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A Top-Notch Story That Will Get You Thinking...

For those of you who don't know, I'm from New York originally, and over the next three weeks, I'm home visiting my lovely mother and her cats. I'm also planning on meeting with professors from a few schools around the area about grad programs, but by far, the point of these three weeks is to take a break. Part of that break is going out to this beach town in Long Island called Montauk, which is where I have been for the past 5 days.

It was storming today, in Montauk, and while beaches during storms are awesome, they're probably not awesome in the traditional, lets-lounge-and-soak-up-sun-all-day sort of awesome. So we decided to check out the lighthouse instead. Part of the lighthouse includes a museum about the history of the lighthouse, and famous ships that have come to shore within a close proximity. One of these ships was the Amistad.

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If you aren't caught up on your 19th century abolition history, let me give you a rundown: The Amistad was a commercial ship that deported Cuba, in 1839. Its cargo included forty-nine African individuals who we're enslaved, and sold within Cuba. On this part of the journey, a slave named Cinque led other slaves into rebellion against the captain, killing him and another, while commandeering the ship. They had hoped to sail back to Africa, but we're brought back into the port of Long Island by the U.S.S. Washington . There was a trial that went to the Supreme Court, where it was decided that the Amistad slaves had a right to rebel under such conditions, and had committed no crimes. From there, Cinque and the others received safe passage to their home countries.

What I've outlined was the very bare bones of the story. I have left out a lot of other details, some on purpose, some not. But that is the basic job of the historian to decide what details are relevant to the narrative trying to be described, and what details are not. If this arbitrary line we're clear, the history profession would be a much smaller one. It is what allows historians, from the same set of primary sources, to create very clearly different stories, with very different theses. Does this mean either thesis is not true? Not at all, it just showcases that within history, there are different kinds of truth.

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Posted in Health and Medical Post Date 11/10/2017


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