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2020-09-25 06:06:09
Cuffee [Cuffe], Paul
Printed by C. Peacock for W. Alexander, York, 1812. Scarce second edition of the first biography of Paul Cuffee, the self-made merchant adventurer born to a Native American mother and formerly enslaved African father. Cuffee's father, an Ashanti who was kidnapped in West Africa as a child and forced into slavery in Massachusetts, purchased his freedom from his Quaker slaveholder and married a local Wampanoag woman. Their son, Paul Cuffee (1759-1817), joined whaling voyages as a youth and had numerous run-ins with pirates. These experiences gave him the skills to smuggle goods through British blockades during the Revolutionary War, during which he was captured and held a prisoner of war. After this service, Cuffee and his brother were jailed for a short time for petitioning against being taxed when they did not have the right to vote. He then built a shipping empire and used the funds to engage in a life of local and international activism. Gates notes that Cuffee was "perhaps the wealthiest black American of his time." He funded one of the first racially integrated schools in the country, which was situated on his own land in Westport, and became a leader in one of the earliest Black-led "back to Africa" movements. Only one generation removed from his African heritage, Cuffee made multiple trips to Sierra Leone, where the British had established a city for freed Africans, and formed an organization with other Black entrepreneurs to aid in the development of the colony. This copy is bound with the 1817 "supplement" eulogy. An 1811 imprint of 12 pages is recorded in Sabin, bu … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Type Punch Matrix [Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.]
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