New England News
8:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Conn. Historical Society Buys Amistad Letters

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut Historical Society has purchased a collection of letters written in the 1830s and 1840s by a woman describing the lives of the African captives from the slave ship Amistad.

Credit New Haven Colony Historical Society and Adams National Historic Site

The society paid $66,000 Tuesday for the letters written by Charlotte Cowles, whose abolitionist family took in one of the former Amistad captives.

Cowles described a captive showing her where she was burned on her shoulder with a red-hot pipe in Africa and her interactions with the leader of the captives.

In 1839, more than 50 African captives en route to Cuba on the Amistad schooner rebelled and took over the ship. After landing on Long Island, they were captured and jailed in New Haven.

With help from area abolitionists, they won their freedom in a historic legal battle.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.