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Chatham Pages From an Informal History Cape Cod (1955)

Chatham Pages From an Informal History Cape Cod (1955)

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Published by teamnickerson
Chatham Pages from An Informal History Cape Cod (1955)
Chatham Pages from An Informal History Cape Cod (1955)

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Published by: teamnickerson on Jun 22, 2012
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9.
Chatham
Incorporated
1712
V^HATHAM
HAS
SHORELINE
ON
THE
ATLANTIC
OCEAN
AND
NAN-
tucket
Sound,
and
contains
thefollowing
villages:
Chatham,
Chathamport,
NorthChatham,
West
Chatham,
and
South
Chat-
ham.
Chatham
is
off
by
itself.
The
road
loops
through
the
town,
but
this
is
not
merely
a
place
you
pass
en
route
to
anothertown.
You
have
to
go
out
of
your
way
to
see
Chatham,
and
that
is
part
of
its
charm.
The
houses
and
inns
along
the
shore
and
behind
the
high
bluffs
overlooking
the
Chatham
bars
are
a
world
unto
them-
selves.
Like
Provincetown,
Chatham
is
an
outpost.
Like
Province-
town,
too,
it
has
its
own
special
look.Similarly,
its
principal
village
is
a
jumble
of
narrow
streets
and
lanes
and
close-clustered
houses.
Chatham
is
the
only
town
on
the
Cape
which
is
dominated
by
a
working
lighthouse
rightin
its
midst.
To
understand
how
really
treacherous
are
the
shoals
that
lie
off
Chatham,
just
step
a
few
paces
from
the
lighthouse
to
the
Federal
cemetery.
This
is
a
burial
place
for
sailors
whose
bodies
have
come
ashore
on
local
beaches.
One
hundred
and
six
unidentified
seamen
have
been
burled
there.
Throughoutmost
of
its
early
history,
Monomoy,
as
Chatham
was
first
called,
was
aland
that
seemed
to
breed
contention
and
strife.
At
Monomoy,
a
fiery
Frenchman
caused
the
first
armed
clash
on
Cape
Cod
betweenEuropeans
and
Indians.
Then
a
con-
176
 
CHATHAM
177
tentious
Englishman
settled
the
place.
Later,
heand
his
relatives
quarreled
with
each
other,
and
all
of
them
quarreled
with
the
Court
and
with
adjoining
towns.
Perhaps
the
moods
of
the
sea
influence
people
who
live
beside
it,
for
in
few
places
are
the
waves
more
contentious
thanthey
are
off
Chatham.
The
Mayflower,
trying
to
round
the
Cape,
was
turned
back
when
it
"fell
amongst
dangerous
shoulds
and
roring
breakers"
off
Monomoy's
shores.
Monomoy's
shoals
made
Massachusetts
men
out
of
the
Pilgrims.
Monomoy's
early
days
were
filled
with
struggle.
They
were
un-
prosperous
days.
It
seemed
as
if
the
place
would
never
amount
to
anything.
To
begin
with,
Champlain
had
high
hopes
of
founding
New
France
there.
Fifteenyears
before
the
Pilgrims
dropped
anchor
off
Cape
Cod,
he
looked
things
over
on
two
expeditions.
On
the
second
expeditionthe
Frenchmen
got
in
trouble
among
the
Mono-
moy
shoals,
smashed
their
rudder,
and
had
to
anchor.
Going
ashore
in
a
shallop
they
found
an
Indian
who
was
able
to
pilot
them
into
Stage
Harbor.
Champlain
was
not
in
personal
command
of
the
expedition.
It
was
headed
by
Sieur
de
Poutrincourt,
who
was
rather
a
trouble-
maker.
At
first
the
numerous
Indians
in
the
vicinity
were
friendly
enough,
but
Poutrincourt
liked
the
harbor
and
was
inclined
to
wear
out
his
welcome.
While
the
rudder
was
being
repaired,
parties
of
the
French
explored
inland,
and
others
even
built
stone
baking
ovens
on
the
shore
in
order
to
make
bread.
When
theIndians
began
to
move
their
women,
children,
and
huts
away
into
the
woods,
it
was
rather
obvious
that
they
were
clearing
for
action.
More
Indians,
probably
curious
visitors
from
neighboring
tribes,
had
appeared
until
some
five
or
six
hundred
were
on
hand,
including
an
ominous
number
of
warriors.
But
Sieur
de
Poutrincourt
was
undaunted.
He
was
spoiling
to
show
off
his
firearms.
So
he
strutted
about
the
beach
blasting
away
with
a
musket,
barely
resisting
thetemptation
to
demonstrate
on
a
live
Indian.
 
178
CAPECOD
?
S
WAY
He
expected
Ms
anticsto
awe
the
savages,
but
still
decided
to
take
no
chances.
Knowing
that
the
Indians
were
most
likelyto
attack
at
night
or
at
daybreak,
Poutrincourt
ordered
all
hands
aboard
for
the
night.
However,
the
men
doing
the
baking
were
incredibly
nonchalant
about
the
presence
of
several
hundred
sav-
ages.
Either
the
ship's
discipline
was
very
poor
or
the
bakers
had
the
traditional
temperament
of
French
chefs,
whom
nobody
can
rule.
In
any
event,
when
the
shallop
was
sent
for
them,
they
re-
fused
to
obey
orders
and
come
aboard.
They
preferred
to
stay
ashore
and
eat
the
cakes
they
were
baking
along
with
the
bread.
At
least
five
men
remainedon
the
beach
overnight.
The
next
morning
Indian
scouts
found
them
all
asleep
except
for'
the
man
who
was
tending
the
fire.
Then
according
to
Champlain,
about
four
hundred
warriors
came
tiptoeing
over
the
hill
and
"sent
them
such
a
volley
of
arrows
that
to
rise
up
was
death.
Flee-
ing
the
best
theycould
towards
our
bark,
shouting
'Help!
they
are
killing
us!'
apart
fell
dead
in
thewater;
the
others
were
all
pierced
with
arrows
and
one
died
in
consequence
ashort
time
after.
The
savages
made
a
desperate
noise
with
roarings
which
it
was
terribleto
hear."
Sixteen
men
on
the
ship
immediatelyrushed
to
therescue
in
the
shallop,
only
to
get
themselves
blocked
by
a
sandbar,
so
that
they
had
to
wade
most
of
the
way
ashore.
By
the
time
they
arrived
theIndians
were
gone
and
there
was
little
to
do
but
bury
then-
dead
near
a
cross
which
had
been
set
up
the
day
before
and
then
return
to
the
ship.
A
few
hours
later
the
Indians
came
back
and
mocked
them
by
breaking
down
the
cross
and
digging
up
the
dead.
Again
the
French
went
ashore,
with
theIndians
melting
once
more
into
the
woods,
and
again
the
white
men
stubbornly
buried
their
deadand
set
the
cross
back
in
place.
The
next
day
they
set
sail,
after
ironically
naming
the
harbor
"Port
Fortune"because
of
the
bad
luck
it
had
brought
them.
They
continued
their
explorations
along
the
shore
to
the
west,
but
twice
bad
weather
forced
them
back
to
Port
Fortune.
They
had
no
more
than
returned
to
this
unlucky
place
the
second
time
than
a
promi-

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