Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hell Town, a nickname for Provincetown on Cape Cod

Native Americans had live on Cape Cod for Millennia. When the Pilgrims arrived—in search for their utopia—they rejected the Cape as fit only for fish (cod) and heathens. Philip Hoare, not in search of utopia but for the whale, tells us that “Provincetown became an outlaw colony beyond their Puritan influence, a reputation embodied by its nickname: Hell Town.”

By the end of the eighteenth century the “town” was governed by piracy, war and revolution, but soon this port town became prosperous through cod trade and the whaling business. Cape Cod Bay, once a sanctuary for whales, was turned into their hell!

Keywords: history, geography, cetology, New England, Atlantic Ocean, whale habitats

Philip Hoare:
The WhaleIn Search of the Giants of the Sea. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2010.

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