continent of America
in the Bay
Chap. III.} 1602. May 14.
far to the north of Nahant
He failed to observe a good harbor, and, standing for the south, discovered the promontory which he called Cape Cod
—a name which would not yield to that of the next monarch of England
Here he and four of his men landed; Cape Cod
was the first spot in New England
ever trod by Englishmen.
Doubling the cape, and passing Nantucket
, they again landed on a little island, now called No
Man's land, and afterwards passed round the promontory of Gay Head
, naming it Dover Cliff.
At length they entered Buzzard's Bay
—a stately sound, which they called Gosnold
The westernmost of the islands was named Elizabeth
, from the queen—a name which has been transferred to the whole group.
Here they beheld the rank vegetation of a virgin soil; the noble forests; the wild fruits and the flowers, bursting from the earth; the eglantine, the thorn, and the honeysuckle, the wild pea, the tansy, and young sassafras; strawberries, raspberries, grape-vines, all in profusion.
There is on the island a pond, and within it lies a rocky islet; this was the position which the adventurers selected for their residence.
Here they built their storehouse and their fort; and here the foundations of the first New England
colony were to be laid.
The natural features remain unchanged; the island, the pond, the islet, are all yet visible; the forests are gone; the shrubs are as luxuriant as of old; but the ruins of the fort can no longer be discerned.
A traffic with the natives on the main land, soon enabled Gosnold
to complete his freight, which consisted chiefly of sassafras root, then greatly esteemed in pharmacy as a sovereign panacea.