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of his countrymen, he possessed a mind superior to his condition; and although he was diligent in the business of his master, and faithful to his interest, yet by great industry and economy he was enabled to purchase his personal liberty. At this time the remains of several Indian tribes, who originally possessed the right of soil, resided in Massachusetts; Cuffee became acquainted with a woman descended from one of those tribes, named Ruth Moses, and married her. He continued in habits of industry and frugality, and soon afterwards purchased a farm of 100 acres in Westport in Massachusetts. Cuffee and Ruth had a family of ten children. The three eldest sons, David, Jonathan, and John, are farmers in the neighbourhood of Westport, filling respectable situations in society, and endowed with good intellectual capacities. They are all married, and have families, to whom they are giving good educations. Of six daughters, four are respectably married, while two remain single. Paul was born on the Island of Cutterhunkker, one of the Elizabeth Islands near New Bedford, in the }. 1759. When he was about ourteen years of age, his father died, leaving a considerable property in land, but which, being at that time unproductive, afforded but little provision for his numerous family; and thus the care of supporting his mother and sisters devolved upon his brothers and himself. At this time Paul conceived that commerce furnished to industry more ample rewards than agriculture; he therefore entered at the age of sixteen as a common hand on board of a vessel destined to the bay of Mexico, on a whaling voyage. His second voyage was to the West Indies; but on his third he was captured by a British ship, during the American war, about the year 1776. After three months’ detention as a prisoner at New York, he was Permitted to return home to West

port, where, owing to the unfortunats continuance of hostilities, he spent about two years in his agricultural pursuits. During this interval, Paul and his brother John Cussee were called on, by the collector of the district in which they resided, for the payment of a personal tax. It appeared to them, that, by the laws of the constitution of Massachusetts, taxation and the whole rights of citizenship were united. But as people of colour had never been considered as entitled to the privilege of voting at elections, nor of being elected to places of trust and honour, they refused payment of the demand. The collector resorted to the force of the laws, and, after many delays and vexations, Paul and his brother deemed it most prudent to silence the suit by payment of the demand; but they resolved, if it were possible, to obtain the rights which they believed to be connected with taxation. They presented a respectful petition to the state legislature. From some individuals, it met with a warm and almost indignant opposition. A considerable majority was, however, favourable to their object:— they perceived the propriety and justice of the petition, and, with an honourable magnanimity, in defiance of the prejudice of the times, they passed a law, rendering all free persons of colour liable to taxation, according to the ratio established for white men, and granting them all the privileges belonging to other citizens. This was a day equally honourable to the petitioners and the legislature: a day which ought to be gratefully remembered by every person of colour within the boundaries of Massachusetts; and the names of John and Paul Cuffee should always be united with its recollection. At this time, being about twenty years of age, he thought himself sufficiently skilled to enter into business on his own account. He laid before his brother David a plan for carrying on a commercial inter

course with the states of Connecticut. His brother was pleased with the prospect: they built an open boat, and proceeded to sea. Here, for the first time, his brother found himself exposed to the perils of the ocean, and the hazard of a predatory warfare, which was carried on by the Refugees. They had not traversed many leagues before his brother's fears began to multiply and magnity its dangers; his courage sunk, and he resolved to return. This was a great disappointment to a young man of Paul's adventurous spirit, but he was obliged to submit to the determination. Paul returned to his farm, and laboured diligently in his fields; but his mind was frequently revolving new schemes of commercial enterprise. He again collected the materials for another effort, and made the attempt. He went to sea, and lost all the little treasure which by the sweat of his brow he had gathered. Paul, however, seems to have possessed a large share of active courage; he therefore resolutely determined to persevere in the road which he had marked out for himself. The necessity of aiding his mother and her family was a constant and stron incitement to renew his efforts. His funds were not sufficient to purchase a boat, but, in order to obviate this difficulty, he set himself earnestly to work, and with his own hands formed and completed a boat, from keel to gun-wale. This vessel was without a deck, but he had been on a whaling voyage, and was therefore well skilled in its management. Having launched his boat into the ocean, and when steering for one of the Elizabeth Islands, to consult with his brother on his future plans, he was discovered by the Refugee pirates, who chased and seized both him and his vessel. Robbed of every thing, he returned home pennyless, but without sinking under this discouragement. Thus circumstanced, he applied to his brother David, who, though in some degree deterred by the want of success which had hither

