Amistad Assignment – Test grade worth 100 points!!! Due: Monday, June 2nd

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Name: _________________________________ Period: _____ Date: ____________
Amistad Assignment – Test grade worth 100 points!!!

DUE: Monday, June 2nd
Directions: Over the past week in World Studies, we have read excerpts, summaries, and watched a video detailing the events of The Amistad Case of the late 1830s and early 1840s. Today you will also receive a NEW 6-page article (The Amistad Case by Douglas O. Linder, ©2000) which digs into the case in even further detail should you decide to use it as an additional reference to aid you in this assignment. You are also welcome to conduct your own research if you so choose (just make sure you cite your source).
***Your Assignment is to choose ONE of the FOUR topics described below to write about.

***For Options #1-3, you should write AT LEAST 10 complete sentences. Maximum length = 2 pages. Your paper should be neatly written in pencil, or black or blue pen. If typed, use 12 point font with line spacing set at one & a half (1.5) OR double-spaced.

***Guidelines for option #4 are a little different – see description below.

***You must include at least one visual (picture, drawing, copy of a photo, etc.) with a brief 1-2 sentence description written below it or next to it explaining its connection to the topic you chose.
1). U.S. President Martin Van Buren was up for presidential re-election in the fall of 1840. Based on your knowledge of the Amistad Case that was occurring right around this time and that of Van Buren’s involvement, if you were alive back then would you vote for him in the election? Explain why or why not.
2). Shortly before the Amistad Case was to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, Ka-le, the 11 year old boy who was one of the four African children captured, wrote to former U.S. President John Quincy Adams asking for his help. This is a two-part question – part A is short but you must answer BOTH parts A & B if you choose this topic.

A. Why do you think Ka-le decided to write to Adams?

B. Pretend you are the 11-yr old boy writing the letter…what would you say in it?

What would you ask? What type of feelings would you express to Adams? How could you persuade him to help you? WRITE YOUR OWN LETTER TO ADAMS FROM KA-LE’S PERSPECTIVE (as if you were him).
3). Ka-le’s and others’ pleas for help eventually worked, as John Quincy Adams agreed to join Roger Baldwin in defending the Africans’ case before the Supreme Court. Adams, who was the 6th president of the U.S. (1825-1829) but was now 73 or 74 years old, gathered enough strength to make a powerful speech imploring the judges to free the Africans.

What do you think Adams said in this speech? Put yourself in Adams’ shoes. Imagine that the hopes and lives of Joseph Cinque and the 39 remaining African “slaves” were riding on your argument in court. Write a speech in defense of the Africans’ right to freedom. Use factual evidence to back up your claims but also be powerful in your own voice. Convince the judges that the “slaves” should be set free!
4). Interview Joseph Cinque after the Supreme Court made its decision to free them. Cinque was the “slave” who led the mutiny aboard the Amistad and was considered the group’s leader. Write 8-12 Questions and answer them yourself, as you would think Cinque would answer them. Use a basic Q & A format. Some possible ideas could be: asking about his long journey, what his people were like back home in West Africa, including family if he had any, what are his thoughts on America, etc.

***Then add a brief one-paragraph (5-7 sentences) commentary that summarizes YOUR OWN thoughts and impressions of Cinque after you finished your interview with him.

Name: _________________________________ Period: _____ Date: ____________

Rubric for Amistad Assignment



Your paragraph/paper/interview is well-organized (It has a clear beginning, middle, and end).

_____ / 10

Your paragraph/paper/interview is well-written (contains a variety of sentences that do not all start with the same word, contains smooth transitions, is cohesive and fluent).

_____ / 20

Your paragraph/paper/interview contains proper grammar and spelling.

_____ / 10

Your paragraph/paper contains 10 or more complete sentences if you chose Topic #1, 2, or 3 OR it contains 8-12 Q & A’s and 5 or more sentences if chose Topic #4.

_____ / 10

The content of your paragraph/paper/interview is related to the topic and through your writing you show a full understanding of the important events surrounding it, while still managing to inject your own voice.

_____ / 30

Your final product is no more than 2 full pages (although you may include the picture & caption on a separate piece of paper if you wish).

_____ / 5

*If typed, your paragraph/paper/interview is typed in 12 point font and the line spacing is set for either 1 & ½ or double-spaced.

_____ / 5

*If handwritten, your paragraph/paper/interview is written neatly in black or blue pen, or pencil.

_____ / 5

Your visual (picture/drawing/photo) is related to the topic you chose to write about.

_____ / 5

Your short caption (1-2 sentences) underneath or next to your picture/drawing/photo provides an accurate description of the visual.

_____ / 5

Total points/Comments:

_____ / 100

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