Whaling Ship Captain William Thomas Shorey, the Black Ahab

Over practically three centuries of whaling, some 175,000 males went to sea in 2,700 ships. Of the 2,500 masters who captained whaling ships, a minimum of 63 had been males of shade. Lots of the 63 sailed from the US East Coast, together with Absalom Boston, Paul Cuffee, William A. Martin, and Collins A. Stevenson, amongst others. Here’s a revised repost a couple of black whaling shipmaster from the West Coast in final days of the whale fisheries, Captain William Shorey. 

Captain William Thomas Shorey, who was affectionately nicknamed “Black Ahab” by his crew, was born in Barbados in 1859 and ran away to sea as a younger man. He realized navigation from a British ship captain and have become a ship’s officer by the age of 21. After solely a decade at sea, he rose to command whaling ships crusing out of San Francisco.

In 1886 Shorey married Julia Ann Shelton, daughter of one of many main black households in San Francisco. Collectively they’d 5 kids and Captain Shorey often took his household to sea with him. Captain Shorey was often called a talented and fortunate captain. Nicknamed “Black Ahab,”  in contrast to Melville’s captain, Shorey had a status for “joyful ships” and as a captain that introduced his ships and crews house safely.  Returning to port in 1907 after surviving two typhoons, the crew testified that “nothing however Captain Shorey’s coolness and intelligent seamanship saved [it from] a wreck.”

Because the whaling trade collapsed with the appearance of low cost petroleum,  Shorey retired from whaling in 1908.  He died within the Spanish flu pandemic of 1919 on the age of 60.

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