Adams, John Quincy (1767-1848) to Roger S. Baldwin
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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00582 Author/Creator: Adams, John Quincy (1767-1848) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 11 November 1840 Pagination: 1 p. ; 24.2 x 17.9 cm.
Former United States President Adams writes to Baldwin, a lawyer and abolitionist. Acknowledges receipt of Baldwin's narrative of the Amistad case, to be tried before the Supreme Court. Writes "I consented with extreme reluctance at the urgent request of Mr. Lewis Tappan and Mr. Ellis Gray Loring, to appear before the Court as one of the Counsel for these unfortunate men. My reluctance was founded entirely and exclusively upon the consciousness of my own incompetence to do justice to their cause. In every other point of view there is in my estimation no higher object upon earth of ambition than to occupy that position." Confirms plans to meet with Baldwin and discuss the case.
Adams argued, with co-counsel Baldwin, before the Supreme Court for the freedom of the Africans who had taken control of the Amistad. According to anthropologist William A. Owens, Baldwin's narrative of the Amistad case was a scrapbook. Lewis Tappan, a New York abolitionist, founded the American Antislavery Society with his brother Arthur. Loring was also an abolitionist and lawyer from Boston.
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