Amistad Freedom Trail (Self Guided), New Haven

A 19th-century Cuban schooner La Amistad became historically infamous for a slave revolt that took place on her board in July 1839 when a group of African captives unshackled themselves during the voyage, took control of the ship, killing some of the crew, and eventually ended up on the U.S. shore. The slaves, responsible for the revolt, were interned in New Haven, CT to be tried for mutiny and murder. The case, known as United States vs. The Amistad (1841), gained international attention and was finally decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in favor of the Africans, restoring their freedom. Take this self-guided tour to acquaint yourself with some of the historical places of New Haven related to that event.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Amistad Freedom Trail Map

Guide Name: Amistad Freedom Trail
Guide Location: USA » New Haven (See other walking tours in New Haven)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Author: AudreyB
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Amistad Memorial
  • Center Church on the Green
  • United Church on the Green
  • Battell Chapel
  • Grove Street Cemetery
  • New Haven Museum
1
Amistad Memorial

1) Amistad Memorial

The Amistad Memorial in New Haven is a bronze sculpture created by Ed Hamilton to recognize the events of the 1839 Amistad Affair. The latter involved kidnapping of 53 Africans and their subsequent mutiny aboard La Amistad ship. It led to a historically significant United States Supreme Court case, in which the Amistad captives were ruled to be acting in self-defense, thereby granting them the right to mutiny.

After the Amistad Africans won their court case, and their freedom, many members of the community volunteered their aid: the residents of New Haven gave them housing, tutoring, and legal aid. Participating residents formed the Amistad Committee; among them was John Quincy Adams, who defended the Amistad captives in their case in front of the Supreme Court. The Amistad captives assimilated into the community, and would spend time in the town's Green with the locals.

The memorial sits in front of the New Haven City Hall on Church Street, the location where the Amistad slaves were jailed during their trial. It was dedicated on September 18, 1992.

Each of the three sides of the memorial depicts Joseph Cinqué: on the first side, in his native clothing in Africa, on the second side, in court during his trials, and on the third side, after he won his freedom. The monument has a fourth side, facing up, which is only visible from the upper floors of the City Hall. It depicts a face and hands in water.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Center Church on the Green

2) Center Church on the Green

The Center Church of the Green, also known as The First Church of Christ (United Church of Christ / Congregational), is the middle church of the three located just near the New Haven Green Park. It was established in 1639. The present Georgian-style building was constructed in 1812, designed by architect Ithiel Town.

The church is famous for housing The Crypt, located in its basement, containing the identified remains of about 137 people, plus another 1,000+ of the unidentified ones, with gravestones dating back to 1687-1812, which is one of the rare colonial burial grounds preserved intact. The oldest dated stone there (1687) is that of Sarah Rutherford Trowbridge.

The church also features the beautiful Waterford crystal chandelier, Tiffany stained glass windows, and a Fisk Pipe Organ.

*** Amistad Freedom Trail ***
Back in the mid-19th century, this church congregation was actively involved in supporting the Mende African captives during the Amistad incident and were particularly instrumental in gaining support for the Africans held in the New Haven Jail.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
United Church on the Green

3) United Church on the Green

Originally known as the North Church, the United Church on the Green is the third of the three New Haven Green Park churches. It was constructed in 1814 in a Federal style by architect David Hoadley. In 1884, it merged with Third Church to create a United Church.

The United Church on the Green features tall white columns in combination with brick walls, thus creating an impressive sight. The steeple of the church has served as a model for other church steeples in the U.S. Another prominent feature of this temple is a pipe organ.

*** Amistad Freedom Trail ***
Several members of both congregations were ardent abolitionists and played an active role in assisting New Haven’s free black community. Among them were the Reverend Samuel Dutton, Nathaniel and Simeon Jocelyn, who was one of the three founding members of the Amistad Committee formed to raise a defense for the Amistad captives, as well as Roger Sherman Baldwin, member of North Church and a New Haven attorney, who offered legal services to the Mende African captives. After the captives were freed, the Amistad Committee arranged for their return to Africa. Commemorating that event is a memorial plaque inside the church.
4
Battell Chapel

4) Battell Chapel

Battell Chapel is the largest chapel of Yale University in New Haven. Built in 1874–76, it was funded primarily with gifts from Joseph Battell and other members of his family. The chapel is in High Victorian Gothic style of rough brown sandstone. It was the third of Yale's chapels and provided space for daily services, which were mandatory for Yale College students until 1926.

Together with Durfee Hall and Farnam Hall, the chapel was part of a program begun in the 1870s to build up the perimeter of Old Campus and separate it from the rest of the city. These three buildings, all by the same architect, were among the first at Yale to be named for donors rather than function, location, or legislative funding.

