Capt. Paul Cuffee

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Paul Cuffee (Slocum)

Nicknames: "changed name in 1778 from Slocum to Cuffe"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Cuttyhunk Island, Dukes, Massachusetts, United States
Death: Died in Westport, Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Cuffee "Kofi" Slocum and Ruth Slocum
Husband of Alice Cuffe
Father of Ruth Howard; Mary Phillips; Alice Cuffee; William Cuffee; Naomi Howard and 2 others
Brother of Sarah Cuffee Durfee; Mary Cuffee Wainer; David Cuffee Slocum; John Cuffee; Jonathan Cuffee Slocum and 5 others

Occupation: businessman, Sea Captain, patriot, and abolitionist
Managed by: Kenneth Kwame Welsh
Last Updated:

About Paul Cuffee (Slocum)

Paul Cuffee (January 17, 1759 – September 9, 1817) was a Quaker businessman, Sea Captain, patriot, and abolitionist. He was of Aquinnah Wampanoag and African Ashanti descent and helped colonize Sierra Leone. Cuffee built a lucrative shipping empire and established the first racially integrated school in Westport, Massachusetts. He died on September 7, 1817. His final words were "Let me pass quietly away." Cuffee left an estate with an estimated value of almost $20,000.[44]

Paul Cuffe, Sr., one of the most important and least known of the anti-slavery leaders in the United States, was the son of a freed African slave and a Wampanoag Indian woman from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He rose from poverty to become one of the wealthiest men of color in the United States by the first decade of the nineteenth century, his fortune based on skill as a shipbuilder and merchant-captain. (1)

That Nantucket's combination of Quaker abolitionism and mercantile savvy was an inspiration to blacks throughout the region at this period is indicated by the life of Paul Cuffe (1759-1817). A black sailor from Westport, Massachusetts, Cuffe based his own highly successful business practices on those of the Rotches, and by the beginning of the nineteenth century he had become one of the wealthiest black entrepreneurs in America.

Sources

  1. Memoir of Captain Paul Cuffe, A Man of Colour: To Which is Subjoined The Epistle of the Society of Sierra Leone, In Africa & c. York, England: C. Peacock. 1811
  2. Wikipedia
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Capt. Paul Cuffee's Timeline

1759
January 17, 1759
Dukes, Massachusetts, United States
1783
February 25, 1783
Age 24
March 8, 1783
Age 24
1785
October 5, 1785
Age 26
1788
August 10, 1788
Age 29
1790
September 10, 1790
Age 31
1792
December 20, 1792
Age 33
Westport, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States
1795
March 29, 1795
Age 36
1799
June 19, 1799
Age 40
1817
September 7, 1817
Age 58
Westport, Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States