Whether you call Cape Cod a man-made island or describe it as a geographic peninsula connected to the mainland by bridges, there is one non-debatable fact. Cape Cod is surrounded by water on all four sides, jutting out prominently into the Atlantic Ocean. This characteristic accounts in large measure for its history, its economic development, its aesthetic beauty, and its maritime legacy.
This narrative explores the connection that each Cape Cod town has to the sea as demonstrated through its seafaring residents. It provides a glimpse into heroic maritime adventures, entrepreneurial brilliance, and an appreciation of the resolve needed by captains to thrive in a hostile seaside environment.
Maritime figures take several forms such as distinguished fishermen, military war heroes, deep-sea merchants, local coasters, packet boat captains, whalers, ship architects, luxury passenger liner magnets, and even “mooncussers” prowling along the coastline for treasure.
A definite emphasis is placed on the role of indigenous people, black sea captains, the female perspective of living aboard a ship, and social status awarded to ethnic groups brave enough to face the perils of deep-sea travel.
This book examines each Cape Cod town’s relative engagement to the seafaring life. Can one specific town assert unique mastery of the sea, or should several communities share in this heritage? In reviewing the data, we discover that every town assuredly has a substantive connection to the sea and deserves to be given at least some credit for its maritime history.
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