Letter from James Birney to Lewis Tappan
A letter from James Birney acknowledging Lewis Tappan's letter and explaining that he has "consulted the committee and the instructions respecting its contents. They did not appear very definite in their views of the matter." He claims the Committee feels that "unless the Africans can be kept together & in a situation where the can have efficient instruction they had better remain in their present situation" or as Tappan suggested, "they could be placed under the care of Mr. Norton at Farmington...this might also be well to do." However, the Committee does not wish them to be separated and any interference may result in limiting the Amistad Captive's privileges while jailed. Any efforts to remove the young girls from Stanton Pendleton would be unsuccessful and would upset him. It is mentioned that Amos Townsend agrees in general but feels it would benefit the girls "to be placed in private families." The instructors think it desirable that the Africans learn "some useful trades" and for "two or three of the more intelligent, and apt, [be] situated in private families where they would acquire more rapidly the English language.” They would then potentially serve as interpreters should they return to Africa. Birney suggests Kale and Kinna for this and goes on to provide answers to Tappan's questions concerning the girls and their roles in the Pendleton home and their instruction there.