Captain Paul Cuffe Park
Captain Paul Cuffe Park was expanded and re-dedicated on September 21, 2018. Learn more about the exhibition “Captain Paul Cuffe: His Work, Vision, and Living Legacy”
Cuffe was a Quaker businessman, sea captain, patriot, and abolitionist who lived in the SouthCoast. Born on Cuttyhunk Island, he was of Wampanoag and Ashanti descent. Cuffe built a lucrative shipping empire and established the first racially integrated school in Westport, Massachusetts. He rose to prominence to become one of the wealthiest men of color in the nation. His petition to protest taxation of people of color while withholding the right to vote was an important step in granting full citizenship rights in Massachusetts, and he was one of the first black men to have a formal meeting with a sitting U.S. president.
To honor his legacy, the Whaling Museum established Captain Paul Cuffe Park in 2011 near the site where he operated his store, Cuffe & Howards. The construction of the Wattles Jacobs Education Center, which opened in 2015, afforded the opportunity to expand Cuffe Park and elevate this tribute to Cuffe’s regional impact as a prominent merchant, community leader, and advocate of equal rights. The new park is four times the size compared to the former park and incorporates educational outdoor panel exhibits.
Supporters of Captain Paul Cuffe Park*
We acknowledge and thank the following donors who have contributed to this project.
Island Foundation, Inc.
Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund – A program of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, administered through a collaborative arrangement between MassDevelopment and the Mass Cultural Council
The New York Community Trust – Wattles Family Charitable Trust Fund, Recommended by Gurdon B. Wattles
Anonymous, 2 Donors
Susan Sweetser Brenninkmeyer
John H. Deknatel & Carol M. Taylor
The William M. Wood Foundation
Anonymous, 2 Donors
Elaine & Paul Chervinsky, M.D.
Betsy & Rusty Kellogg
Babbitt Steam Specialty Co.
Nancy & Jack Braitmayer
Roger & Jane Cheever
The David P. Wheatland Charitable Trust
Sheldon Friedland, In Memory of Shulamith Friedland
Mary Howland Smoyer & Margaret Baker Howland, In Honor of Rachel Smith Howland
Marguerite & H. F. “Gerry” Lenfest
Ann & Lloyd Macdonald
Holly & Joe McDonough
New Bedford Historical Society
Tina & Paul Schmid
Sloan & Wick Simmons
Susan Rich & Anne Strauss, In Memory of their Mother Annette Lantzius
The Vineyard Family
John & Patricia Kalisz
Ann Marie & Fred Macri, In Memory of Armand W. Boulanger, Jr.
Paula Cordeiro & David O’Brien
Margaret-Ann Rice, In Honor of Clif Rice
Cordelia W. & James P. Russell
*As of September 21, 2018
Architect: Civitects PC
Landscape Design: Sinton and Michener
Engineer: Farland Corp
Project Manager: Page Building Construction Co.
Building & Grounds Committee Chair: John N. Garfield, Jr.