Captain C.H.E. Judkins

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A brusque and forthright figure, Captain C.H.E. Judkins was one of the Cunard Line’s longest-serving commanders and a well-known face to generations of transatlantic passengers. He would tell the American writer Margaret Fuller that he took pride in the New York Herald labelling him ‘the nigger captain’. His defence of Douglass, however, may not have been totally altruistic. A year earlier, he had denied a black passenger on board the Acadia entry into the saloon and dining-room, leading to complaints from a number of passengers. Upon arrival in Britain, these passengers wrote a letter of complaint to the Glasgow Argus, leading to some embarrassment for Judkins and his employers at Cunard.

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