Sunday, February 19, 2017

Celebrating Black History Month: Absalom Boston, first African-American whaling ship captain

Absalom Boston, born in Nantucket, Massachusetts 1785, was the first African-American to captain a whaling ship with an all-black crew.  His uncle, Prince Boston, had been a whaler in the 1770's as a slave but refused to turn over his earnings to his white captain.  He went to court and became the first black slave to be freed by a U.S. jury.

Absalom owned and operated an inn in Nantucket but in 1822, he became captain of The Industry with an all-black crew.  Their voyage lasted 6 months, returning with 70 barrels of whale oil and the entire crew intact.

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