Named for a slave revolt in 1839 (and popularized in a 1997 Steven Spielberg movie), the tall ship Amistad is currently moored off of Sheffield Island in Norwalk.
Each summer this vessel becomes a floating classroom with a crew of eight high school students who remain on the ship for about two weeks along with the captain. In addition to getting a firsthand lesson in American history, the students also come away with many team-building experiences that are learned when sailing this massive ship.
Starting July 26 and continuing through Aug. 13, visitors cruising to Sheffield Island will get a special look at the 136-ton, 129-foot replica of a schooner made famous when Mende captives successfully revolted while being transported to Cuba as illegally purchased African slaves.
The surviving crew, however, was captured, imprisoned, and faced a trial initially in Hartford that ultimately went to the United States Supreme Court where John Quincy Adams defended the Africans. The former president argued they should be granted their freedom, and the Court agreed because the international slave trade was illegal and, further, that people escaping should be recognized as free under American Law.
To get a unique and close up view of this historic ship on July 26 and August 13, book your tickets on the Sheffield Island Ferry. On this cruise you will tour the island, the lighthouse and the captain will cruise around the Amistad for close up and unique views.
For more information and ferry times and tickets, visit the Norwalk Seaport Association.
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