Schooner Amistad offers tours in Rockland this weekend

The 129-foot schooner Amistad is docked at Rockland's public landing.
Stephen Betts | BDN
The 129-foot schooner Amistad is docked at Rockland's public landing. Buy Photo
Posted May 30, 2014, at 4:55 p.m.
Last modified May 30, 2014, at 8:38 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — The 129-foot schooner Amistad will be offering tours this weekend.

The vessel is docked at the public landing in Rockland Harbor, and tours will be offered 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The schooner is owned by nonprofit organization Amistad America, which collaborates with the Ocean Classroom Foundation to operate the ship and teach youths about sailing.

The ship carries a crew of 22 that sails along the East Coast and Caribbean.

The vision of Amistad America, according to its website, is to foster unity among people of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds and to promote legacies of leadership and social justice. The original vessel was taken over by about 50 African slaves as the ship was sailing from Cuba in 1839. The Navy retook the vessel three months later, and the slaves were charged with treason, murder and mutiny. They were eventually freed, after members of the abolitionist movement became involved; John Quincy Adams also argued for their freedom before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The story about the Amistad incident was depicted in a 1997 film by Steven Spielberg.

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