The Amistad is a replica of a Spanish Schooner and is Connecticut’s official flagship and Tall Ship Ambassador. Each summer this vessel becomes a floating classroom, the crew consists of about eight high school students who remain on the ship for about two weeks along with the Captain. In addition to getting a firsthand lesson in American History, the students come away with many teambuilding experiences that are learned when sailing this massive ship.
The Amistad will be mooring off of Sheffield Island in Norwalk on July 26 and August 14 that will give visitors cruising to Sheffield Island on these days a special look at this 136 ton, 129-foot schooner.
History of the Amistad
The Amistad was made famous by a slave revolt made by Mende captives in 1839. The captives were illegally purchased African slaves being transported from Cuba aboard the Spanish built Amistad. The mutiny was successful and the African captives seized the ship, killing two members of the crew and ordered the survivors to sail the ship to Africa.
The surviving crew, however, steered the Amistad north where it was intercepted by an American brig off the coast of Long Island, and the crew and slaves were taken to Connecticut where they were interned. The two Spaniards that enslaved the Africans were freed by the Americans, and the slaves were imprisoned.
At a hearing in Hartford, a federal court judge ruled that the Africans were not liable for their actions because they were enslaved illegally. The case proceeded to the Supreme Court where former President, John Quincy Adams defended the Africans, arguing they should be granted their freedom. The Court agreed because international slave trade was illegal and, further, that people escaping should be recognized as free under American Law.
About the Sheffield Island Ferry Cruise and Tickets
To get a unique and close up view of this historic ship on July 26 and August 14, book your tickets on the Sheffield Island Ferry. On this cruise you will tour the island, the lighthouse and the captain will cruise around the Amistad Vessel for close up and unique views. On August 14, the Ferry departs the dock at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Be sure to arrive about 30 minutes prior to boarding to snag the best seat and to facilitate boarding. For tickets click here https://seaport.org/TICKETS.