During the time the Mende were held in New Haven, the U.S. District Court convened here in January of 1840, after having postponed the Mende's hearing from their session in Hartford the previous fall. The court ruled that the Africans were not legally enslaved and placed the captives under the charge of U.S. President Martin Van Buren. The President ordered an appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court, which upheld the District Court's ruling when it also convened in New Haven that April. Awaiting a final hearing on the case by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Mende were transferred from New Haven to a warehouse in Westville in August of 1840.
The green is home to a new Amistad Memorial at the site of the former jail, which highlights significant episodes of the Amistad story in which Sengbe Pieh (Joseph Cinque) played a courageous role. The memorial is a reminder of the triumph over oppression and the victory of justice and brotherhood of the Amistad story.
This is just one of many places associated with the Amistad event. To learn more about other places, please access the main Visit page of this itinerary.