Home  -  Veterans  -   Descendents - Researchers  -  Online Books  -  Disclaimer   -  Feedback  -  Links Contact Us

Duke Simmons, whose name is recorded in the Victorian Public Records, as Duboccuson and in the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion as Simms, was from Malaysia; and was only 15 years of age, being born in 1849. He originally served as a steward of John C. Blacker aboard the merchant vessel Saxonia, and was the only volunteer who joined the Shenandoah in Melbourne who was of color.

Simmons had been serving aboard the merchant ship Saxonia with John Blacker, which like the Shenandoah, had docked at the Melbourne port. When John Blacker made the decision, for what ever reason, to leave the Saxonia and go aboard the Shenandoah on or about February 17, 1865, Simmons being his steward went along with him. Being too young to do anything else, Simmons when he actually signed aboard the CSS Shenandoah, on February 18, 1865, signed on as a ‘1st class boy’; working as a servant on board ship serving the captain, John Blacker and running errands. He placed his mark beside his name and was given a pay rate of $14.00. He was often referred to as Blacker’s ‘man Friday’ by Surgeon Charles E. Lining, as in his journal dated Monday, May 8, 1865 he wrote: “Today commences with a storm in the steerage between Blacker and his man Friday, or Duke on the subject of coffee”.

Simmons was also one of the signatories who expressed his confidence in the command of Lieutenant James I. Waddell in a petition dated September 1865.  


Alabama Claims, “Correspondence Concerning Claims Against Great Britain  transmitted to the Senate of the United States in answer to the Resolutions of  December 4, and 10, 1867, and of May 27, 1868”, Washington

Alabama Claims : The case of Great Britain as laid before the Tribunal of arbitration Convened at Geneva under the provisions of the treaty between the United States of America and Her Majesty the queen of Great Britain, concluded at Washington, May 8, 1871 (1872) University of Michigan Library

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion

Surgeon Charles E. Lining Journal, 1865, Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library

“Unassisted Immigration to Victoria”, Victorian Public Records

Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library, The Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia

“The Voyage of the CSS Shenandoah: A Memorable Cruise”, William C. Whittle

CSS Shenandoah Deck Log, Chicago Historical Society

University of Michigan Library


© Copyright ACWV 2005 - All Rights Reserved