...abolitionists that called for an immediate ban on slavery, to the people that felt a constitutional amendment was long overdue, and included the advocates that argued slavery was a states' issue and wished to prolong the practice, primarily in the rural South for economic reasons. In the Northern States, "the rising voices of black, as well as white, abolitionists are partly responsible... Amistad A. The legal status of slavery in the early 19th century. In 1839, at the time of the Amistad, slavery was legal in selected US s, andgeographically limited according to federal law. However, the slave trade and the importation of slaves had been outlawed in the United States since 1817. Slavery was still...