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Contact the Archives:
The Delaware Historical Society is a good source for your search you can email them at: email@example.com
Newspapers contain enough notices about fatal accidents involving Wilmington's inhabitants to conclude there were definite dangers associated with water-related occupations. An 1825 issue of the Delaware Gazette describes the death of Allen Anderson who, while setting sail on a trip from Philadelphia to Wilmington, fell overboard and drowned. In 1848, the Blue Hen's Chicken noted deaths by drowning of John Gordon, a hand on a pilot boat, and, in a separate incident, John Pindergrass, a cook on board a cutter, who mysteriously disappeared from his vessel and was later found floating in the Christiana River. African American sailors who ventured away from Delaware waters also assumed political risks. In 1848, Jesse Mode, captain of an all black crew out of Wilmington, ventured to Swan Creek in Maryland to pick up a load of logs for a Pennsylvania buyer. Because Maryland law required at least one white man on board a vessel manned by blacks, Mode and his crew endured arrest, imprisonment and a fine. Only the intercession of Thomas Garrett secured their release
You might also be interested in reading: http://www1.udel.edu/BlackHistory/antebellum.html
THE GROWTH OF DELAWARE'S ANTEBELLUM FREE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY Peter T. Dalleo
Also he University of Delaware might be able to help you with your research.
Best Wishes and Good Luck in your search.
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Dear Ms. Strack,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We suggest that you review the National Archives African American Research, the Pennsylvania State Archives Guide to African American Resources, and the Delaware State Archives African American Experience in Delaware for resources to locate the records you seek.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!.
There is a autobiography written by Pauli Murray, a noted author, lawyer, activist, etc. The book is the story of her family who at one time lived in Delaware. It will give you an idea about the people and their customs. "Proud Shoes" is the name of the book.
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Gina, here are two books that might help in your research.
"Black Sailors...Afro-American Merchant Seamen and Whalemen Prior to the Civil War" by Martha S. Putney, 1987.
Published by Greenwood Press, Inc.
"Walkin' The Line...A Journey from past to present along the Mason-Dixon". There is a lot of African American history in this book, including names. Keep in mind that the boundaries between Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland changed over the years. Look for records in these three places.
Hope this helps.