In July 1839, captive West Africans rebelled and took over the Spanish slaveship Amistad. They ordered the owners to Africa but, instead, the Amistad was taken on a meandering course, finally waylaid by a U.S. Navy brig. The Africans were charged with the murder of the captain and jailed in New Haven, Connecticut. Abolitionists came to their support; ex-President John Quincy Adams represented them in court. After a long legal battle, the Supreme Court freed the “mutineers” in 1841. The following year they returned to Africa.
Source: John W. Barber, A History of the Amistad Captives (1840)—Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.