The progenitor of the Chase family of Martha's Vineyard, was born in Hampton, N. H., April 1, 1650, the third son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Philbrick) Chase. The family genealogies state that Thomas came from County Cornwall, England, to New England, and was the son of Aquila Chase of the Chesham, County Bucks family, whose pedigree extends back several generations. In what way Isaac Chase came to be interested in this distant island is not known, but the neighboring town of Salisbury, Mass., had already furnished many settlers for Nantucket, men of Quaker faith, and through this source it is probable that his knowledge of the Vineyard was acquired. At the age of 24 he came to Tisbury to settle (1674), but the townsmen refused the privilege to him for some reason at that time. Possibly it was because of his religious beliefs, which were of the Quaker doctrinal variety. 'The townsmen of Tysbury,' so reads the record, 'do not give unto Isack Chace of Hampton liberty to settle in the town.' [Tisbury Records, 8. We may surmise that they finally gave him permission to inhabit at Homes Hole, in the uttermost part of the town, many miles from the dwellings of any settlers. He was of Hampton in October 1673 (Norfolk Co. Deeds).] However he must have overcome this refusal before long, as we find him in less than two years making purchases of land in the town limits.
He must have been possessed of more than the average wealth at that time as he became, before 1700, one of the largest landholders on the Vineyard. He began his purchases of Homes Hole neck in 1676, as elsewhere related, and finally became its sole proprietor. His property in the Chickemmoo region was second in extent of acreage. His initial purchase in 1682 became a subject of dispute with the Sachem and the town, and was relinquished; but in 1692 he bought the entire eastern half of Chickemoo of Thomas Tupper, consisting of 1200 acres, and was continually adding to his domain in that region. [Deeds, I, 130, 187, 281, 391.] He rarely sold any portion of these acquisitions and all of it, practically, became the heritage of his heirs.
His occupation, as elsewhere detailed, was that of blacksmith, inn-holder, and ferryman, and these he followed until his death. Although by religion a Quaker, yet he does not seem to have been ultra orthodox in the faith, for he took military office as Lieutenant in the Company of Foot in Tisbury before 1692, and thus broke one of the principal tenets of that sect. In the political upheavals of that time Simon Atheam thus refers to him: 'Mr. Isaac Chase the Leueten't without oath he pleading for the quakers.' [Mass. Arch., CXII, 424. This is the only reference to the Quaker proclivities of Chase to be found in the record. The allusion to the oath relates to their objection to swearing, although willing to affirm to an act or statement.] During the remainder of his life he was generally called Lieutenant in the records of that period.
He died May 19, 1727, and his will, dated Feb. 12, 1721-2, was proven in July, 1727. By it he bequeathed what lands he had not given away in his lifetime to his widow and surviving children and grandchildren. The Chickemmoo property was mostly deeded to his several sons, 1706-1718, and the Homes Hole neck was to a large extent, 1705-1717, similarly disposed of to Thomas, Isaac and Abraham. In 1725 this remained undivided and Lieut. Isaac and his son Abraham entered suit against the heirs of Thomas and Ebenezer Rogers for a partition. This was done, and the division then made by the jury is the basis of all land titles in Vineyard Haven north of the creek in front of the hospital.
Isaac Chase was twice married; first to Mary, daughter of Isaac Perkins of Hampton, Feb. 20, 1673, by whom he had no issue; second to Mary Tilton, probably sister of Samuel of Hampton and Chilmark, Oct. 5, 1675, by Rev. John Mayhew. By his second marriage he had six sons and six daughters, who left a large progeny here and in Nantucket. He was a man of sterling worth and scrupulous honesty, and his life was singularly free from contentions and litigations with his neighbors.
'The eldest son of Edward Cottle of Salisbury, named for his father, was born in that town Sept. 28, 1666, and followed his father in his various wanderings until he came to the Vineyard. He bought land in this town on the west side of the Lagoon, in 1695, of Ponit the Sachem of Homes Hole, and thereafter added to this until he owned a considerable tract adjoining the Presbury and West lands.[Dukes Deeds, II, 65. His house was in the Edgartown limits.] There he lived with his half-breed wife, Esther Daggett (22) of the 'Bow and Arrow' family, daughter of Joseph and Alice (Sissetom) Daggett. He had wedded her between 1690 and 1698, and one child was born to them, a daughter named Esther, about 1700, who married first a Harding (after 1718), and second (about 1725) Manasseh Kempton. This half-breed wife died before 1702 certainly, and probably sometime earlier.[Descent from the'Vineyard Pocahontas' may be traced through the Hardings.] He remained a widower until about 1701, when he took as a second wife Abigail, daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Holley) Allen of Dartmouth, Mass.[For proof of this see Bristol Deeds, XIII, 41 and Sup. Jud. Court Mss. No. 29518. Nathaniel Pease testified that he was present at the wedding.] By this union another daughter was born, June 6, 1702, and she was called Abigail. This girl married three times, (I) John Presbury, (2) Benjamin Luce, and (3) Samuel Lambert. Besides these matrimonial ventures his career was an uneventful one. He appears in court but once as a plaintiff (1736) and in 1733 he was a juror, and this constitutes his sole record. [He was an illiterate man evidently, as all documents bearing his name as grantor or deponent are signed with 'his mark.'] He made his will Nov. 2, 1748, 'being grown old & stricken in years,' and it was probated Nov. 2, 1751, the proximate time of his decease, when he was about eighty-five years old. [Dukes Probate, III, 274.] He bequeaths all his property to his daughter Abigail and her second husband. His wife, who was born April 1, 1663, had predeceased him Dec. 25, 1733, aged seventy years. [Holmes' Diary.]
