Amos Haskins was a Gay Head Aquinnah from Martha’s Vineyard who advanced through the ranks and became a ship captain – one of a few Native Americans to do so. Haskins may have served as a sailor on several ships before joining the crew of the brig Chase. The Chase was abandoned at sea a week later, but Haskins continued to work as a first or second mate on the brigs Annawan, Willis, and Triton.
By the age of 35, Captain Haskins had taken command of his first whaleship, the bark Massasoit. He oversaw a 22-person crew, 12 of whom were men of color.
Two years into a voyage on the bark Oscar, Haskins was reported by the New Bedford Republican Standard to have died at sea. This was untrue, and Haskins returned safely to his family.
Haskins shipped out once more and is believed to have died at sea in 1861. Information from The National Park Service of Massachusetts Whaling History
Learn more at the New Bedford Whaling Museum