The Rebellion

Ship of the Middle PassageThe slaves of the La Amistad were kept hold under the deck.  The were only permitted to come out in small group from time to time to escape the tremendous heat.  The slaves' rations were limited to one banana and two potatoes and a small cup of water a day.  If the slaves tried to eat or drink more than allowed, the crew would rub their wounds with vinegar and gunpowder.

Cinque tried to find out what was happening him and his tribe.  When he was allowed on deck he went over to the cook to ask him what was going on.  Since he knew no English he used sign language to cook asking him what was to happen to them.  The cook responded by pointing to a barrel of meat, meaning the Spaniards were planning to kill them, and them eat them.

"On the third night out, Cinque found a nail on the schooner deck."  Once back in the chambers he picked the lock of his chains with the rusty old nail.  After freeing himself, Cinque set out and freed the others.  There was much commotion in doing this, but no crew member took noticed of this because they were battling a storm on deck.

The Medians armed themselves with machetes and steel sugar cane knives from the schooner's cargo.   Soon they would set out on their attack.  "At four a.m. the Africans struck, bursting form the hold and quickly overpowering the captain and his crew."  Only two of the slaves died from the revolt.  Two of the crew members jumped over board and were never heard from or seen again.  The slaves killed the captain and his cook, only leaving the cabin boy and Ruiz and Montez.  The Mendians spared the cabin boy because he was an actual Latino.  Eight more slaves died in this transition from the heat and famine.

Montez and Ruiz were spared to be forced to sail the ship back to Eastern Africa. On the way there the Medians ordered Ruiz and Montez to stop at Culloden Point on the eastern tip of Long Island.  They had met a group of men who made an agreement with the slaves that they would help them sail back to Africa.  Lieutenant Thomas Gedney brought this agreement to an abrupt end. As nightfall came upon them and the slaves were asleep, Ruiz and Montez  got a bright idea.  They would recapture the slaves and, turned the ships course back to the Northwest direction.  They did not have much time so they quickened the pace and moved rapidly toward America.  In the morning the slaves were surprised of their location.  They were heading to Long Island New York.  It was too late to do anything about it.  The slaves were in captive again and "their fate now depended on the American authorities."

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