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Bartholomew Gosnold

"In 1602, Bartholomew Gosnold, in a voyage from Falmouth England to the northern part of Virginia, discovered the promontory in Massachusetts Bay which, since this time, has been known by the name of Cape Cod, from the circumstances of his taking a great number of cod-fish at that place.

Gosnold was the first Englishman who, abandoning the circuitous route by the Canaries and West Indies, came in a direct course to this part of the American continent. He took but seven weeks in making the passage. After the discovery of Cape Cod, coasting southwest, he discovered two islands, one of which he named Martha's Vineyard, and the other Elizabeth Island [Nantucket]. On the western part of this latter island it was concluded to settle, and a fort and storehouse were accordingly erected; but, before Gosnold left the place, discontents, arising among those who were to form the colony, it was thought expedient to abandon the settlement, and to return to England. The homeward voyage took only five weeks.

 

— A History of the United States, by Charles A. Goodrich, 1857 (edited)

 

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