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Documentary Film on Blacks in Hawaii

Re:HB Williams

My files show that a H.B. Williams left his ship in Apia, Samoa and opened a "grog shop". In 1865 Williams moved to Fiji and remained there until his death in 1909.

From Phylon, Vol43,1982,pp. 177-181:An article by Hazel McPherson who spent a year in Fiji researching Blacks in the Pacific Islands.

" A third part-Black American family identified by the author descended from H.B. Williams, a Black American "cooker" on a whaling ship from New Bedfford. Before arriving in in Fiji, Williams landed in Samoa where he was known as the "Black Prince" and where he operated a "grog" shop(i.e. rum) for a brief period. Upon arriving in Fiji, Williams was adopted by a local chief and subsequently given five Fijian women as wives. Willaims arrived in Fiji in 1865 and remained there until death in 1909. The family has in its possession a family bible containing the family tree, including the American branches."

Evidently there are relatives of H.B. Williams in Fiji. I have been fortunate to have met some of the descendents of African Americans who decided to remain in the islands in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Unfortunately, I did not meet any of the Williams family. There are the descendents of Williams, Brown,Barrows, Radigan, Rogers and Butts. all men who were seamen and liked Fiji enough to leave their ships and establish families in these far away islands.

I hope this information is related to your family.

Miles M. Jackson

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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