New Bedford in Bristol County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
Captain Paul Cuﬀe
Paul Cuffe (1759-1817) was a sea captain, merchant, philanthropist, community leader, civil rights advocate and abolitionist.
Here are some significant details about his life.
Westport, MA: site of the Cuffe home and farms, where in 1800 Captain Cuffe established “Cuff’s School”, one of the first integrated schools in America, welcoming children of all colors.
Boston, MA: February 12, 1780, as a land owner and tax payer, Paul Cuffe petitioned the Massachusetts General Court for the right to vote. No action was taken. On April 24, 1781, Cuffe as a Native American man petitioned the town of Dartmouth. Although the petition failed, the campaign for voting rights helped pave the way for creation of the new Constitution in 1783 which granted equality to all Massachusetts citizens.
Sierra Leone, West Africa: December 2, 1815, Cuffe departed Westport on the brig Traveler and sailed to see Sierra Leone on the West Coast of Africa, to establish a new home for former African Americans.
Washington, DC: May 2, 1812, Paul Cuffe met with President James Madison, to discuss the return of property seized in the war of 1812, thereby becoming the first African-American guest of a sitting
Philadelphia, PA: throughout the late 1700s, one of Paul Cuffe’s closest friends and business associates was sail-maker and businessman James Forten of Philadelphia, one of the wealthiest black men in early America.
The West Indies: Captain Cuffe traded for goods to stock his store “Cuffe & Howards”, (est. 1808) with sugar, coffee, chocolate, raisins, cloves, nutmeg, cotton, candles, soap, leaf tobacco, crockery, earthenware Moroccan shoes, ladies mock turtle hair combs and other sundries.
New Bedford Whaling Museum -- Dedicated – 9/24/2011
Erected 2011 by New Bedford Whaling Museum.
Location. 41° 38.078′ N, 70° 55.397′ W. Marker is in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in Bristol County. Marker is on Union Street near 1st Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Located in Captain Paul Cuffe park. Marker is in this post office area: New Bedford MA 02740, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Captain Paul Cuffe (here, next to this marker); Twentieth-Century Whaling (here, next to this marker); Trial by Fire (here, next to this marker); Making Room-Johnny Cake Hill (a few steps from this marker); A Tribute of Respect to Enterprising Whalemen (within shouting distance of this marker); The Seamen's Bethel (within shouting distance of this marker); Viking (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Seamen’s Bethel (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Bedford.
Also see . . . Paul Cuffee. (Submitted on September 26, 2014, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia.)
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 26, 2014, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 257 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 26, 2014, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.