African American Ohio river pilots early 1800s

Joined: 1 year ago
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I am researching 2 brothers that were River pilots. They resided in New Albany, IN. Both were wealthy, built brick homes, and supposedly had their own boats and piloted steamboats. Supposedly, Jesse piloted the Etna which wrecked and was called Etna point. Joshua was called “yellow Wilson “ by white people that knew him.
Does anyone know if there would be official records regarding river boat pilots? I know a little based upon 1 newspaper article I found. Thank you! Tina

Joined: 7 months ago
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In the early 1800s, many of the Ohio River pilots were African American. These pilots were often enslaved or free blacks who had gained experience navigating the river through their work on steamboats and other river vessels. Despite facing discrimination and unequal treatment, many of these African American pilots were highly skilled and respected for their ability to navigate the river and safely guide vessels through treacherous waters and changing currents.