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California Historical Society [FN-13157]

William T. Shorey

Among the successful nineteenth-century Caribbean immigrants was Captain William T. Shorey (1859 - 1919) from Barbados. In 1875, he sailed to Boston with a British crew and remained in the United States, eventually settling in California. He became the first black captain on the West Coast. Based in Oakland, he was a commander of whaling vessels and achieved fame as an experienced, highly competent captain. Shorey was nicknamed "Black Ahab," after a character in Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick.

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