This settler was probably the son of Simon and Mary (Nickerson) Crosby of Harwich, Cape Cod, baptized April 13, 1701, in that town. He came here about 1732 and married, before 1734, Sarah Luce (53), probably through the family relations between the two families established in 1704 by the marriage of his aunt Ann to William Luce (9). His father-in-law gave his wife a farm of twenty acres near Tashmoo in Chickemmoo, and they resided there for the remainder of the time covered by our present knowledge of his life. It would seem that his wife died at some time unknown, and he remarried in 1752 a Mrs. Sarah Tisk [This name is as written in the @Tisbury vital records. It is probably an error for Fisk.] and that he was living here in 1758, signing as a witness on that date.
It is believed that he was the first immigrant of the Portuguese nationality to come to the Vineyard, and one of the Western Islands was probably the place of his birth.
He was a young man when he arrived in this country, and soon had attracted the attention and won the heart of Sarah Manter (110) of this town. They were married, Jan. 4, 1780, and he soon joined the cause of his adopted country in the struggle against England. He was captured and sent a prisoner to that country, but secured a release after 'a distressing captivity.' Upon his return home he became a convert to the newly-expounded Baptist teachings, in December, 1780, and the incident is thus related by an eye witness:-
'By seeing and hearing of these wonders of divine grace his vows in trouble were brought with authority upon his mind; and though the temper set in violently with his suggestions, that there was no mercy for him, and that he had better go and drown himself, in the evening after the communion (December 21st) yet sovereign grace prevented it, and set his soul at liberty so that he was soon after baptized and joined to that church.' [Backus, Church History, II, 375.]
The rest of his brief experience in a land of strangers was tragic, and the whole borders on the romantic. He went forth once again to do battle for his adopted country, and for the second time fell into the hands of the British as a prisoner of war, and was consigned to a living death on the hulk ' Jersey, ' of infamous memory. There he died in 1781 as a patriot and martyr, leaving a widow and an infant son, born the year of his decease.
He was a master mariner engaged in the West India trade, and frequently made this haven on voyages from his home in Kittery, Maine, to southern waters. As a guest at Abraham Chase's Inn he met Hannah (55), the young daughter of 'mine host.' Captain Ferguson was the son of Alexander and Elizabeth (Frost) Ferguson, born Aug. 8, 1710, and she was fifteen years his junior. Difference in ages made no difference in their sentiments however, as their banns were published Nov 2, 1745, and they were married soon after. Nothmg further is known of him, except that a family of seven children were born to them and baptized here. He was probably occupied in coastwise traffic, and had died before 1769, but the date and place of his death is unknown, probably in the West Indies of some tropical fever, which took the lives of so many of our people in those days. The toll from this cause was a constant drain on the male population.
The family tradition that this settler came from Plymouth seems the probable truth, though extended search among the records of that county fails to find confirmation. [The author has examined all the wills and administrations of Holmes decedents in Plymouth County, and abstracts of each are in his possession.] The age given on his gravestone practically tallies with the birth record of John, son of John and Mercy (Ford) Holmes, born June 22, 1730, in Plymouth. If this be the solution of the problem his father was later of Kingston, died there in 1746, and in his will mentions his minor son John.['Plymouth Probate, XI, 141. This would account for lack of evidence to connect him with the Vineyard, as he was not of age.] Our John first appears in the Vineyard ten years after this, and is enrolled in 1757 as a private in the militia company of Edgartown. He was a blacksmith by trade, and made his first purchase of land Jan. 8, 1760, in the village of Eastville, at Quaise neck. [Dukes Deeds, IX, 17.] He resided there about five years, and on Oct. 30, 1765, bought half an acre of land in Holmes Hole neck, where the Thomas Dunham tavern formerly stood. [Ibid, IX, 485; XX, 13] Thenceforth he was identified with this town, and his descendants continued to reside here until the present day. He was chosen constable in 1776 and 1791, the only town offices held by him. Here he became a sound pilot, an occupation which he followed to the end of his active life, and for which he was commissioned in 1783 by Governor Hancock. He died Oct. 29, 1812, in the 84th year of his age, leaving a widow and two married daughters. His son John, also a pilot, had predeceased in 1795, and through him the present family descends.
This settler came here from Rhode Island, and probably was a relative, if not a son, of the Nathaniel Manchester of Portsmouth, R. I., who married Elizabeth Norton (56) of Edgartown in 1716, or of William Manchester, who married Bethiah Norton (55) the year previous.
