History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts
In presenting to the people of Barnstable county this history, it is hoped that it will meet with the favorable reception which the earnest and conscientious labors of its compilers merit. It will be seen by an examination of the work that nine important chapters, besides many other valuable articles in it, were prepared by well-known citizens of the county, and it is believed that their names will be considered a guaranty that every reasonable effort has been made to secure accuracy in the many details which constitute a history.
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The geographical name it bears was first applied in 1602, by Gosnold, to its most northern portion. Its position, contour and importance early earned the sobriquet of "The Right Arm of Massachusetts," which it appropriately bears, having its shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand symbolically poised over the deep, as if beckoning the dispirited pilgrims to cross over and rest safely under the palm; and pointing toward Plymouth, indicating the haven where should be planted the seeds of civil and religious liberty that should bloom to the admiration of the world. It has Plymouth county and Buzzards bay for its western boundary, Vineyard and Nantucket sounds for its southern, the ocean for the eastern, and Cape Cod bay for the northern boundary, being twenty miles in width across the shoulder, tapering to eight at the elbow, two at the wrist, and then widening to a hand.