Captain Antone Coelho
Born in 1842 on the island of Brava, Cape Verde, Antone Coelho immigrated to the United States on a sailing ship. His family settled in Rhode Island.
In 1892 Captain Coelho purchased a vessel, the Nellie May, a 64-ton fishing schooner, and sailed with passengers, mail and cargo from Providence to Brava. He was the first Cape Verdean – American to obtain a vessel to engage in the packet trade. He returned to Providence in1983.
Mr. Coelho served his fellow Cape Verdeans by helping them to find housing and employment, serving as interpreter during naturalization procedures and other official functions.
Captain Antone Coelho is profiled in an exhibit on Cape Verdean immigration to Rhode Island at the Providence Childrens’ Museum. A replica of the Nellie May is part of the “Coming to Rhode Island” exhibit.