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When we think of Martha's Vineyard, vacation destinations for presidents, and getaways for
celebrities come to mind. This island's history, though, is rich with revivals, kindness to the deaf,
and a safe-haven for the blacks when America was steeped in racism.
Martha’s Vineyard, called ”Noepe” by the
Wampanoag Indians, which means “In the Midst of the Sea,” or “Land Amid the Waters”, is the largest island on the southeastern coast of Massachusetts. The first explorer to leave an account of the island was Bartholomew Gosnold of England. In 1602 he sailed for Virginia but contrary winds drove him a little north of west and he struck out across the Atlantic. He was the first Englishman to sail directly to the American coast. He landed on a cape which he named Cape Cod from the abundance of codfish found there. Then doubling the cape and sailing southward he landed on a small island about 6 miles southeast of Gay Head. He called this island Martha’s Vineyard. The next day he landed on the larger island and after exploring it and finding it so large, with beautiful lakes, and full of grape vines, he transferred the name and called it Martha’s Vineyard. The other island he named No-Man’s Land. Gosnold attempted to form a colony on Cuttyhunk and built the first house and fort erected in New England. He intended to leave a colony there but after loading a cargo of sassafras root and cedar logs to take back to England, the settlers wanted to return with him because they were afraid of the Indians...
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GREETINGS FROM MASSACHUSETTS
FIRST DAY OF ISSUE
OCTOBER 25, 2002
NEW YORK, NY 10199