Unfortunately, by April 1801, the business partnership between John Simmons and Sabe Derby had dissolved. Their shop had apparently failed. There are many reasons why Sabe’s shop may have gone out of business. The shop keepers may not have had enough money to weather the initial hardships of starting a small business. The store may have catered to a largely African American population who couldn't provide enough business to sustain it.
Despite their disappointment, other Black-owned businesses in Salem did prosper. After working as a cook on the Salem vessel George, Prince Farmer opened up his own business as an oyster dealer on Derby Street in the first half of the 1800s. His business was successful, and his home is still standing at 18 Crombie Street in Salem (known today as the Pike House).
But after the collapse of his own business, Sabe would have had to find new employment or return to work for the Derbys.
William Pike House, Wikimedia Commons, Fletcher6
CC BY-SA 3.0