The Gilder Lehrman Center is located in New Haven, Connecticut, the home port of the freedom schooner Amistad, and a city with a rich storehouse of events in the history of slavery, resistance, and abolition. Our emphasis on local stories is deliberate. The most famous episode involving resistance to slavery in New Haven was the Amistad incident, in which a group of Africans secured their freedom twice, once through violent struggle and once through the U.S. Courts, and returned home.
Our inaugural events, in November 1998, focused on the Amistad story, and included a talk by Professor Howard Jones, author of Mutiny on the Amistad, as well as two days of community events including a worship service, a reception at the New Haven Colony Historical Society, a luncheon for all of the different statewide organizations involved in the Amistad story, a press conference in front of the stature of Cinque beside New Haven’s City Hall, and a showing of Spielberg’s film Amistad, preceded by a panel discussion. This series of events established a strong connection to New Haven and its community. As the Gilder Lehrman Center expands its global reach, it remains firmly rooted in its home in New Haven and Connecticut.
The following are some of the online resources related to the Amistad affair.
- The Amistad Case
- This document based lesson plan, located on the Gilder Lehrman Center website, was created by Dennis Fox, James Heaney, David Kersey, Vicki Memminger, and Fran Martino Smith. The website includes online documents, a lesson plan, a narrative of the Amistad incident, an abolitionism timeline, and a document essay by Professors David Brion Davis and Stephen Mintz.
- Amistad America
- AMISTAD America Inc. is a not-for-profit educational organization formed to promote the project to build the AMISTAD replica. The Mission of AMISTAD America is to teach the lessons of history, cooperation and leadership inherent in the Amistad incident and its legacy through the ownership, educational programming and operation of the vessel.
- Visit New England: The Amistad Trail
- This Visit New England site contains a list of historic sites related to the Amistad throughout the region. The site includes a link to the Connecticut Freedom Trail, over 60 historic locations throughout the state. Each location played an important role in the African-American journey from slavery to freedom in Connecticut. Places in addition to those listed on the Amistad Trail include historic homes, churches, graves, monuments, and sites on the Underground Railroad.
- National Archives: The Amistad Case
- Created by the National Archives and Records Administration, this site contains important primary documents, a brief introduction to the case, and teaching activities.