I did find a William Abrams
Died: 17 Aug 1891
Buried: Mount Repose Cemetery, Haverstaw, Rockland, NY
but I also found a family tree for him and he looks caucasian.
There should be a newspaper report about the ship wreck probably in the Rhode Island and Australia newspapers. If a number of the crew were from Haverstraw, the report might have been in their newspaper too.
I'd contact the Genealogical Society of Rockland County, http://rocklandgenealogy.org/
and ask if they have 1842 newspapers.
If they don't the New York State Library, www.nysl.nysed.gov/nysnp/all/444.htm
has newspapers on microiflm.
I'd pursue the Rockland sources first and then move on to Rhode Island and Australia. Successful Searching!