The Battell Chapel clock, with chimes consisting of five large bells that rang at each quarter hour, was at one time the clock to which others at Yale was synchronized; however, the chimes have been silent for years.

*** Amistad Freedom Trail ***
The Chapel symbolizes the role of the Yale Divinity School faculty and students played in helping the Mende Africans of La Amistad, and houses a themed exhibition maintained by Yale.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Grove Street Cemetery

5) Grove Street Cemetery

Grove Street Cemetery is a famous and historic cemetery surrounded by the Yale University campus. Despite its location, the cemetery is not owned by Yale nor is it part of the university in any way.

This cemetery was established in 1796 when a yellow fever plague caused a number of fatalities that was so large that the city's central burying ground would not suffice. Originally, the cemetery was six acres in size. More space was bought and converted into burial ground over the years that has allowed it to triple in size.

Several prominent New Haven citizens are buried in the cemetery, including former Yale University presidents, New Haven mayors and Connecticut Governors. Among the famous graves are the ones of Charles Goodyear, Eli Whitney and Noah Webster.

Grove Street Cemetery was named a National Historic Landmark in 2000. It has also been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1997.

*** Amistad Freedom Trail ***
Among those interred here are the active members of the abolition movement, as well as those associated with the African American history. A stone marker was dedicated by the Amistad Committee in September 2001 in remembrance of the six Mende African captives of La Amistad buried here.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
New Haven Museum

6) New Haven Museum

The New Haven Museum and Historical Society (originally known as the New Haven Colony Historical Society) was founded in 1862 for the purposes of preserving and presenting the region’s history. The museum collection includes art, photography, furniture and other artifacts pertaining to New Haven’s history and regularly presents programs and special exhibits. Among these are permanent New Haven, La Amistad, local art and decorative arts exhibitions, with collections associated with Eli Whitney, Winchester, Yale, East Rock, Noah Webster, Benedict Arnold, as well as changing exhibitions.

Educational programs provide interactive inquiry-based learning on local history. The Whitney Research Library at the museum contains manuscript and archival holdings relevant to the New Haven area from the time of the first settlement to the present. This collection includes rare books, more than 300 manuscript collections, including personal papers, business and institutional records, court and municipal documents, maps, 4,000 architectural drawings and resources, account books and a collection of approximately 75,000 photographs. It also contains approximately 30,000 printed titles including monographs and pamphlets.

The current Colonial Revival-style building was constructed in 1929 to the design by J. Frederick Kelly. The building includes a number of artifacts from demolished New Haven houses, including a mantelpiece and urns from the Nathan Smith house and a mantelpiece from the Benedict Arnold house. The Ingersoll Room in the museum is decorated with furniture and portraits from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, documenting the home and life of New Haven’s Ingersoll family.

*** Amistad Freedom Trail ***
The Amistad Gallery within the Museum features, among other exhibits, a portrait of Joseph Cinque, leader of the Mende African revolt aboard La Amistad, painted by New Haven artist Nathaniel Jocelyn (1796-1881) in 1840. The gallery also features documents from the trial, including letters from John Quincy Adams and the Mende African captives.

Operation Hours:
Tuesday to Friday: 10 am - 5 pm; Saturday: 12 pm - 5 pm; 1st Sunday: 1 pm - 4 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in New Haven, Connecticut

Create Your Own Walk in New Haven

Create Your Own Walk in New Haven

Creating your own self-guided walk in New Haven is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

New Haven is home to a number of beautiful churches. While the majority of which feature mostly Gothic style, you can also see examples of Georgian, Federal and Colonial styles of architecture. This self-guided walk takes you to visit the most important churches in downtown New Haven including the three prominent churches next to New Haven Green.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles
New Haven's Historical Buildings Tour

New Haven's Historical Buildings Tour

The first ever planned city in the United States and a home of Yale University – one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world, New Haven not only does have time on its side, but is also famous through its Yale association, responsible for a large number of prominent residents. On this self-guide tour, you get to see some of the oldest buildings in the city, as well as the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Yale University Walking Tour

Yale University Walking Tour

Founded in 1701, Yale University ranks among the oldest and most prestigious educational institutions in the U.S. Due to its age, Yale has a great historical and architectural beauty. Its halls and institutions preserve the spirit of history and education. Take this self-guided walking tour to learn and enjoy the beautiful, historical facilities of Yale University.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
New Haven Introduction Walk

New Haven Introduction Walk

New Haven, Connecticut is widely known as the home to Yale University. However, the city isn't just a hip, university town. It is also full of history and sites that can't be found anywhere else.

The first planned city in the United States, New Haven boasts the easily maneuvered grid layout which makes it easy to navigate the city on foot. Situated at the center of this grid, New...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles