Argument of John Quincy Adams, before the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of the United States, Appellants, vs.

About the Project

This first edition manuscript is a written account of the “Argument of John Quincy Adams, before the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of the United States, Appellants, vs. Cinque, and others, Africans, captured in the Schooner Amistad.” In 1840, Lewis Tappan and Ellis Gray Loring of the Amistad Committee approached John Quincy Adams, the 72-year old former president, to defend the Amistad captives. Adams was viewed as the perfect candidate to represent the Mende Africans before the Supreme Court. He had extensive experience within the government, had argued before the Supreme Court many times, negotiated international treaties, and abhorred slavery. Initially hesitant, he eventually took the case believing it would be his last great service to the country. In February 1841, he argued the Mende were free men illegally captured and sold into slavery, and as such should be returned to Africa. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the captives. Help us transcribe this invaluable piece of history showing the highest court in America ruling against the institution of slavery.

Show pages needing (scroll down to load more): Transcription Review Notes | All

Completed!

Difficulty

(3 out of 5)
(details)

Level 1 --- BEGINNER

Content: all typed
Language: English
Format: letters, diaries, flyers, pamphlets, and one-page documents
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required

Level 2

Content: mostly typed, handwritten in print, or otherwise very clearly written/readable
Language: English
Format: memorabilia, advertisements, image captions, telegrams, diaries, letters, notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required

Level 3 --- INTERMEDIATE

Content: typed and handwritten materials in cursive or print
Language: English
Format: newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, letters/diaries/notes that may include annotations or margin notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: experience reading cursive writing may be useful

Level 4

Content: handwritten materials, primarily in cursive or somewhat difficult to read (predominantly from the 19th and 20th centuries) , audio recordings that are relatively easy to hear/decipher, and scientific materials
Language: English and/or other languages that use Roman script but may require the use of diacritics (French, Spanish, German, Italian, etc.)
Format: audio recordings, letters, diaries, notes and other written materials, projects with templated fields and special instructions
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: some knowledge of non-English Roman-character/script languages and diacritics may be useful, as well as experience reading cursive handwriting. A general knowledge or familiarity with scientific terminology.

Level 5 --- ADVANCED

Content: handwritten materials in cursive (from the 19th century or earlier) or in a non-Roman script language, audio recordings that are difficult to hear or are not in English, specialty materials/projects such as numismatics projects and the Project Phaedra notebooks 
Language: foreign languages that use non-Roman characters (Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Greek/Cyrillic, Native American and Indigenous languages, etc.) and English 
Format: audio recordings, columned data/tables, manuscripts, letters, diaries, notes, currency sheets, coins
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: knowledge of a specific language and access to a keyboard with the characters in that language may be required for certain projects. Experience reading cursive handwriting and familiarity with 19th century (or prior) handwriting and conventions/abbreviations may be useful, as well as knowledge of scientific terminology, astrophysics data, or linguistics.

Project Progress (details)
69pages completed

78

contributing
members

69

total
pages

12
Total Users
4
Contributions