Joseph Cinque aka Sengbe Pieh
June 28, 1839
Joseph Cinqué (c. 1814 – c. 1879) formerly known as Sengbe Pieh, from West Africa – Sierra Leone was captured and enslaved with others illegally by slave traders in 1839. At the time of his capture, Joseph had a wife and 3 children.
Cinque was sold to a Portuguese slave trader who sold him in Cuba to 2 Spaniards. The 2 Spaniards had plan to sell Cinque and 110 others to sugar plantations in Cuba. Instead, Cinque lead a revolt on board the ship Amistad to force them to take them back to Sierra Leone. For two months, they were at sea and eventually the US coast guard boarded and charged the slaves with mutiny and murder.
Ciinque and the other slaves were tried and the decision was made in their favor. Later, the case was appealed to the Supreme Court and in March 1840, the Supreme Court ruled that the Africans mutinied to regain their freedom after being kidnapped and sold illegally.