Mendi Bible

The Mendi Bible is a Bible presented to John Quincy Adams in 1841 by a group of freed Mendi captives who had mutinied on the schooner La Amistad.[1][2][3]

Adams, a former President of the United States and a then-U.S. Representative, was given the Bible as a gift in thanks for his representation of the Mende captives before the Supreme Court, who were freed when the Court ruled in their favor.[4][5]

The Mendi Bible was presented along with a letter of thanks which read in part:

We are about to go home to Africa. We go to Sierra Leone first, and then we reach Mendi very quick. When we get to Mendi we will tell the people of your great kindness. Good missionary will go with us. We shall take the Bible with us. It has been a precious book in prison, and we love to read it now we are free! Mr. Adams, we want to make you a present of a beautiful Bible! Will you please to accept it, and when you look at it or read it, remember your poor and grateful clients?...

For the Mendi people. CINQUE, KINNA, KALE.

Boston, Nov. 6, 1841.[2]

The Mendi Bible is currently curated in the Stone Library at the Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, Massachusetts.[4][6]

The book was stolen from the Adams site in November 1996 and subsequently recovered by the FBI in a gym locker in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in January 1997.[7][8][9]

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, the state's first African-American governor, took his oath of office on the Mendi Bible on January 4, 2007,[10] and took his second oath of office on the Mendi Bible on January 6, 2011.[11]


  1. "Collections". Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  2. 1 2 Archived from the original on July 3, 2008. Retrieved January 6, 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. Archived August 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. 1 2 Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. Archived September 2, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. "Committee Reports". Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  7. "H-SHEAR". Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  8. Archived from the original on October 7, 2007. Retrieved January 3, 2007. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. "£2m security plan after museum raid". Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  10. Archived from the original on July 17, 2010. Retrieved January 6, 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. Archived November 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
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