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New Haven in New Haven County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
 

“Make Us Free”

Amistad Memorial

 
 
Amistad Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, September 1, 2010
1. Amistad Memorial
Inscription.
[ south side ]
“Make Us Free”
This monument is a memorial to the 1839 Amistad Revolt and its leader, Sengbe Pieh, also known as Joseph Cinque. Sengbe Pieh was one of the millions of Africans kidnapped from their homes and transported in bondage to the Americas. Sold into slavery in Cuba, he and forty-eight other men, and four children were bound aboard the schooner La Amistad. During a storm, Sengbe Pieh successfully freed himself and his fellows. The Africans seized the ship, but their offers to steer La Amistad homeward were thwarted. After futile weeks at sea, they were captured off Long Island by the U.S.S. Washington.
[ east side ]
On this site, the Amistad Africans were jailed awaiting trial for piracy and murder. To aid their struggle for freedom, the Amistad Committee formed, counting in its number ministers Simeon Jocelyn, Joshua Leavitt, and James Pennington; merchant Lewis Tappan; professor Josiah Gibbs; and lawyer Roger Baldwin. The Africans were tried twice prior to their ultimate triumph before the United States Supreme Court, where former President John Quincy Adams courageously defended them. Sengbe Pieh and his fellows were declared Free Persons.
[ north side ]
The Africans sought to return home. To raise funds for their voyage and to further
Amistad Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, September 1, 2010
2. Amistad Memorial
the anti-slavery cause, they engaged in a series of speaking tours. In 1841, after a sojourn that profoundly influenced the abolitionist movement, they set sail, free at last.

To commemorate the heroism of the Amistad Africans and those who shared in their quest for freedom, the 1989 Amistad Committee commissioned his sculpture by Ed Hamilton and dedicated it on September 26, 1992.
 
Erected 1992 by the 1989 Amistad Committee.
 
Location. 41° 18.445′ N, 72° 55.467′ W. Marker is in New Haven, Connecticut, in New Haven County. Marker is at the intersection of Church Street and Court Street, on the right when traveling north on Church Street. Touch for map. Located in front of New Haven City Hall. Marker is at or near this postal address: 165 Church Street, New Haven CT 06510, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Renovation of the New Haven Green (within shouting distance of this marker); New Haven Green (within shouting distance of this marker); New Haven Water Company (within shouting distance of this marker); New Haven (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); New Haven Memorial Flagpole
Amistad Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, September 1, 2010
3. Amistad Memorial
(about 300 feet away); Mr. Richard Perry Home Site (about 300 feet away); Quinnipiack (about 600 feet away); First Meeting House (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Haven.
 
More about this marker. 1992 three-sided bronze bas-relief by Ed Hamilton is approx. 9 feet tall on a 2 foot granite base.
 
Also see . . .
1. Smithsonian Institution Art Inventories Catalog Entry. “Description: A triangular sculpture consisting of three bas-relief panels which commemorate the life of Sengbe Pieh, also known as Joseph Cinque, hero of the Amistad Revolt of 1839. Each panel depicts Pieh at a significant period in his life. The first panel shows him as a free African dressed in the garments of the Mende tribe. His proper right hand is raised to his shoulder and he points with his index finger. In his proper left hand he holds a tool over his proper left shoulder. Behind him are scenes of African tribal life. A bird flies above his proper right shoulder. The second panel shows him dressed in Western attire, awaiting trial before the United States Supreme Court. His arms are crossed in defiance. The earnest faces of his fellows are visible over his proper right shoulder and the scowling glares of his accusers are visible over his proper left shoulder. The third panel shows him standing on a dock, dressed in eighteenth-century dress, ready to return to Africa as a free man. He gestures with his raised proper
Amistad Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, September 1, 2010
4. Amistad Memorial
left hand and holds a book in his proper right hand. A suitcase rests on the ground by his proper left leg. The sculpture rests on a triangular base that is inscribed on all sides.” (Submitted on March 8, 2014.) 

2. A site dedicated to the Amistad Trials of 1839-1840. (Submitted on September 7, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
 
Categories. African Americans
 
Amistad Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, September 9, 2010
5. Amistad Memorial
Amistad Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, September 9, 2010
6. Amistad Memorial
Amistad Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, September 9, 2010
7. Amistad Memorial
Amistad Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, September 9, 2010
8. Amistad Memorial
Sengbe Pieh (Joseph Cinque) image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, September 1, 2010
9. Sengbe Pieh (Joseph Cinque)
In this panel he is depicted as a free African dressed in the garments of the Mende tribe.
Sengbe Pieh (Joseph Cinque) image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, September 1, 2010
10. Sengbe Pieh (Joseph Cinque)
In this panel he is depicted dressed in Western attire awaiting trial before the United States Supreme Court.
Sengbe Pieh (Joseph Cinque) image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, September 1, 2010
11. Sengbe Pieh (Joseph Cinque)
In this panel he is depicted dressed in 18th-century dress, standing at the dock, ready to return to Africa as a free man.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 7, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 1,280 times since then and 49 times this year. Last updated on October 17, 2011, by Michael Tiernan of Danvers, Massachusetts. This page was the Marker of the Week March 9, 2014. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 7, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.   5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on September 10, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.   9, 10, 11. submitted on September 7, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.
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