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 November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

News

Port Workers in Argentine Grain Hub End Strike

Port workers in part of the Argentine grains hub of Rosario lifted a work stoppage on Friday, only a day after they went on strike over demands for higher year-end bonuses, a union official said.

Madsen to Chair Norway’s Research Council Executive Board

Henrik O. Madsen appointed chairman of the executive board of the Research Council of Norway   DNV GL president and CEO Henrik O. Madsen was appointed as chairman

Larger Tankers May Offer Better Return Chances

Investors looking for returns in the tanker markets can invest their capital in a variety of ways. Should an owner invest in a VLCC or an Aframax? How about an

Vessels

Damen Outfitting First of Nine Bahamas Patrol Boats

The first of nine Damen Stan Patrol 3007s ordered by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force has arrived at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem in the Netherlands for outfitting.

MARAD Publishes US ATB, ITB Database

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) released what it is calling a first-of-its-kind public database that chronicles U.S.-flagged, privately owned domestic

New Chinese Shipyard Launches First Ship

The new shipyard facility of Honghua Offshore Oil & Gas Equipment Company in Jiangsu, China, has launched its first ship, an IMT982 Platform Supply Vessel. The vessel,

History

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.2508 sec (4 req/sec)