Portuguese-Americans in New England

Traditionally, many Portuguese coming to the United States have settled in New England, in Massachusetts or Maine, along the coast. My grandfather in fact lived many years, happily, in Provincetown, among the seamen and artists. Reading portions of Miguel Oliveira’s wonderful book, From a Man without a Country to an American by Choice: John Dos Passos and Migration (2013), I learn that some of the Portuguese settlement in whaling towns in New England in the 1800s owes to the recruitment of international crews when boats passed Madeira, the Azores, and Cape Verde. Ships out of Provincetown, New Bedford, and Nantucket would stop at these islands–knowing the locals were natural seamen–and pick up help. Some of these Portuguese immigrants would ultimately move to New England, if they survived the horrors of whaling life. Fascinating!