Colonial times to the twentieth century, men of African
ancestry were active in New Englands whaling industry
as sailors, blacksmiths, shipbuilders, officers, & owners.
By the 1840s, Black sailors constituted about one-sixth
of the labor force; and by 1900, African Americans and Cape
Verdeans had become a majority.
is not that nice distinction made in the whaling as there
is in the naval and merchant services; a coloured man is only
known and looked upon as a MAN, and is promoted in rank according
to his ability and skill to perform the same duties as a white
man; his opportunities for accumulating pecuniary means --
investing his earnings in whaling capital, is equally the
By an African-American journalist who had served in a New
Bedford whaler, 1846.