Welcome to day 15 of Black History Month. Today I’m turning the spotlight on Joseph Cinque. Joseph Cinque led the first revolt on La Amistad, a Spanish slave ship.
Cinque was born in Sierra Leone around 1814. He was a rice farmer and a trader. He was married with three children. In 1839, he was abducted while working in a rice field. He was taken to the slave depot in Sierra Leone.
He was bound to chains for months, and was placed on a slave ship to Cuba. Cinque was able to pick the lock off his chains to set himself and others free. The captain was killed, and other crew members evacuated the ship.
Cinque ordered a sea captain on board to sail towards Africa, but the sea captain purposely rerouted the ship so progress wouldn’t be made. After 63 days, the ship arrived at Long Island, New York.
Cinque, and the other slaves were captured, charged with murder, and imprisoned. They would soon face the death penalty.
In 1839, Cinque faced the court, and spoke on why he and the other slaves had the right to defend themselves, and their freedom. In 1841, the court ruled in favor of Cinque, and the other slaves. They were free to go. In 1842, they arrived in Africa.
Cinque died in the year of 1879.