Letter from John T. Norton to Lewis Tappan
A letter from John T. Norton acknowledging Lewis Tappan's letter enclosing another letter to Sherman M. Booth, which has been delivered to him, as well as the Amistad Committee's suggestions regarding the "management of the Africans." Norton writes that he will meet with A.F. Williams and Samuel Demming next week to discuss "the location of our charges, their superintendence, etc..." Norton mentions that he had written on March 25 with anxiety, but affairs are more encouraging. Cinque and the other Africans "felt heartily ashamed of their conduct before the ladies and were desirous to make all the atonement in their power." Norton states "the fault was [illegible] so much in them, as in those who took Helen to the place where the ladies were assaulted, as not making proper explanations before taking them there." A discussion was had relative to "exhibiting for money and yielding to or associating with persons with whose characters they were not acquainted." The letter mentions that twelve of the men, including Cinque, Kinna, and Foole attended church today. Norton claims that Sherman Booth believes the Africans need more preparation before reading and singing at a proposed meeting at the Broadway Tabernacle in New York and writes that the Africans read slowly and are not accustomed to speaking with raised voices. Kinna is especially averse to exhibiting himself and if Cinque were "brought out, it would have a fine effect" but "his peculiar [prowess?] would not be exhibited except in an unpremeditated, spontaneous effort." Norton states that consideration must be made regarding the "danger of unsettling their minds, and giving them undue views of their position." Norton then writes that the Africans read accounts of themselves in newspapers and that Kinna is often called upon to read to them. He suggests Tappan postpone the meeting until [the anniversaries?] and that clothing for the Africans must be purchased.