Cape Cod, Nantucket, Marthas Vineyard (GUIDE DE VOYAGE) (French Edition)
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The clay used is found m inex haustible quantities, in the immediate vicinity. Population, m , It was formerly called by the Indians Aquinnah. It became a town April 30, , with a population of about two hundred souls. Of its rare attractions special mention will hereafter be made.
Gosnold was incorporated as a town March 17, It consists of the group known as the Elizabeth Islands, thirteen in number. Up to that time, these islands had formed a part of the town of Chilmark. The name of the town is one peculiarly appropriate, honoring the mem- ory of Capt. Bartholomew Gosnold, of whom special mention is made on a later page. Nau- shon, the largest of the group, belongs to. Jolin M. Forbes, of Milton, and is occupied by tenants, he and his son having their summer residences there.
It is about seven miles long, and, in some places, more than a mile wide. For many years the woods have been spared ; the axe has not been lifted up upon them. A fine grove of noble beech-trees will amply repay a visit. Perhaps, too, a deer may be seen feeding in the forest wild, and undomesticated, fleeing with rapid leaps at the approach of man. The owner treats his friends annually, to the rare ex- citement of a deer-hunt. It is a lovely island ; and '' there is no spot in nature where earth, air, and water seem more favorably combined to stimulate the body to vigorous and hardy health, or excite the fancy to bold and dashing adventure.
What's Doing on MARTHA'S VINEYARD
Swain, Esq. The house on the east end of Elizabeth Islands was raised. Population, in , To Bartholomew Gosnold belongs the honor of discovering and naming Martha's Vineyard, in the year , near the end of the long reign of Queen Elizabeth ; of building the first house, and commencing the first settlement in New England. He and liis companions, men of more than ordinary culture and ability, were "the real founders of permanent habitation and indis- putable title within our national bounds.
On Friday, March 26, , Capt. Gosnold set sail from Falmouth, in England, in a small bark, belonging to Dartmouth, called the " Concord. Gabriel Archer were of the number. It was the intention that twelve should return to England in the bark, and that the rest should remain behincl as settlers.
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Having previously made the voyage to Virginia in one of the ships employed by Raleigh, he was convinced that the route across the Atlantic, then usually taken, was not the shortest and safest way. Gosnold was manly enough to act up to his convictions, and was the first navigator to take a straight course across the ocean. The route he chose shortened the distance, as Brereton says, " the better part of a thousand leagues. On the next day he anchored near a cape, in fifteen fathoms ; saw herring, mackerel, and other small fish in great abundance, and " took great store of codfish ; " for which reason he called its name Cape Cod, — "the first name bestowed by an Englishman on any part of the coast," which name it still retains, although sundry other names have since been bestowed upon it, — and which, as Mather says, in his " Magnalia," " I suppose it will never lose till shoals of codfish be seen swimming upon the tops of its highest hills.
Here we rode in eight fathoms near the shore, where we took -reat store of cod, - as before at Cape Cod, - but much better. The island of Cuttyhunk, then " altogether unpeopled and disinhabited," Gosnold called Elizabeth's Island. On Friday May 28, , the party. In the thickest parts of these woods you may see a furlong or more round about.
Three days more were spent in takfng on board sassafras and cedar, furs, skins, and other commodities ; and then, on Friday, June" 1 8, the " Concord," with the whole company, sailed for England, arriving on Friday, July 23, Gosnold says, " When we came to anchor before Portsmouth, which was some four days after we made the land, we had not one cake of bread, nor any drink, but a little vinegar left.
As, in Shakespeare's time, it was held that " spermaceti was the sover- eignest thing on earth for an inward bruise," so, two hundred and fifty years ago, sassafras was deemed a panacea for the ills of life.
This cargo was the first exported from New England ; how large the quantity we have no means of knowing. Gosnold, however, says, " We were informed before our going forth that a ton was sufficient to cloy England. Actuated by this motive. He says, " The protecting hand of nature has reserved this favorite spot to herself. We had the supreme satisfaction to find the cellar of Gosnold's storehouse.
