History of the Federal Judiciary

History of the Federal Judiciary

  Amistad: The Federal Courts and the Challenge to Slavery
by Bruce A. Ragsdale, Director, Federal Judicial History Office, Federal Judicial Center

Learn about the case — historical background and documents

Download a PDF of the Historical Background and Documents

Amistad in the Federal Courts: A Brief Narrative

The Courts and their Jurisdiction

The Judicial Process: A Chronology

Legal Questions Before the Federal Courts

Legal Arguments in Court


Media Coverage and Public Debates

Historical Documents

Bibliography and Resources


Submit Questions About Judicial History