Sunday 9th December 2007 saw the triumphant arrival of the boat La Amistad at Government Wharf in Freetown. An historic occasion. It was a day that was a great celebration of freedom, the fight to abolish slavery and the bravery of Sengbeh Pieh.


La Amistad was a replica of the original La Amistad , a Spanish boat that was transporting slaves illegally from Cuba. One of the slaves Sengbeh Pieh, broke out of his shackles and then freed his fellow captives. Together they overpowered the crew and took control of the ship. The boat was detained by the Americans and the slaves all imprisoned. Their case was taken through the courts of America up to the Supreme court where their freedom was won. The first Human Rights case in American history.

The return of La Amistad was a very significant event for Sierra Leoneans who turned up in great numbers to cheer and wave as the sailing vessel docked and the crew disembarked. There were greetings and speaches from Ministers and the Mayor of Freetown. These were reciprecated by one of the Captains of La Amistad and a representative of the New Haven Sister City Programme who reaffirmed the Sister City status between Freetown and New Haven, Conneticut.  For more information about the amazing and inspirational stories of La Amistad past and present please see Amistad’s website at