to attended Paul's attempts, yet acquiesced in his proposal to build another boat, if he would furnish the materials. This being accomplished, the respectability of Paul Cuffee's character at this time procured him sufficient credit to enable him to purchase a cargo. He proceeded towards Nantucket, and on the voyage was again chased by the Refugees pirates, but escaped them by night coming on; he, however, struck upon a rock on one of the Elizabeth Islands, and so far injured his boat as to render it necessary for him to return to Westport to refit; which being accomplished, he again set out for Nantucket, where he arrived in safety, but did not dispose of his cargo to advantage. He afterwards undertook a similar voyage, with better success; but as he was returning home he again fell into the hands of the pirates, and was deprived of his all, except his boat, which they permitted him to take, not, however, without his having received much personal injury and ill treatment from them. Under such numerous and untoward discomfitures, the courage of most persons would have failed, but Paul's dispositions were not of that yielding nature. . He possessed an inflexible spirit of perseverance and great firmness of mind; and he believed that, while he maintained integrity of heart and conduct, he might humbly hope for the protection of Providence. Under these impressions he prepared for another voyage : in his open boat, with a small cargo, he again directed his course towards the island of Nantucket. The weather was favourable, and he arrived safely at the des. tined port, and disposed of his little cargo to advantage. The profits of this voyage strengthening the confidence of his friends, enabled him still farther to enlarge his plans. At the time of his father's decease Paul had not received the benefit of education, and scarcely knew the letters of the alphabet; but this disadvantage he obviated by his assiduity; and at the period of his marriage, could not only read and write, but was so well skilled in figures, that he was able to resolve all the common rules of arithmetical calculation. He then applied himself to the study of navigation, in which, by the assistance of a friend, he made a rapid progress, and found himself able to engage in nautical and commercial undertakings of greater extent. Being now master of a small covered boat, of about twelve tons burthen, he hired a person to assist him as a seaman, and made many advantageous voyages to different parts of the state of Connecticut; and when about twenty-five years old he married a native of the country, a descendant of the tribe to which his mother belonged. For some time after his marriage he attended chiefly to his agricultural concerns, but, from an increase of family, he at length deemed it necessary to pursue his commercial plans more extensively than he had before done. He arranged his affairs for a new expedition, and hired a small house, on Westport river, to which he removed his family. A boat of eighteen tons was now procured, in which he sailed to the banks of St. George in quest of cod-fish, and returned home with a valuable cargo. This important adventure was the foundation of an extensive and profitable fishing establishment from Westport river, which continued for a considerable time, and was the source of an honest and comfortable living to many of the inhabitants of that district. At this period Paul formed a connection with his brother-in-law, Michael Wainer, who had several sons well qualified for the sea service, four of wholn have since laudably filled responsible situations as captains and first mates. A vessel of twenty-five tons was built; and in two voyages, to the Straits of Bellisle and Newfoundland, he met with such success as enabled him, in conjunction with another person, to

build a vessel of forty-two tons burthen, in which he made several profitable voyages. Paul had experienced the many disadvantages of his very limited education; and he resolved, as far as it was practicable, to relieve his children from similar embarrassments. The neighbourhood had neither a tutor nor school-house. Many of the citizens were desirous that a school should be established. About 1797, Paul proposed a meeting of the inhabitants for the purpose of making such arrangements as should accomplish the desired object. The collision of opinion respecting mode and place occasioned the meeting to separate without arriving at any conclusion. Severel meetings of the same nature were held, but all were unsuccessful in their issue. Perceiving that all ef. forts to procure a union of sentiment were fruitless, Paul set himself to work in earnest, and had a suitable house builton his own ground, which he freely gave up to the use of the public; and the school was opened to all who pleased to send their children. About this time, Paul proceeded on a whaling voyage to the Straits of Bellisle, where he found four other vessels completely equipped with boats and harpoons, for catch-' ing whales. Paul discovered that he had not made proper preparations for the business, having only ten hands on board, and two boats, one of which was old and almost useless. When the masters of the other vessels found his situation, they withdrew from the customary practice of such voyages, and refused to mate with his crew. In this emergency Paul resolved to prosecute his undertaking alone, till at length the other masters thought it most prudent to accede to the usual practice; as they apprehended, his crew, by their ignorance, might alarm and drive the whales from their reach, and thus defeat their voyages. During the season, they took seven whales. The circum

stances which had taken place roused the ambition of Paul and his crew. They were diligent and enterprising, and had the honour of killing six of the seven whales; two of those fell by Paul's own hands. He returned home in due season, heavily freighted with oil and bone, and arrived in the autumn of 1793, being then about his thirty-fourth year. He went to Philadelphia to dispose of his cargo. His pecuniary circumstances were by this time in a flourishing train. When in Philadelphia he purchased iron necessary for bolts and other work suitable for a schooner of sixty or seventy tons, and soon after his return to Westrt the keel for a new vessel was aid. In 1795 his schooner of sixtynine tons burthen was launched, and called “ the Ranger.” Paul possessed two small fishing boats, but his money was exhausted, and the cargo for his new vessel would require a considerable sum beyond his present stock. He now sold his two boats, and was enabled to place on board his schooner a cargo valued at two thousand dollars; with this he sailed to Norfolk, on the Chesapeak Bay, and there learned that a very plentiful crop of Indian corn had been gathered that year on the eastern i. of Maryland, and that he could procure a schooner-load for a low price at Vienna, on the Nanticoke river. Thither he sailed, but on his arrival the people were filled with astonishment and alarm. A vessel owned and commanded by a black man, and manned with a crew of the same complexion, was unprecedented and surprising. "he white inhabitants were struck with apprehensions of the injurious effects which such circumstances would have on the minds of their slaves, suspecting that he wished secretly to kindle the spirit of rebellion, and excite a destructive revolt among them. Under these notions, several persons associated themselves for the purpose of preventing Christ. Onselov. Apr.


