NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– A piece of history is docked in New Haven Wednesday night, as it gets ready for the summer season.
The Amistad Schooner is there for some repairs and maintenance before it sets sail and it brings along a little controversy with it.
The replica of the Amistad is proud to call New Haven home. The crew that works the ship is proud to be a part of a legacy that was a milestone for ending slavery.
“The movement it created in American society against slavery, it’s doubtful that the abolitionist movement would have been able to provoke such strong feelings in the American people that allowed them to stir up a movement against slavery,” said Christopher Maleny, Amistad crew member.
As a replica, this ship is kept neat, it’s open to the public. They are glad to show history buffs around.
“You can see our square sales our up there and then after that there is our main mast,” said Maleny.
But in looking around the ship, there is a story being told and it’s a dark and brutal one. The crews say on the original Amistad, 53 free people were captured from Africa and taken against their will to become slaves in the Caribbean.
But the would-be slaves fought for their freedom, a fight that would eventually end in New Haven Connecticut, creating a legacy that lasts even until this day.
Below deck is where they kept the slaves and a replica of the Amistad is even bigger than the original. So, you can imagine that it was smaller and how it must have been for 53 people to be captured and kept down there in deplorable conditions.
Eventually the captives on the Amistad would revolt and gain their freedom. But even after freedom, life was a tragedy.
“Once the captives eventually returned back to their homes in Africa a lot of them found that their villages were gone or destroyed,” said Maleny.
All over the world people continue to fight for freedom. The Amistad serves as a reminder to preserve our humanity.