Mayor Hopes Amistad Will Stay in New London If State Sells It

What’s the future of the historic and troubled Amistad? The ship’s operator is more than $2 million in debt. Now the state wants to step in and save it.

The Amistad, Connecticut’s flagship, has been docked in New London since May. As visitors continue to tour the ship, repairs are also being done on it because it’s for sale.

“Like brackets and fire extinguishers and take them off and sand them and paint them,” Said Amistad ship keeper, Scott Donnelly.

The ship has been for sale at $550,000. Now, State Attorney General George Jepsen has proposed selling the state subsidized ship for $315,000 to a new non-profit group called Discovering Amistad Incorporated.

Jepsen hopes to pay off the ship’s debt and preserve its educational mission.

New London Mayor Daryl Finizio hopes the new owners will keep the boat in the city.

“The situation of the Amistad is under state control and the city of New London has no direct role in the matter,” Finizio said. “But we obviously hope that the ship, which is a treasure for the state, is appropriately restored and we hope that after the restoration is complete that perhaps they’d consider staying in New London.”

The Amistad is important to New London since it was here in 1839 when African captives were brought to the city on the Amistad and eventually freed.

In a statement, Jepsen said, "It remains our goal in seeking the receivership last year, to set forth a path that will ensure that the ship is protected, that it is able to continue to carry out its educational mission and that its future is secure."

Contact Us