Friday, December 11, 2009

Memorable Monologue: Amistad

[writing a letter to John Quincy Adams]

"To His Excellency, John Quincy Adams, Massachusetts member, House of Representatives. I have understood from Mr. Joadson that you are acquainted with the plight of the Amistad Africans. If that is true, then you are aware that we have been, at every step successful in our presentation of their case. Yet despite this and despite the unlikelihood of President Van Buren's re-election, he has appealed our most recent favorable decision to the highest court in the land. As I'm sure you are well aware, seven of nine of these Supreme Court justices are themselves Southern slave owners. Sir, we need you. If ever there was a time for a man to cast aside his daily trappings and array himself for battle, that time has come. Cicero once said, appealing to Claudius in defense of the Republic, that the whole result of this entire war depends on the life of one most brave and excellent man. In our time, in this instance, I believe it depends on two. A courageous man at present in irons in New Haven, named Cinque... and you sir. Sincerely Robert S. Baldwin, attorney-at law."

~ Matthew McConaughey as Baldwin in Amistad (1997)

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