"In 1839, fifty three of the Mendi people of Sierra Leone, Africa, were kidnapped and put aboard a Portugese slave ship on its way to Havana, Cuba. Their plight is the focus of the award-winning film, Amistad, produced by Steven Spielberg.
In an uprising that took place on July 1,1839, the kidnapped Mendi people fought back and overtook their captors.
Their subsequent capture and trial prompted then former President John Quincy Adams to defend the Mendi against being held as slaves.
At the conclusion of the highly publicized court case, the Mendi people were freed. A handwritten letter to Adams included a Bible--signed by the Mendi containing a number of biblical references including: “Wicked people want to make us slaves but the great God who has made all things. . .he give us Mr. Adams that he may make me free.”"