The African, Afro-Caribbean, and African-American mariners of the Cape merit their own book. Until it’s written, Capt. Collin Stephenson will be more obscure than he ought to be. He lived on Race Road at least 15 years. Born in the late 1840s in the Lesser Antilles, he came to the U.S. in the 1850s or early 1860s, George Bryant told me. “He rose very quickly,” Bryant said. The record shows the faith placed in him by George Knowles, owner of the schooner Carrie D. Knowles. From 1895 to 1903, Captain Stephenson led nine voyages, bringing back more than 3,200 barrels of sperm whale oil. The schooner departed in January 1904, with a complement of 12, due to reach the Caribbean island of Dominica at the end of March. She never arrived. Tall tales were all that was heard again of the ship and its captain.
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