On November 17, 1840, John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the United States, and then serving in Congress, visited thirty-six African men being held outside of New Haven, Connecticut.

The Africans who had mutinied on a Spanish slave ship were being tried for piracy and murder on the high seas. Adams's involvement as a former President and perhaps even more significantly as the son of one of the nation's most important Founding Fathers marked an important point in United States history.

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