Paul Cuffe Memorial Fellowship
For the Study of Minorities in American Maritime History
Mystic Seaport invites applications for the annual competition for the Paul Cuffe Memorial Fellowship. Paul Cuffe, born in 1759 on Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts, was the son of a Wampanoag Indian mother and a former slave father. Active in the Quaker community, he founded a free school in Westport, Massachusetts. Before his death in 1817 he became a sea captain, shipowner, landowner, and respected community leader.
Since 1989, the Museum’s Paul Cuffe fellowship has provided funds to 35 researchers from universities, colleges, and museums. The fellowships are offered to encourage research that considers the participation of Native and African Americans in the maritime activities of New England, primarily its southeastern shores. Fellowships support research and writing, a portion of which should normally be carried out in the Mystic area. The fellowships of up to $2,400 are made possible through the generosity of a local private foundation.
Cuffe fellows are requested to write a report on their research within one year.
The research collection of the G. W. Blunt White Library has nearly one million documents pertaining to maritime history. These include 1,300 ships’ logs and journals, ledgers, diaries, and documents from the whaling, fishing, and shipping industries.
Nearby institutions with relevant research materials include:
- American Antiquarian Society — Worcester, MA
- John Carter Brown Library — Providence, RI
- Nantucket Historical Society & Atheneum — Nantucket, MA
- Martha’s Vineyard Museum (originally known as Dukes County Historical Society) — Martha’s Vineyard, MA
- New Bedford Whaling Museum – New Bedford, MA
- New Bedford Public Library — New Bedford, MA
- Yale University — New Haven, CT