Portrait of Cinque, by Nathaniel Jocelyn
The presentation of a noble Cinque culminated in the romanticized portrait commissioned by a wealthy African American abolitionist from Philadelphia. This most famous image of Cinque was also copied into a print format for sale. An important audience for these images was the free black community in New York City, where most of them were printed. In the midst of the oral arguments before the Supreme Court, an African American newspaper in New York City advertised copies of this portrait, which were available for the price of $1. The publishers announced “We shall be proud to have our apartments graced with the portrait of the noble Cinque, and shall regard it as a favor to our descendants, to transmit to them his likeness.” For at least some African Americans, Cinque already had become an inspiring legend.