NANTUCKET, a county and township (coextensive) of Massachusetts, U.S.A. Its principal part is an island of the same name, 28 m.
M., has a coast-line of 88 m.; it lies within the ro-fathom line, but is separated from the mainland by Nantucket Sound, which is 25 to 30 m.
The surface of Nantucket Island is open, nearly treeless, with a few hills, the highest being 91 ft.
Extremity of Nantucket Island is Siasconset (locally 'Sconset), a summer resort of some vogue; it has a Marconi wireless telegraph station, connecting with incoming steamers, the Nantucket shoals lightship and the mainland.
End of the island; and Polpis, Quidnet and Wauwinet (at the head of Nantucket harbour) in its E.
The principal settlement and summer resort is the town of Nantucket (on the S.W.
There are two libraries; one founded in 1836, and now a public library in the Atheneum building; and the other in what is now the School of Industrial and Manual Training (1904), founded in 1827 as a Lancasterian school by Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin (1759-1839), whose ancestors were Nantucket people.
Near the old Friends' School is the building of the Nantucket Historical Society, which has a collection of relics.
Nantucket was the home of Benjamin Franklin's mother, Abiah, whose father, Peter Folger, was one of the earliest settlers (1663); of Maria Mitchell, and of Lucretia Mott.
Nantucket was long famous as a whaling port.
In 1712 a Nantucket whaler, Christopher Hussey, blown out to sea, killed some sperm whales and thus introduced the sperm-oil industry and put an end to the period in which only driftand shoreor boat-whaling had been carried on - the shore fishery died out about 1760.
In 1757 whaling was the only livelihood of the people of Nantucket; and in 1750-1775, although whaling fleets were in repeated danger from French and Spanish privateers, the business, with the allied coopers and other trades, steadily increased.
In 1775 the Nantucket fleet numbered 150, and the population was between 5000 and 6000, about 90% being Quakers; but by 1785 the fleet had been shattered, 134 ships being destroyed or captured during the war.
During the war of 1812 the Nantucket fleet was the only one active; it suffered severely during the war, and in the decade1820-1830Nantucket lost its primacy to New Bedford, whose fleet in 1840 was twice as large.
Title to Nantucket and the neighbouring islands was claimed under grants of the Council for New England both by William Alexander, Lord Stirling, and by Sir Ferdinando Gorges.
In 1659 the elder Mayhew sold a joint interest in the greater part of the island of Nantucket for £ 3 0 and two beaver hats to nine partners; early in the following year the first ten admitted ten others as equal proprietors, and later, in order to encourage them to settle here, special half-grants were offered to tradesmen.
The town of Nantucket was settled in 1661 and was incorporated in 1671.
When counties were first organized in New York, in 1683, Nantucket and the neighbouring islands were erected into Dukes county, but in 1695, after annexation to Massachusetts, Nantucket Island, having been set apart from Dukes county, constituted Nantucket county, and in 1713 Tuckernuck Island was annexed to it.
See the bulletins (1896 sqq.) of the Nantucket Historical Society, established in 1894; F.
Dudley, Nantucket Centennial Celebration; Historic Sites and Historic Buildings (Nantucket, 1895); Obed Macy, History of Nantucket (Boston, 1835); L.
Hinchman, Early Settlers of Nantucket (Philadelphia, 1896; 2nd ed., 1901); W.
Bliss, Quaint Nantucket (Boston, 1896); and N.
Shaler, Geology of Nantucket (Washington, 1889), being U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin, No.
Farther east, Nantucket, a smaller island of triangular shape, is likewise the home of a seafaring folk who still retain in some degree primitive habits, though summer visitors are more and more affecting its life.
Nantucket and New Bedford were the centres of the whaling trade, which, for the ' In 1905 Massachusetts produced 60'7% of the writing paper manufactured in the country.
Other ports of entry in the state in 1909 were Newburyport, Gloucester, Salem, Marblehead, Plymouth, Barnstable, Nantucket, Edgartown, New Bedford and Fall River.
MARIA MITCHELL (1818-1889), American astronomer, was born of Quaker ancestry on the island of Nantucket on the 1st of August 1818.
Her father, William Mitchell (1791-1869), .was a school teacher and self-taught astronomer, who rated chronometers for Nantucket whalers, was an overseer of Harvard University (1857-1865), and for a time was employed by the United States Coast Survey.
In 1861 she removed from Nantucket to Lynn, where she used a large equatorial telescope presented to her by the women of America; and there she lived until 1865, when she became professor of astronomy and director of the observatory at Vassar College; in 1888 she became professor emeritus.
He removed to Nantucket, Massachusetts, in 1881, and died there on the 12th of May 1884.
In 1641 Stirling's agent, Forrett, sold to Thomas Mayhew (1592-1682), 1 of Watertown, Massachusetts, for $200, the island of Nantucket, with several smaller neighbouring islands, and also Martha's Vineyard.
In 1671 Governor Francis Lovelace, of New York, appointed Mayhew governor for life of Martha's Vineyard; in 1683, the island, with Nantucket, the Elizabeth Islands, No Man's Land, and Chappaquiddick Island were erected into Dukes county, and in 1695 the county was re-incorporated by Massachusetts with Nantucket excluded.
In 1783 several Edgartown families joined the association made up of Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Providence and Newport whalers, who founded Hudson, on the Hudson river, in Columbia county, New York.
Hough, Papers Relating to the Island of Nantucket, with Documents Relating to the Original Settlement of that Island, Martha's Vineyard, fgc. (Albany, N.
Thus Long Island (fronting Connecticut, but belonging to New York state), Block Island (part of the small state of Rhode Island), Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket (parts of Massachusetts) may be best explained.
Moreover, the sea has worked on the shore line thus originated, reducing the size of the more exposed islands farther east, and even consuming some islands which are now represented by the Nantucket shoals.
And Nantucket Sound on the S., extending across Cape Cod.