Guide to the Cape Verdean Oral History Collection, 2022

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Research Library at the Nantucket Historical Association. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the internet.


The Cape Verdean Oral Histories were conducted by Frances Ruley Karttunen on behalf of the Nantucket Historical Association as part of an exhibition documenting the Nantucket’s Cape Verdean community. This collection consists of 7 video interviews of members of Nantucket’s Cape Verde community.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
Cape Verdean Oral History Collection
Nantucket Historical Association.; Stanley, Claudia 1964– ; Singleton, Theran 1964– ; Ramos, Edmund “Rookie” 1957–; DeLuze, Kenneth, 1941– ; Fernandes, Mary ; Fox, Anthony Robert "Rocky" 1965–; Duarte, Dominic “Nick” 1966– ; Duarte, Kezia 1997– ; Preston, Leslie Gomes 1959–
Nantucket Historical Association
Material is in English.

Information for Users

Restrictions to Access: No restrictions. Open for research.

Restrictions to Use: No usage restrictions.

Copyright Notice: Copyright is retained by the authors of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], in the Cape Verdean Oral Histories collection, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

DO-590/1: Gift of Claudia Stanley (Acc. RL2022.16).

DO-590/2: Gift of Dominic “Nick” and Kezia Duarte (Acc. RL2022.17).

DO-590/3: Gift of Mary Fernandes and Kenneth DeLuze (Acc. RL2022.18).

DO-590/4: Gift of Anthony “Rocky” Fox (Acc. RL2022.19).

DO-590/5: Gift of Edmund “Rookie” Ramos (Acc. RL2022.20).

DO-590/6: Gift of Theran Singleton (Acc. RL2022.21).

DO-590/7: Gift of Leslie Gomes Preston (Acc. RL2022.22).

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Nantucket Historical Association assumes no responsibility.

Related Collections

  • CT-288 Oral History Interview with Pauline Singleton, in the Cassette Tape Collection, Nantucket Historical Association.
  • CT-307 Oral History Interview with Beatrice Martin, in the Cassette Tape Collection, Nantucket Historical Association.
  • OH-71 Interview with Augusto Ramos, in the Oral History Fellowship Collection, Nantucket Historical Association.
  • SC70 Kezia Duarte holding a spring flower, in the Scans Collection, Nantucket Historical Association.
  • P14025 Robert Haley and Edmund Ramos, in the Photographic Print Collection, Nantucket Historical Association.

Subject Headings

  • Topical Term
    • Cabo Verdean Americans.
    • Massachusetts—Nantucket—History.
    • Massachusetts—Nantucket—Biography.
    • Oral history.

Biographical Information

The Cape Verdean Oral Histories were conducted by Frances Ruley Karttunen on behalf of the Nantucket Historical Association as part of a 2022 exhibition documenting the Nantucket’s Cape Verdean community, Cape Verde in Our Souls.

People of the Cape Verde archipelago and their descendants have been part of the story of Nantucket since the early nineteenth century. Between the 1790s and the 1850s, outward-bound Nantucket whaleships stopped at the Cape Verde Islands to provision and recruit more crewmen. Some of these men returned to Nantucket and settled on-island. Many more Cape Verdeans joined New Bedford whaleships, sparking immigration to the Massachusetts coast. In 1824, José da Silva, a Nantucket resident, became the first person from Cape Verde naturalized as an American citizen. Arrivals of single men from Cape Verde ceased as Nantucket whaling declined in the 1850s, but in 1906 the Burgess Cranberry Co. imported Cape Verdean labor to work its new Gibbs Pond cranberry bog. By 1910, over a hundred Cape Verdean men, women, and children were working there. More Cape Verdeans arrived, and many found employment in the service jobs and trades Nantucket’s seasonal economy. Succeeding generations of Cape Verdean families have woven themselves into the fabric of Nantucket life while retaining their own heritage and traditions.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of seven video interviews of members of Nantucket’s Cape Verde community, with a focus on their family’s experiences of immigrating to Nantucket and Cape Verdean customs.


