Africans Taken in the Amistad

SLAVERY   |   

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Item#: 121347 price:$1,750.00

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"SIR: YOU ARE UNDOUBTEDLY APPRIZED OF THE FACT THAT THE MARSHAL OF THIS DISTRICT HAS IN CUSTODY THE SPANISH SCHOONER 'AMISTAD,' WITH HER CARGO AND 41 BLACKS, SUPPOSED TO BE SLAVES…": AFRICANS TAKEN IN THE AMISTAD: MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1840

(SLAVERY) (DEPARTMENT OF STATE). Africans Taken in the Amistad. Message from the President of the United States. [Washington]: Blair & Rives, 1840. Octavo, period-style half diced calf gilt, raised bands, marbled boards. $1750.

First edition of this Congressional document released pursuant to a Congressional resolution detailing government actions taken in the matter of the Amistad, consisting mainly of correspondence to and from Secretary of State John Forsyth.

This official message from President Van Buren, offered in response to a Congressional resolution, details the government's actions with regard to the Amistad. Consisting primary of correspondence to and from Secretary of State John Forsyth, this document is notable for the inclusion of both letters in Spanish and their translations. Overall, the document supports the contention by Spanish plantation owners Ruiz and Montes that they owned the Amistad "slaves." The case of the seized Africans on the Amistad was ultimately argued by John Quincy Adams in the Supreme Court. The Court found the Africans to be free individuals, with Senior Justice Story elaborating the right of people to resist unlawful slavery even by using force. This is from the 20th Congress, 1st Session, Doc. No. 185.

A few isolated spots of foxing, mild toning to extremities. Very good condition.

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