Amistad Replica Brings Drama to Tall Ships Fest

Posted by Eric Haun
Monday, July 14, 2014
Photo: Amistad America Inc.

A top draw for some of the hundreds of thousands of visitors to New England's weekend Sailfest was surely the Freedom Schooner Amistad, replica of the United States' most famous slavery vessel, even as many were unaware of the suspense behind its eventual appearance at the annual tall ships gathering.

The original Amistad was the setting for an 1839 mutiny aboard the Spanish slave ship bound for Cuba with 53 kidnapped Africans who were held in a small New Haven, Connecticut jail for a year before President John Quincy Adams convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to release them.

The story provided fodder for several books and the acclaimed 1997 Steven Spielberg film, "Amistad."

But over the weekend, doubts about whether the Amistad replica, built in 2000, would join the three-day sailing event, which is among the nation's largest with more than 300,000 visitors, stood as a tribute to the original's dramatic past.

An educational group, Amistad America Inc., sailed the ship around the nation for a decade to tell the original's story, but the schooner lost its nonprofit status for failing to pay taxes and fell into other financial difficulties, despite annual state funding of $400,000 as well as $8 million for restoration.

Governor Dannel Malloy had threatened to ax state funding to the group running Amistad if it failed to appear at the weekend festival which included some 200 tall ships, calling such an absence "wholly unacceptable."

In a July 10 letter, Malloy said, "Ensuring that the ship is able to attend Sailfest should be among the most basic fulfillment of the organization's agenda."

By showing up, "the Amistad reminds everyone of an important chapter of our state's history," Malloy said on Saturday.

Free tours of the vessel, which is docked most of the year at a marina in nearby New Haven, will continue through Sunday.

(By Richard Weizel; Editing by Chris Michaud; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Maritime Reporter January 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

News

Matson Announces Quarterly Dividend

Matson, Inc. declared a first quarter dividend of $0.17 per common share, the company’s board of directors announced. The dividend will be paid on March 5, 2015

Maintenance Woes Led to Digby Ferry Grounding

Maintenance deficiencies and inadequate emergency procedures led to November 2013 grounding of Princess of Acadia in Digby, Nova Scotia    Maintenance deficiencies

Hogan Named VP at Newport News Shipbuilding

Rob Hogan has been appointed vice president of manufacturing at the Newport News Shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), the company announced.

Vessels

Maintenance Woes Led to Digby Ferry Grounding

Maintenance deficiencies and inadequate emergency procedures led to November 2013 grounding of Princess of Acadia in Digby, Nova Scotia    Maintenance deficiencies

Ferus Smit to Launch Newbuild for Symphony Shipping

Ferus Smit announced it will launch Newbuuld 417 on Saturday, February 21 in Leer.   Newbuild 417, a multipurpose vessel to be christened Nordana Sky, is the

Australia Gives Landing Craft to the Philippines

The Australian Government will gift two recently-decommissioned Landing Craft Heavy vessels, including a package of spare parts, to the Philippines Government,

History

Bill Proposed to Repay WWII Merchant Mariners

Congresswoman Janice Hahn (Calif.) and Congressman John Duncan Jr. (Tenn.) introduced the “Honoring Our WWII Merchant Mariners Act of 2015,” which would provide

Transas: The Bridge to Tomorrow

Transas was founded in 1990, by a group of former navigators and engineers, who at that time envisioned ways in which computers could revolutionize maritime safety, communications and security.

Fugitive Treasure Hunter Arrested in Florida

An Ohio man who recovered as much as $400 million in gold from a shipwreck has been arrested in Florida after two years on the run and was scheduled to appear in federal court on Wednesday.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1583 sec (6 req/sec)