On this date, June 28, in 1839, Cinque of the Mende tribe was kidnapped into slavery.
This led to the Amistad Case of 1841 in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Africans aboard L’Amistad, a ship from the Spanish colony of Cuba, should be returned to their homeland and not to Cuba as slaves. Part of a group of 53, Cinque was imported into Cuba with fake identification papers by Portuguese slave traders, then placed the on the ship L’Amistad. Soon the Africans freed themselves and revolted. Led by Cinque and another African, Grabeau, the slaves took over the ship sparing two men because they believed they could navigate the ship back to Africa. [Continue reading at the African American Registry.]
For further reading and research, also see:
The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom by Marcus Rediker. [book link]