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Seated by the SeaThe Maritime History of Portland, Maine, and Its Irish Longshoremen$
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Michael C. Connolly

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813037226

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813037226.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.36) 2 Black Fades to Green on the Waterfront: Nineteenth-Century Social, Racial, and Ethnic Change
Source:
Seated by the Sea
Author(s):

Michael C. Connolly

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813037226.003.0003

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

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