Independence Day is here and most Americans reflect on the birth of this great nation with backyard barbecues and fireworks. As an American of Cape Verdean ancestry I think it’s important to point out what most of knew about but maybe didn’t know the details. Cape Verdeans have been a part of the United States of America since its inception and we truly represent the American Experience just as much as the descendants of the Mayflower pilgrims or any other group that played a part in the making of this country.

The late Ray Almeida wrote in CHRONOLOGICAL REFERENCES: CABO VERDE/CAPE VERDEAN AMERICAN;
In “1634 Mathias DeSouza described as a mulatto and an indentured servant to Jesuit priests was among a group of six African passengers to land at the colony of St. Mary’s, Maryland aboard the Ship Arc. After working off his indenture, DeSouza was a translator for the colonists in their dealings with local Native peoples. Later DeSouza piloted his own ship. In 1642, DeSouza was elected to serve in the Maryland General Assembly. There is sufficient reason to assume that he may have been a Cape Verdean. (Maryland Hall of Records).”

Documented Cape Verdean military soldiers in the Revolutionary war for Independence from England were collected by Jose dos Anjos in his research of Cape Verdean military soldiers ( https://sites.google.com/site/capeverdeanveterans/Home/Cape-Verdean-Veterans)

James Pease (Jaime Pires)
Anthony Briffin (Antonio Britto)
Andrew deBarrow (Andre de Barros)
John Gomes
John Lopes
I added what may have been their original names in Cape Verde.

He also includes an extensive list of Cape Verdeans who served in the Navy and Army in the Civil War

NAVY

Name Age Complection Occupation Home
Antoine, Joseph 21 Negro Mariner Cape Verde
Antone, George 31 Mulatto None Cape Verde
Antone, Manuel 19 Black Mariner Cape Verde
Antone, Manuel 27 Mulatto None Cape Verde
Pedro Antone 30 Negro None Cape Verde
Antonio, George 32 Mulatto Sailor Cape St. Vincent, Cape Verde
Antonio, George 34 Mulatto Mariner St. Vincent, Cape Verde
Antonio, Joseph 22 Mulatto Steward Cape Verde
Antonio, Sylva 34 Negro Mariner/Carpenter Cape Verde
Antonio, Vincent 43 Negro Mariner Cape Verde
Bettis, Anton 31 Negro None Cape Verde
Bin, Philip 32 Black Sailor/Carpenter Cape Verde
Bisley, Henry M. 28 Mulatto Cook & Steward Bon Vista, Cape Verde
Cori, John 26 Mulatto Mariner Cape Verde
Correia, Joseph 25 Mulatto Mariner Cape Verde
DeBaron, Manuel A. 21 Mulatto Mariner Cape Verde
DeCruz, Antonio 33 Negro None Buena Vista, Cape Verde
Dees, Clement 27 Mulatto Mariner San Antonio, Cape Verde
Ford, Peter 27 Negro None Cape Verde
Francis, Antonio 24 Negro Sailor Cape Verde
Gomes, Ambroze 23 Mulatto None Cape Verde
Gomez, John 25 Black Mariner Porta Praya, Cape Verde
Gomez, Manuel 22 Black Seaman Bravo, Cape Verde
Goney, George 23 Negro Sailor/Farmer Port Praya, Cape Verde
Gonzales, Manuel 24 Mulatto None Cape Verde
John, Manuel 28 Mulatto Carpenter/Cooper Cape Verde
Johnson, John 21 Mulatto Steward Cape Verde
Johnson, John 21 Mulatto Steward Cape Verde
Jokim, John 36 Negro Sailor Porto Praya, Cape Verde
Jose, Antonio M. 23 Black
Cape Verde
Lear, Thomas 38 Mulatto Boat steerer Cape Verde
Lewis, Joseph 35 Mulatto None Cape Verde
Lewis, Manuel 30 Black
Bravo, Cape Verde
Lopes, Frank 45 Black Mariner Brava, Cape Verde
Lopes, Robert 27 Black Sailor Cape Verde
Lopes, Roberto 22 Negro None Cape Verde
Lopez, Antonio 21 Mulatto None Cape Verde
Lopez, Antonio 39 Black Seaman Cape Verde
Lopez, Emanuel 25 Black Mariner Cape Verde
Lupps, John 20 Mulatto Cook Cape Verde
Manuel, Antonio 28 Negro Mariner Cape Verde
Marshall, George 25 Mulatto Mariner Cape Verde
Meany, Joseph 25 Negro
Cape Verde
Murphy, James 28 Negro Mariner Cape Verde
Norshus, George 24 Mulatto None Cape Verde
Prez, Manuel A. 43 Mulatto
Cape Verde
Richardson, Charles 21 Mulatto Cook Cape Verde
Robero, Antone 32 Negro None Bravo, Cape Verde
Rosa, Julian 25 Negro None Cape Verde
Sanford, Antonio 19 Negro Sailor Cape Verde
Seeley, John D. 24 Black Cook/Mariner Cape Verde
Silva, Antonio 20
Mariner Cape Verde
Silva, Antonio 22 Colored Seaman Cape Verde
Silver, Joseph S. 20 Negro Mariner Cape Verde
Smith, John 22 Black Sailor Cape Verde
Varas, Christian F. 22 Black Mariner Cape Verde
Williams, John 27 Mulatto Sailor Cape Verde
Williams, Steven 24 Black Mariner Cape Verde

