Amistad returns to New Haven harbor

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NEW HAVEN — Lawmakers and members of the community celebrated the return of Connecticut’s flagship, the Freedom Schooner Amistad, to New Haven Harbor.

The replica was refurbished at Mystic Seaport over the winter and it returned Saturday to New Haven‘s Long Wharf Pier.

Slaves aboard the Amistad took control of the original ship in 1839 as it sailed from Cuba. After sailing in the wrong direction, the Africans on board were captured by the Navy and towed to New London harbor where those on board faced a life in slavery or even execution.

But abolitionists took up their case, battled to the U.S. Supreme Court and the group was eventually freed. Most made their way back Sierra Leone.