Note: In February of 1839, Portuguese slave hunters abducted a large group of Africans from Sierra Leone and shipped them to Havana, Cuba, a center for the slave trade. Two Spanish plantation owners, Pedro Montes and Jose Ruiz, purchased 53 Africans and put them aboard the Cuban schooner Amistad to ship them to a Caribbean plantation. On July 1, 1839, the Africans seized the ship, killed the captain and the cook, and ordered Montes and Ruiz to sail to Africa. August 24, 1839, the Amistad was seized off Long Island, NY, by the U.S. brig Washington. The schooner, its cargo, and all on board were taken to New London, CT. In the trial before the Supreme Court, the Africans were represented by former U.S. President, and descendant of American revolutionaries, John Quincy Adams. The Supreme Court decided in favor of the Africans, stating that they were free individuals. Kidnapped and transported illegally, they had never been slaves. The Court ordered the immediate release of the Amistad Africans. Thirty five of the survivors were returned to their homeland (the others died at sea or in prison while awaiting trial).
Note: Pamphlet advertising the first ships launched by the Black Star Line, Inc. and asking for potential investors to purchase stocks in the corporation. The Black Star Line was the vision of Jamaican born Marcus Garvey, activist and pan-Africanist who led a global movement to unite people of African descent. The conception of Black Star Line was a ship line that would assist African Americans with migrating to Africa to escape oppression and create a settlement in Africa. The BSL never materialized and the fundraising that was done on its behalf, in part led to Garvey being expedited from the US on the charge of mail fraud.
Note: Prince Saunders was born in Boston and studied at Dartmouth. He became a proponent of emigration of African Americans to Haiti after the country’s war for independence in 1796. Saunders would become adviser to Emperor Henri Christophe. The work is a translation of the laws of Haiti with commentary and notes.
Note: The book describes Equiano's time spent in enslavement, and documents his attempts at becoming an independent man through his study of the Bible, and his eventual success in gaining his own freedom and in business thereafter. He was born in the Kingdom of Benin. Benin was a part of Guinea.
Note: Lunsford Lane was born a slave in 1803 in Raleigh, North Carolina, where his mother was a slave in the master’s city house (and his father enslaved on a nearby plantation). After selling a basket of peaches as a boy, he realized the opportunities offered by profit-making ventures.
Full title: Narrative of Sojourner Truth : a northern slave, emancipated from bodily servitude by the state of New York, in 1828 : with a portrait.
Note: Sojourner Truth (1795-1883) was originally a Dutch-speaking slave in Hurley, New York (Ulster County) who became one of the nineteenth century's most eloquent voices for the causes of anti-slavery and women's rights. Moving to New York City, she became involved in Evangelical religious and moral reform activities and began preaching at camp-meetings around the city. By 1832, she had come under the influence of the self-styled utopian prophet, Matthias, whom she helped to support with her savings and labor.
Note: Memoir and treatise on abolition written by famous orator and former slave Frederick Douglass during his time in Lynn, Massachusettsencompasses eleven chapters that recount Douglass's life as a slave and his ambition to become a free man.
Note: Martin Robison Delany was born free on May 6, 1812, in Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia). His father, Samuel, was an enslaved carpenter, his mother, Pati, a free seamstress whose parents were African and, according to some accounts, of royal heritage. In 1856, Delany moved to Canada with his wife, Catherine, whom he married in 1843, and his children. He briefly dabbled in the politics of Liberia and during the Civil War helped to recruit and organize black soldiers in the Union army. Commissioned a major in 1865 after meeting with U.S. president Abraham Lincoln at the White House, Delany became the U.S. Army’s first black field officer.
Subtitle: a record of facts, authentic narratives, letters, &c., narrating the hardships, hair-breadth escapes, and death struggles of the slaves in their efforts for freedom, as related by themselves and others or witnessed by the author : together with sketches of some of the largest stockholders and most liberal aiders and advisers of the road
Note: Presents an account of the economic and political status of blacks in the United States. Because of the intractable nature of U.S. racism, Delany concluded by recommending emigration of African Americans to Central America. Some years later Delany turned to Africa as the better choice for relocation of black Americans. The report of the Niger Valley exploring party provides clear information on the conditions in West Africa of that time.