ARMY

John Antom Togo, Cape Delaware Verde 12 Oct 1864 Portland 11th
U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery abt 1838 11

John Battis Cape De Verde Is 1863 Boston, Massachusetts 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment (Colored)

George Gansery Cape De Verde Islands 1864 New York, New York 31st United States Colored Infantry

Joaquin, Jacob Perura Cape De Verde Isles 1864 Jamaica, New York 26th United States Colored Infantry

James Smith Fogo, Cape Delaware Verde 12 Oct 1864 Portland 11th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery abt 1842 8

James Smith Toga, Cape De Verde 1864 Portland 24th United States Colored Infantry

I would like to include Peter Fernandes born in 1837 who enlisted in the Civil War in 1864 and discharged on 9/29/1865 at the end of the war and Antonion Oliveira born in 1827 who was a sergeant in the Army and discharged 10/31/1865 , also after the war ended.

When Cape Verdeans arrived on American shores we didn’t just work and go home. We were an integral participant in the founding of the country, it’s fight for independance and the building of it’s core infrastructures.

Cape Verdeans have been involved in every American war since the beginning; fighting for its independance, it’s struggle to remain a unified nation and for the abolition of slavery. We have fought with her against fascists and saved millions from death camps all over Europe. We were there in Korea and Vietnam and every other time Americans have been called to serve this country, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

So on Independance Day, which happens to be the day before Cape Verde’s day of Independance, let’s remember Nos Caboverdianos that have helped make this and Cape Verde the great nations that they are today.

Happy American and Cape Verdean Independance day!!!

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6 Comments on “Cape Verdeans and America’s Independance Day; Just as American as Apple Pie.

  1. Great work. My dad James Joseph Gonsalves was in the NAVY for 20 YEARS, you may want to add him to the list.

    • Hi Delores- I would love to. Please send me any info like years, wars he may have served, etc and I will definitely add him. Cape Verdeans have been serving to protect this country since the beginning and we should honor them.

  2. In New Bedford Mass. We Cape Verdeans have always honored our Cape Verdean Veterans especially WWII, Korean, Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. After WWII ended on the 4th of July parade the Cape Verdean Vets were the most popular marching participants in the parade. I was 9 years old when Roosevelt declared war and always was aware of CVs who joined the branches of our US Military. It became even a greater parade after the war ended. My cousin Marty Rose was a WWII prisoner of war in Nazi Germany and his brother Albert was killed in action in Italy in 1945.

  3. Pingback: Cape Verdean Veterans of American Wars | Cape Verde Unearthed

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