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.