item that is still active.
The ship is rich with history, the slaves quarters are littered with reading materials and the staff is passionate and informative.
The Amistad is an important symbol of New Haven’s heritage, we encourage everyone to tour the ship when they get a chance.
The ship is a living remembrance for where this city was, and what it has become.
A note from the editor
My personal experience on the Amistad was extraordinary.
When Mayor Harp concluded her remarks, I had a Force vision, and was transported back to 1839.
I was surrounded by an active crew, I could feel the slaves under my feet.
The scorching July sun was toxic, insufferable.
As I went into the slave quarters I imagined just under 60 slaves living in their own feces and urine, I saw the children that were forced to live in the squalor.
The smell was out of this world.
They were all hunched together in a confined space, starving, confused, living in terror.
Wondering what they had done to deserve such torture.
Then I imagined the courage that it took to deliver themselves from a pit of absolute despair.
I was taken aback on my way to the office.
So many people died during the slave trade, my ancestors were beaten, raped, hung, thrown overboard, eaten by sharks, starved, and this was before they got to America.
Anger, depression, and inspiration, that’s what I found on that ship today.