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Cape Cod Gosnold First?

View the map of Cape Cod, and you will see a group or chain of small islands running southwesterly from Falmouth. This island chain is named Gosnold. Who was he?

Bartholomew Gosnold was born in England about 1560. He became a navigator, and in the year 1602 sailed from England with twenty colonists. He intended to cross the Atlantic in a direct line, “to see what he might come to,” we would say.

However, the winds were so contrary — as many another sailor was to find out in later instances —- that his ship was driven by them to the Azores. However, he persevered, and after a voyage from there, which lasted several weeks, he reached the coast of what is now Maine.

Sailing south he rounded a Cape and came to a small island. He named the former Cape Cod (it is said he so named it because of the many cod in the waters there), and he called the small island Martha’s Vineyard. Who Martha was is not known. The Indians called the island Capawac.

Gosnold seems to have made no attempt to colonize the Cape, or any other part of this coast, but, though more or less conjecture surrounds the claims that Vikings and others had visited the Cape before Gosnold, there is definite proof that Gosnold actually went there and named it Cape Cod.

The following year, Gosnold united with Captain John Smith to locate in Virginia. Through their mutual efforts Jamestown, Virginia, was founded in 1607.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 05/16/06
Categories: History
Keywords: history


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