gentlemen begged for and claimed the aid and protection of the libellants. That theschooner was accordingly taken possession of, and re-captured from the hands andpossession of the negroes who had taken the same: that the schooner was broughtinto the port of New London, where she now was; and the schooner would, withgreat difficulty, exposure and danger, have been taken by the libellants, but for thesurprise upon the blacks who had possession thereof, a part of whom were onshore; and but for the aid and assistance and services of the libellants, the vesseland cargo would have been wholly lost to the respective owners thereof. That thecargo belonged to divers Spanish merchants and others, resident in the island of Cuba, and to Pedro Montez and Jose Ruiz, the latter owning most of the slaves. Thelibellants stated, that having saved the schooner Amistad and cargo, and the slaves, with considerable danger, they prayed that process should be issued against thesame, and that the usual proceedings might be had by the court, by which areasonable salvage should be decreed out of the property so saved. Afterwards, Henry Green and Pelatiah Fordham and others, filed a petition andanswer to the libel, claiming salvage out of the property proceeded against by Thomas R. Gedney and others, and stating, that before the Amistad was seen or boarded by the officers and crew of the Washington, they had secured a portion of the negroes who had come on shore, and had thus aided in saving the vessel andcargo.
On the 29th of August 1839, Jose Ruiz and Pedro Montez, of Cuba, filed claims toall the negroes on board of the Amistad, except Antonio, as their slaves. A part of the merchandize on board the vessel was also claimed by them. They aileged, thatthe negroes had risen on the master of the schooner, and had murdered him; andthat afterwards, they, Ruiz and Montez, had brought her into the United States.They claimed, that the negroes and merchandize ought to be restored to them,under the treaty with Spain; and denied salvage to Lieutenant Gedney, and to allother persons claiming slavage. Afterwards, Ruiz and Montez each filed in thedistrict court, a separate libel, stating more at large the circumstances of the voyageof the Amistad, the murder of the master by the negroes, and that the negroesafterwards compelled them to steer the vessel towards Africa, but that they contrived to bring her to the coast of the United States, where she was captured by the United States brig Washington: Ruiz, in his libel, stated the negroes belongingto him to have been forty-nine in number, 'named and known at Havana, asfollows: Antonio, Simon, Jose, Pedro, Martin, Manuel, Andreo, Edwards,Celedonia, Burtolono, Ramia, Augustin, Evaristo, Casamero, Merchoi, Gabriel,Santorin, Escolastico, Rascual, Estanislao, Desidero, Nicholas, Estevan, Thomas,Cosme, Luis, Bartolo, Julian, Federico, Salustiano, Ladislao, Celestino, Epifanio,Eduardo, Benancico, Felepe, Francisco, Hipoleto, Berreto, Isidoro, Vecente,Deconisco, Apolonio, Esequies, Leon, Julio, Hipoleto and Zenon; of whom severalhave died.' Their present names, Ruiz stated, he had been informed, were, 'Cinque,Burnah 1st, Carpree, Dammah, Fourrie 1st, Shumah, Conomah, Choolay, Burnah2d, Baah, Cabbah, Poomah, Kimbo, Peea, Bang-ye-ah, Saah, Carlee, Parale, Morrah, Yahome, Narquor, Quarto, Sesse, Con, Fourrie 2d, Kennah, Lammane, Fajanah,Faah, Yahboy, Faquannah, Berrie, Fawnu, Chockammaw and Gabbow.' The libel of Pedro Montez stated, that the names of three negroes on board the Amistad, belonging to him, were Francisco, Juan and Josepha; the Spanish name of thefourth was not mentioned; and the four were now called Teme, Mahgra, Kene andCarria. All these were stated to be slaves, and the property of the claimants,