“The mind of Mr. Tyson was strong, rather than brilliant. With scarcely any imagination, he possessed a judgment almost infallible in its decisions; great powers of reason, which were more conspicuous for the certainty of its conclusions than remarkable for displaying the train of inferences by which it arrived at them. He possessed wonderful acuteness of understanding, quickness of perception, and readiness of reply.
“For these qualities he was indebted more to nature than to art. He was not educated for the exalted station of a philanthropist, but for the business of the world; and yet he seemed fitted exactly for the part he acted. He possessed not the refinements of education; he had not learned to soar into the regions of fancy, his destiny was upon the earth; and he knew no flight but that which bears the soul to heaven.”
THE “AMISTAD CAPTIVES.”
The following statements are drawn from a “History of the Amistad Captives, &c., by John W. Barber, member of the Connecticut Historical Society;” from the authentic reports of the proceedings in the courts of law, and from a letter of my friend, Lewis Tappan, to the public papers.
“During the month of August, 1839, the public attention was somewhat excited by several reports stating that a vessel of suspicious and piratical character had been seen near the coast of the United States, in the vicinity of New York. This vessel was represented as a ’long, low, black schooner,’ and manned by blacks. The United States steamer Fulton and several revenue cutters were despatched after her, and notice was given to the collectors at various sea ports.”
This suspicious looking schooner proved to be the “Amistad,” which was eventually captured off Culloden Point, by Lieut. Gedney, of the U.S. brig “Washington.” At this time, however, the Africans, who were in possession of the vessel, were in communication with the shore, and peaceably trafficking with the inhabitants for a supply of water for their intended voyage to their own country. They had spontaneously submitted to the command of one of their number, Cinque, a man of extraordinary natural capacity. When they were taken, he was separated from his companions and conveyed on board the brig.
“Cinque having been put on board of the ‘Washington,’ displayed much uneasiness, and seemed so very anxious to get on board the schooner that his keepers allowed him to return. Once more on the deck of the ‘Amistad,’ the blacks clustered around him, laughing, screaming, and making other extravagant demonstrations of joy. When the noise had subsided, he made an address, which raised their excitement to such a pitch, that the officer in command had Cinque led away by force. He was returned to the ‘Washington,’ and