The Amistad Revolt: Memory, Slavery, and the Politics of Identity in the United States and Sierra Leone

By Iyunolu Folayan Osagie | Go to book overview

Notes

Chapter One. The Amistad Story in the American Context

1. I will henceforth refer to La Amistad in the adopted English equivalent, “the Amistad,” and where the word “Amistad” is not a reference to the ship but rather is adjectival, it will remain without italics.

2. A. Jones’s From Slaves to Palm Kernels offers a comprehensive history on the Gallinas region. It also vividly describes the slave trading post at Dombokoro, 49–51.

3. Laigo and Luiz were the slave dealers who bought most of the Amistad captives, according to Barber’s report of his conversations with the captives in Amistad Captives, 9–15.

4. The account of the Amistad story narrated in this chapter and referred to elsewhere in this book is mainly referenced in African Captives: Trial of the Prisoners of the “Amistad”; Barber, Amistad Captives; Adams, “Letterbook”; U.S. District Court records for Connecticut at the Federal Archives and Records Center, Waltham, Massachusetts; U.S. Congress, House Executive Documents, no. 185; archives of the American Missionary Association (AMA) at the Amistad Research Center (ARC); and other slavery pamphlets and newspapers.

5. An eyewitness to the illegal slave market in Lomboko and other West African coastal areas, Francis Bacon testified at the Amistad hearings that the “slave trade on that part of the coast [the Gallinas area] is the universal business of the country, and by far the most profitable, and all engaged in it who could raise the means. Extensive wars take place in Africa, for obtaining slaves from the vanquished. Different towns and villages make war upon each other for this purpose.” See Barber, Amistad Captives, 21. See also Fyfe, History of Sierra Leone (London: Oxford University Press, 1962), parts 8 and 10; Oliver and Fage, Short History of Africa (New York: Penguin, 1988), 94–105; Davidson, Africa in History, 205–15.

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