DO-590/1 Interview with Claudia Stanley, 2022

Claudia Stanley (1964– ) was born to Mary Stanley (1924–2021) and Gerald Stanley (1926–1963) in Nantucket, Mass., and grew up in the New Guinea neighborhood. As a child, she was photographed by Jim Stanfield for his article “Life’s Tempo on Nantucket” for National Geographic’s June 1970 issue. She attended Berklee College of Music for two years before marrying and starting a family in Boston. She later returned to Nantucket and became an accounting clerk for Marine Home Center.

Extent: 56 minutes

DO-590/2 Interview with Dominic “Nick” and Kezia Duarte, 2022

Dominic “Nick” Duarte (1966–) was born in Nantucket, Mass., to James “Jim” A. (1936–2007), local musician, and Naomi Jean Duarte (1942–2018). He served in the Army before taking a job with the Nantucket Department of Public Works. Dominic is involved with the local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts.

Kezia Duarte (1997–) was born in Nantucket, Mass., to Dominic “Nick”    (1966–) and Jana Starr Duarte (1968–). Kezia graduated Quinnipiac University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 2019 and is the Associate Director of Music Ministries at St. Mary, Our Lady of the Isle Catholic Church. Kezia is also a nurse with the Town of Nantucket Department of Human Services.


Extent: 51 minutes

DO-590/3 Interview with Mary Fernandes and Kenneth DeLuze, 2022

Mary Fernandes was born in Hingham, Mass., to Mary (1917–1946) and David DeLuze (1917–2001), the first Black crane operator at the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard. Mary grew up in Hingham, Mass., and frequently visited the family home on Nantucket. Mary served as chairman of the Boston Museum of African American History’s Committee to Restore the African Meeting House on Nantucket and worked with the Friends of the African Meeting House to raise the $600,000 needed to restore and preserve the building.

Kenneth DeLuze (1941– ) was born in Nantucket, Mass., to Mary (1917–1946) and David DeLuze (1917–2001), the first Black crane operator at the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard. Kenneth grew up in Hingham, Mass., and frequently visited the family home on Nantucket.


Extent: 74 minutes

DO-590/4 Interview with Anthony “Rocky” Fox, 2022

Anthony Robert “Rocky” Fox’s mother was Donna Mendes, and he was adopted by J. L. Fox in 1965. Fox has supported many organizations on Nantucket including Meals on Wheels; the Boys and Girls Club; Big Brothers, Big Sisters; and Small Friends. He has also served on committees at Nantucket Elementary School, Cyprus Peirce Middle School, Nantucket High School, and the University of Massachusetts—Amherst. He is a part-owner of the Chicken Box and serves on the Nantucket Public School Committee.

Extent: 51 minutes

DO-590/5 Interview with Edmund “Rookie” Ramos, 2022

Edmund “Rookie” Ramos (1957–) was born to Virginia Correias (1936 –1970) and Augustus C. “Augie” Ramos (1933–2019), the first man of color to be elected to the Nantucket Board of Selectmen, in Nantucket, Mass. Rookie graduated from Nantucket High School and the Franklin Institute of Technology. He worked at his father’s concrete company, ARC Corporation, and helped rebuild Great Point Lighthouse after it was toppled by a storm in 1984. He also volunteered alongside his father to send supplies to Alabama and Florida after Hurricane Katrina.

Extent: 76 minutes

DO-590/6 Interview with Theran Singleton, 2022

Theran Singleton (1964–) was born to Pauline (1931–) and Eugene Singleton (1928–1981) in Boston, Mass., and spent summers with family in Nantucket, Mass. Her family moved back to Nantucket while she was in high school, but upon her father’s death the following year, Theran left to enroll at Mount Ida College. She returned in 1993 to be a special needs teaching assistant for 10 years. She completed her degree at Lesley University and became a reading specialist at Cyrus Peirce Middle School. She was also a founding member of Nantucket Equity Advocates.

Extent: 74 minutes

DO-590/7 Interview with Leslie Gomes Preston, 2022

Leslie Gomes Preston (1959–) was born to Alfred Gomes and lived in Nantucket, Mass., with her grandmother Anna Viera Gomes (1897–1981) while her father served in the Coast Guard. She graduated from Nantucket Public Schools in 1977, then attended Johnson and Wales College. She has worked for the Nantucket Land Council, Nantucket Savings Bank, and the Inquirer and Mirror.

Extent: 54 minutes

Processing Information

Processed by Ashley Miller, June 2022.

Finding Aid by Ashley Miller, June 2022.

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