Chapter

Black Fades to Green on the Waterfront: Nineteenth-Century Social, Racial, and Ethnic Change

Michael C. Connolly

in Seated by the Sea

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037226
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041759 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813037226.003.0003
Black Fades to Green on the Waterfront: Nineteenth-Century Social, Racial, and Ethnic Change

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Largely due to the importation of molasses from the West Indies, used locally in the production of refined sugar at the J. B. Brown Sugar Company, and rum, a small but significant black labor force emerged on the Portland waterfront in the early nineteenth century. This workforce was challenged and eventually replaced by the newly arriving Irish by mid-century, and their small neighborhood at the base of Munjoy Hill around the Abyssinian Church (1828) was further decimated by the sinking of the steamship Portland in 1898, with the loss of many of its citizens employed on the steamer. Comparisons are made with similar African American communities in other major cities, primarily Boston. By 1864 a Longshoremen's Benevolent Association, mostly Irish, had been formed in Portland.

Keywords: black; African American communities; Abyssinian Church; J. B. Brown; Longshoremen's Benevolent Association

Chapter.  11040 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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