From Deval Patrick's inauguration address today (how feakin' cool is this?):
"Our founders came on the Mayflower, the Arabella, and the early clipper ships. But there were other boats, too. There was the Amistad and her cargo of kidnapped Africans, who commandeered the ship to sail home to Africa, but who were seized in Long Island Sound and imprisoned in New Haven.
On this very day 165 years ago, a young man named Kinna, who had been part of that rebellion, sent a letter from prison to our own John Quincy Adams, who had retired from public life at home in Massachusetts.
Kinna pleaded with Adams to help the 36 captives from his ship to earn their freedom. Adams took the case all the way to the United States Supreme Court and won.
As a gesture of thanks and respect, the Africans gave Adams a Bible, called the Mendi Bible, after their tribal homeland.I took the oath this morning with my hand resting on that same Bible -- and with my resolve strengthened by that same legacy."