Captain William T. Shorey: Provincetown Goes Pop

Captain William T. Shorey (1859-1919)

Only four or five black men born in the Americas rose to the position of captain in the American whale fishery and in this distinction the owners of the Provincetown whaling fleet are to be commended. Two of these captains started their whaling careers here. The elder was Capt. Colin Stevenson, a native of St. Vincent who probably came to Provincetown in the early 1870s. Eventually he settled with his wife and family at 4 Race Road. His first command was the Rising Sun, followed by the Alcyone and last by the Carrie D. Knowles

In January 1876 William T. Shorey who was born on Barbados, came to Provincetown to work for fishing and whaling businessman Samuel S. Swift. He left for the west coast four years later and eventually became the most successful of the black whaling captains in our history. His later career was in the arctic whale fishery - a difficult business at best. Shorey was known for his charm in an industry that didn't often resort to it.

- Provincetown, George D. Bryant March 29,1998