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Cape Cod Fish and Farm

Early New England prospered in two main endeavors of her hard colonial days. Ashore, her principal occupation was agriculture. Afloat, it was fishing.

There were no large plantations, but many small farms, and a plentiful supply of corn, peas, and other garden vegetables could be successfully raised. The people were alloted certain amounts of land for themselves, and their free endeavors were rewarded by abundant returns from the land.

The meadows, too, were divided into lots that remained without fences. In the autumn months, these lots were open to the cattle of the owners, and were a feature common to all New England towns.

Considerable produce, pipe-staves, clapboards, and lumber, were sent to the West Indies, and to New Amsterdam and England went fish and pelts.

New England ports were busy sending out fishermen, not only for catches on the banks of Newfoundland, but up and down the New England coast. There were large quantities of cod and mackerel sent dried and salted to Portugal, Spain, and Italy.

Sloops took rum and food to Newfoundland, and came back home with fish, and the fish was sent to Europe for manufactured goods. In 1709, it was estimated that three hundred vessels from New England, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland were “farming the sea” and that the New England ships were taking the largest share of the fish from the banks.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 06/12/06
Categories: HistoryLife
Keywords: history, life


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