MARTHA'S VINEYARD, an island off the southwestern coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, was visited by Giovanni de Verrazano, Samuel de Champlain, and possibly Norse explorers. The island was given its name in 1602 by Bartholomew Gosnold. It was bought in 1641 by Thomas Mayhew, an English merchant who also acquired the rights of government. The first settlement was founded at Edgartown within a year. The Mayhew family held manors and offices for life until the American Revolution put an end to hereditary pretensions. Formerly an important whaling center, since the mid-nineteenth century Martha's Vineyard has been a well-known summer resort.
Banks, Charles Edward. The History of Martha's Vineyard. Dukes County, Mass.: Dukes County Historical Society, 1966. 3 vols. The original edition was published in 1911–1925.
Hare, Lloyd Custer Mayhew. Thomas Mayhew, Patriarch to theIndians (1593–1682): The Life of the Worshipful Governor and Chief Magistrate of the Island of Martha's Vineyard. New York, London: D. Appleton, 1932.
Railton, Arthur R. Martha's Vineyard Historical Society's WalkingTour of Historic Edgartown, Including a Brief History from 1602: Rare Old Photographs, Maps, Facts, and Legends About its Oldest Buildings. Edgartown, MA: The Society, 1998.
Lloyd C. M.Hare
See alsoMassachusetts .
"Martha's Vineyard." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 20, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/marthas-vineyard
"Martha's Vineyard." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved January 20, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/marthas-vineyard
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Martha's Vineyard (vĬn´yərd), island (1990 est. pop. 8,900), c.100 sq mi (260 sq km), SE Mass., separated from the Elizabeth Islands and Cape Cod by Vineyard and Nantucket sounds. As a result of glaciation, the island has morainal hills composed of boulders and clay deposits in the north, and low, sandy plains in the south. The English were the first to settle the island (1642); they engaged in farming, brickmaking, salt production, and fishing. Martha's Vineyard became an important commercial center, with whaling and fishing as the main occupations, in the 18th and early 19th cent. In the late 1800s the island, with its harbors, beaches, and scenic attractions, developed into a summer resort. It is divided into the towns of Chilmark, Edgartown, Gay Head, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, and West Tisbury. Much of the island's interior is set aside as a state forest. In the late 1980s the small Wampanoag tribe, based in Martha's Vineyard, took legal action to reclaim ancestral land in Gay Head.
"Martha's Vineyard." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 20, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/marthas-vineyard
"Martha's Vineyard." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved January 20, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/marthas-vineyard