John Quincy Adams argues before the court that it is neither natural nor ethical for men to remain in slavery – that the natural state of man is freedom.
Put to the task of defending African slaves who lead a mutiny on board a slave ship, Tappan suggests that winning the case is not as important as giving the men their dignity.
When word reaches Col. Shaw and his men that confederate soldiers will shoot on sight any black union soldier or any officer in command of black soldiers, Col. Shaw gives his men the option to retire.
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