Benjamin Joseph of Norway and Portland

[Source: David Noyes, The history of Norway: comprising a minute account of its first set... (Norway Me.: The author, 1852), p. 115]
Benjamin Joseph, mentioned among the new immigrants, did not come here in 1816, but as early as 1807. He was a full-blooded West India negro from Cuba. When a boy, Dr. Stephen Cummings of Portland brought him to that city; but thinking it would be far better for him to be brought up in the country, he let his brother, Maj. Jonathan Cummings, have him, not as a slave, but as a servant. Here he was well-treated, well-fed, clothed and schooled, and when he became twenty-one years of age, had his time and earnings for himself; he was accordingly taxed after becoming of age. His native simplicity, and mild disposition, made him rather a favorite in the family and neighborhood as long as he resided in the place. He afterwards went to Portland, where he still resides, and has a family. He is the only colored person who lived in the town during the last half century.

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Comment by Chris Dunham on July 20, 2009 at 3:34am
Note that the 1850 census (Portland) gives the place of Benjamin Joseph's birth as New Hampshire, while the 1860 census says he was a native of Connecticut.
Comment by Elizabeth Kurlykova on April 11, 2010 at 6:10am
Are there are ship records of immigrants who came from Cuba to Portland?
Comment by Chris Dunham on April 11, 2010 at 1:00pm
Starting in 1820, American ports were required to record manifests of incoming ships from foreign ports (including Cuba), but not every ship was recorded, and not every manifest has survived. The 1820-1847 manifests for Portland and Falmouth are indexed here. Manifests earlier than 1820 are much harder to find.


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