- CAPE COD
- MARTHA’S VINEYARD
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ike many Nantucketers, Absalom Boston became a whaling captain who ultimately bought his own ship, the Industry, in 1820. Unlike other mariners, however, Boston was America’s only black whaling captain, who also had an all-black crew, part of the little-known but significant black community on Nantucket beginning in the 18th century that left behind the nation’s second-oldest surviving meeting house built by free blacks for their own use; the oldest is in Boston. The African Meeting House served as a school for black children until Nantucket’s public schools were integrated in the 1840s, then became the African Baptist Church, and later was used as a warehouse until it was restored. Captain Boston’s portrait hangs in the Nantucket Historical Association Whaling Museum on Broad Street, and he is buried in the Colored Cemetery behind the current-day Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.
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