The Freedom Schooner “Amistad America” will be visiting Oyster Bay July 11 and July 12 at the town dock at the western end of Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park. The ship is a 130-foot schooner and an exact replica of the original “LaAmistad.” The movie “Amistad “ was loosely based on this boat’s story.
The mission of “Amistad America” is to teach the lessons of history inherent in the “Amistad” incident of 1839. According to National Archives, In February of 1839, Portuguese slave hunters abducted a large group of Africans from Sierra Leone, shipping them to Havana, Cuba, a center of slave trade at the time. This abduction violated all treaties in existence.
Two Spanish plantation owners, Pedro Montes and Jose Ruiz, purchased 53 of the abducted, placing them aboard the Cuban schooner “Amistad” to ship them to a Caribbean plantation.
But on July 1, 1839, the Africans seized the ship, killed the captain and cook and ordered Montes and Ruiz to sail to
In shedding light on the facts of collective history and the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade, “Amistad America” provides a peaceful means by which individuals and communities can learn together and address the issues of racism and intolerance with a positive goal of building bridges of mutual respect and understanding.
Visitors who come aboard continue to learn the story of the “Amistad” incident of 1839 and now also become aware of how slavery still exists today. They are given tools to become modern day abolitionist.
Residents of The Town of Oyster Bay, from Bayville to Jones Beach, are invited to come outside, be safe and learn of the history of a ship that most likely visited the harbor in 1839. A court case involving this ship and her crew was the beginning of the abolition of slavery in America but 181 years later, the lingering effects are still being felt.