Francis Gray, and Judge Davis arranged an excursion to search for the remains of the house and fort built by Gosnold, on the httle islet in the pond at Cuttyhunk. An account of their visit can be found in the " North American Review," for September, 18 The trees, indeed, have fallen and left no trace of their existence, except the term, Copicut, shady, the appellation of a lofty promontory, extending from the centre of the island toward the north ; but the soil is still fertile ; the beach, the lake, the islet, are unaltered, and are rendered by their natural beauties, no less than by the recollections with which they are associated, well worthy of the attention of a poet.
August 22, J Wincrate Thornton, Esq.
The next year, the settle- ment of the Vineyard was commenced at Edgartown, which was called Great Harbor until July 8, , when the present name was given. Thomas Mayhew, Jr. He was lost at sea in November, , at the early age of thirty-seven ; while his co-laborer, the apostle Eliot, survived to fill out the measure of his days. Nantucket was settled in Five years later, in , by charter from King Charles to his brother James, Duke of York, these islands became a part of New York, and thus remained until by the charter of William and Mary, which was made known in , they, with Plymoutli Colony, were embraced in the limits of the Province of Massachusetts Bay.
The peculiar character of the tides and the singular force and complex movements of the currents, in the vicinity of Martha's Vineyard, long since attracted the attention of observing men ; but the laws which governed them were among the hidden mysteries of nature, to be revealed only to him who had the wisdom to devise proper modes of investigation, the patience to note, and the skill to record the complex phenomena, and the intellect to evolve, arrange, and duly combine them into an intelligible and harmonious system.
Twenty years ago, under the direction of the late Prof. This task he performed, as Prof. Bache declared, "with signal ability on his part. The tide wave entering each of these bays increases in height as it runs towards the head of the bay.
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The mean rise and fall of the tides in the vicinity of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket 13 very inconsiderable, although differing in a marked degree in localities but slightly remote from each other, as will be seen by this statement : the mean rise and fall of tides at Edgartown being 2 feet ; at Wash qua and Vineyard Haven, 1. From Nantucket, northwesterly, the heights rapidly increase, being 9.
In the Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound takes place the remarkable change of between three and four hours in the time of the tides, "the great change of our coast, dislocating, as it were, the times of high water at places south and west and east and north of Nantucket. The whole of this change takes place between the eastern entrance of Nantucket Sound and the western entrance of the Vineyard Sound, giving rise to quite a complex condition of both tides and currents, which it has occupied much time to unravel.
At' these points there are four high tides each day. Mitchell, in his report made to the Coast Survey Office, in , speaks of" a class of agencies whose ceaseless activities are gradually altering the configuration of our harbors and sea-coasts— here cutting away headlands, there stretching out hooks, destroying at one point, and building at another. The cliffs at Nashaquitsa, in Chilmark, on the south shore of the Vineyard, are one hundred and fifty feet in height ; and yet, in the nine years preceding , the ceaseless action of the sea had wasted away fifty feet of the bluffs.
Rocks that were three rods from the edge of the cliff had tumbled below the bank. This encroachment upon the land has been noted by Prof. Henry L. Whiting, of the Coast Survey, on both sides of these cliffs. As to the action of the waves upon the south beach, near Katama, at a point to be reached by the extension of the Vineyard railroad, where "a bank or mole of sand, 18, feet in length, feet wide, and 14 feet high, containing 16,, cubic feet, has been beaten in upon the bay and shore by the steadily encroaching action of the ocean waves, in a period of twenty-five years, a distance of feet," Prof.
Whiting says, "it is but a fair illustration of the gradual but unceasing ivaste which is going on upon such shores. Sea-bathing, by some regarded as a pastime merely, is declared by Dr. John C. Drajicr to be.
The action of the water is, however, inseparably connected with that of the air, for sea-water baths, taken in a tub, at a distance from the shore, are useless. Next to mineral baths, sea-baths are of the greatest value ; indeed we may regard sea-water as a kind of mineral water, containing chiefly chlorides and sulphates of soda and lime, with a minute quantity of bromine and iodine.
- An Island called Luisa.
- Frommer's Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.
- The Enduring Shore: A History of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.
The experience of thousands who have bathed in the waters of Martha's Vineyard has shown that, in this respect, nothing more remains to be desired. The waters of the Vineyard Sound are very much warmer than the waters of Massa- chusetts Bay.