Letter from John T. Norton to Lewis Tappan
In this letter, it is reported that Simeon Jocelyn visited John T. Norton in Farmington and is traveling to Middleton to consult with Judge William L. Storrs. Norton writes that "many of the good friends here are very desirous to get the Africans out of the hands of their oppressors at once and some are willing to go so far as to shoulder a musket, or to turn Mohawks for this purpose." Norton is of the opinion that it will be best to keep still until after the [Supreme Court] decision is known and he realizes Tappan is not contemplating interference, but advises him to "address others in case you are of the same opinion as myself." He states that the cause of abolition will gain greatly if the Amistad Captives are "delivered...in the path of law & justice" but that opponents of abolition will gain if the abolitionists "depart from the principles they have contended for." He further states that "Providence seems to have thrown these men here for various purposes & one of these purposes might have been to tell Abolitionists & to exalt their principles." If the decision of the Supreme Court is unfavorable it may "open the eyes of good men to the designs of the south" and that if the "Africans should be given to Spain what an outcry would then be [throughout?] the Country & the World." Norton writes that "the existing arrangements do not seem to be such [to] secure speedy action" and he will need a day to secure a writ of habeas corpus. Apparently, Simeon Jocelyn left the blanks of the writ, prepared by Governor William W. Ellsworth, in Norton's hand.