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Lewis Tappan

Lewis Tappan
Lewis Tappan portrait.jpg
Lewis Tappan
Personal details
BornMay 23, 1788 (1788-05-23)[1]
Northampton, Massachusetts
DiedJune 21, 1873 (1873-06-22)[2]
Brooklyn Heights, New York
ProfessionMercantile

Lewis Tappan (May 23, 1788 – June 21, 1873) was a New York abolitionist who worked to achieve freedom for the enslaved Africans aboard the Amistad. Tappan was also among the founders of the American Missionary Association in 1846, which began more than 100 anti-slavery Congregational churches throughout the Midwest, and after the American Civil War, founded numerous schools and colleges to aid in the education of freedmen.

Contacted by Connecticut abolitionists soon after the Amistad arrived in port, Tappan focused extensively on the captive Africans. He ensured the acquisition of high-quality lawyers for the captives, which led to their being set free after the case went to the United States Supreme Court. With his brother Arthur, Tappan not only gained legal help and acquittal for the Africans, but also managed to increase public support and fundraising. Finally, he organized the return trip home to Africa for surviving members of the group.