Audio problem: When Baldwin writes to John Quincy Adams begging for help, Adams crumples up the letter and drops it to the floor. As it comes to rest, you can see the word "threatened" written above the words "need you". But in the voice-over reading the letter out loud, the word "threatened" is never spoken.
Factual error: The Portuguese slave ship Tecora was one of the most notorious of the illegal slave ships, but no slaves were thrown overboard in mid-ocean as shown in the film - at least on the trip in question. The Portuguese were pros at the slave trade and had plenty of food on board to feed their "cargo" between Sierra Leone and Cuba. The only time a slave would be thrown overboard in mid-ocean was if his/her health posed a serious risk to the crew and "cargo". (Slaves were too valuable to just throw away for the price of their food.) Historically, though, there were instances where whole cargoes of slaves were tossed overboard. The British Royal Navy zealously patrolled the waters off West Africa to try to shut down the slave trade. If a British ship was sighted, the slavers sometimes tossed slaves overboard to destroy the evidence and prevent the seizure of the ship.
Judge Coglin: Were they born in Africa? Since the answer to that fundamental question shall so heavily govern every determination of this Court, I ask it again. Were they born in Africa?
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