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- - * Paul from entering his vessel or remaining among them. On exami

nation, his papers proved to be correct, and the custom-house officers could not legally refuse the entry of his vessel. Paul combined prudence with resolution, and on this occasion conducted himself with candour, modesty, and firmness; his crew behaved, not only inoffensively, but with a conciliating propriety. In a few days the inimical association vanished, and the inhabitants treated him and his crew with respect, and even kindness. Many of the principal people visited his vessel, and, in consequence of the pressing invitation . one of them, Paul dined with his family in the town. In three weeks Paul sold his cargo and received into his schooner 3009 bushels of Indian corn. With this he returned to Westport, where that article was in great demand; his cargo sold rapidly, and yielded him a profit of 1000 dollars. He re-loaded his vessel, sailed for Norfolk, sold his cargo and took in another, which, on his return, proved as profitable as his first voyage. The home market was now amply supplied with corn, and it became necessary to seek a different employment for his vessel. He sailed to Passamaquoddy in search of a cargo. When he arrived at the river. James Brian, a merchant of Wilmington (Delaware State), made him a liberal offer for his vessel to carry a load of gypsum. Paul thought the proposed price for the freight would equal the profits of any other business, and embraced his terms. He took on board the proposed cargo, and proceeded to Wilmington (Delaware.) Since that period, some of the vessels in which Paul is concerned have annually made one or two voyages to the same port. During the year 1797, after his return home, Paul purchased the house in which his F. resided, and the adjoining farm. For the farm and its improvements he paid

3,500 dollars, and placed it under - 5 P s

the management of his brother, who is a farmer. By judicious plans, and diligence in their execution, Paul has gradually increased his property; and by his integrity and consistency of con. duct has gained the esteem and regard of his fellow-citizens. . In the year 1800 he was concerned in one half of the expenses of building and equipping a brig of 162 tonsburthen, which portion he still holds.-One fourth belongs to his brother, and the other fourth is owned by persons not related to his family. This vessel is now commanded by Thomas Wainer, Paul Cussee's nephew, whose talents and character are perfectly adequate to such a situation. The ship Alpha, of 268 tons, carpenter's measure, of which Paul owns three fourths, was built in 1806. Of this vessel he was the commander; the rest of the crew consisting of seven men of colour. The ship has performed a voyage under his command from Wilmington to Savannah, from thence to Gottenburgh, and thence to Philadelphia. After Paul's return, in 1806, the brig Traveller, of 109 tons burthen, was built at Westport, of one half of which he is the owner. After this period, Paul, being extensively engaged in his mereantile and agricultural pursuits, resided at Westport. For several years previous to this, Paul had turned his attention to the colony of Sierra Leone, and was induced to believe, from his communinications from Europe and other sources, that he might be able to contribute to its welfare, and to that of his fellow-men. Under these impressions he sailed for Sierra leone in the commencement of 1811, in the brig Traveller; his nephew, Thomas Wainer, being the captain. He arrived there after a two months' passage, and resided there : about the same length of time. The , African Institution, apprised of his ...benevolent designs, applied for and 9btained a license, which being forwarded to Paul Cuffee, induced him

to come to this country, with a cargo of African produce. For the more effectul promotion of his primary intention, he left his nephew, Thomas Wainer, in the colony, and brought with him to England Aaron Richards, a native of Sierra Leone, with a view of instructing him in the art of navigation. From the exertions of one individual, however ardently engaged, we ought not to form too high expectations; but from the little information we have obtained of his endeavours amongst the colonists at Sierra Loone, and the open reception which he met with amongst them, there are grounds of hope that he may have done good there. He arrived here a few weeks since in the brig Traveller (consigned to W. and R. Rathbone), navigated by eight men of colour and an apprentice boy; and it is but, justice to the crew to observe, that during their stay they have been remarkable for their good conduct and proper behaviour, and that the greatest cordiality appears to prevail among them. Since Paul Cuffee's arrival he has been twice in London, the second time at the request of the Board of the Afriean. Institution, who were desirous of learning what were he impressions as to the best means of carrying their benevolent views respecting Africa into effect. . From the preceding memoir, the reader must have become acquainted with the prominent features of Paul Cuffee's character. A sound understanding, united with energy and perseverance, seems to have rendo: ed him capable of surmounting dis ficulties which would bave discowraged an ordinary mind. .. form under peculiar disadvan. tages, deprived of the benefit of early education, and the prime of his life spent in toil and vicissitude. he has had to struggle with peculiar difficulties. Yet under the pressure of these difficulties, he seems to have been characterised by dispost

tions of mind which entitle him to

the bighest respect,

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