He married Eunice Norton about 1757, and made his first purchase of land July 25, 1767, from the widow Mercy Chase. [Dukes Deeds, IX, 668.]
He was probably the son of John Presbury, a shoemaker, sometime of Salisbury and later of Saco, Maine, where in 1670 he had bought a tract of land. [York Deeds, III, 42. John of Saco was probably the son of that John of Sandwich, Cape Cod, whose death in May, 1648, is recorded.]
This John died in that Province before Nov. 3, 1684, leaving three sons,
of whom one was Stephen, and the name is so unusual and without recurrence
at that period, that we can assume the relationship fairly established.
[Ibid, V(I), 35.] This Stephen was a witness to a deed in Kittery, Maine,
in 1686, and the next we learn of him is in 1704 when he was called 'of
Chilmark, ' meaning that part of it known as Chickemmoo. [Dukes Deeds, III,
77; comp. York Deeds, IV, 134.] It is not known where he had resided in
the eighteen years intervening, but it can be surmised that he may have
gone to Sandwich, Cape Cod, where he married, about 1693, Deborah, daughter
of Stephen and Lydia (Snow) Skiffe of that town. His homestead was at the
head of the Lagoon within the boundary line of Edgartown, but his closer
proximity to the settlement at Homes Hole, where he lies buried, makes his
classification as an early settler of this region the natural one. [He was
a land owner in the three towns. (Deeds, III, 114, 504; IV, 108, 217).]
His residence here was absolutely without incident of any kind, as he held
no offices, appeared in court once as a plaintiff (1729) and in all the
twenty-five years of his life on the Vineyard he did not so much as witness
a deed or document of any kind, an unusual fact. His will, dated April 6,
1730, was proved June 30, 1730, and disposes of his property to 'my seven
daughters' and the children of his only son John, deceased. [Dukes Probate,
II, 56.] He had died May 17, I730 in his 58th year and his widow Deborah
survived, dying March II, 1743, in the 73d year of her age. [These are the
gravestone records, but both seem to be incorrect. The birth of Deborah
Skiffe is recorded in Sandwich on July 14, 1668, and thus she was in her
74th year. The age given on his stone would make his birth year 1672-3,
but in 1686 he was a witness in Maine. He was probably older than his wife.]
[See The Presbury Family of Martha's
Vineyard for more information about their descendants.]
The first of the name of West to come to the Vineyard was Thomas, a son of Francis West of Duxbury, and from him have descended many of his name who became noted in succeeding generations in the ministry and learned professions, and distinguished in colonial military affairs. Francis West, his father, was born about 1606 and lived in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. He was a carpenter by trade, and is said to have come to Duxbury as a single man, upon the invitation of Nathaniel Thomas of Marshfield, and after his arrival .in his new home, married Margaret Reeves, Feb. 27, 1639, by whom he had five children, Mary (1640), Samuel (1643), Thomas (1646), Peter (1648), and Ruth (1651). He died Jan. 2, 1692, aged 86 years. The descendants of Samuel are mostly found in Connecticut, and those of Peter in Plymouth Colony. [ See N. E. Gen. Reg., LX, 142. The claims made in print and private that Thomas West was the son of Admiral Francis West of the well known English family have no bases in fact.] Few traces of Thomas are found in the Massachusetts records prior to his emigration to the Vineyard. He witnessed a deed in 1667, [Plymouth Deeds, III, 101] and is mentioned in the county Treasurer's accounts of June, 1674. [Plymouth Col. Rec. VIII, 133.] Between that date and Sept. 30, 1673, he came to this island, probably through his association with the Skiffes, as his sister Ruth became the wife of Nathaniel in later years. It is possible that West resided in Newport, R. I., prior to his removal hither. On Sept. 30, 1673, he entered suit against the townsmen of Tisbury respecting his property rights, and his lot, mentioned the following year, was situated on the west side of Old Mill river to the north of the old cemetery, next that of James Skiffe, Sr. [Tisbury Records, 8. ] Thomas West was evidently a man of education and superior ability, and the first known practitioner of medicine and surgery on the Vineyard. In addition to this qualification he must have been learned in the law, for he was the ' Kings Attorney' in June, 1681, and is mentioned in 1687 and the three following years as the King's Solicitor and 'Their Majesties Attorney.' It is probable he held this office continuously from the first recorded date. He prosecuted the first trials for murder held on the island in the years mentioned.[Dukes County Court Records.] Thomas West also has some further distinction in his religious affiliations. With his wife he became a member of the Third Sabbatarian (Seventh Day) Baptist Church of Newport, R. I., at some time prior to 1692, and various West descendants were attached to that communion for many years after. [Records Sabbatarian Baptist Church. At the same time Peter and Ruth West are found in the list of members 1692, and it is probable they were his brother and sister of these names.] His daughter and their children in other names are to be found among the members of this church. In 1702, however, he was excommunicated for disobeying the tenets of the communion, but his wife and other members of his family continued in good standing. [The order is as follows: 'At a General meeting of the Church at Westerly Sept. 19, 1702, at Thomas Burdicks house, upon debate of the case of Thomas West of Martha's Vineyard, who having been several times admonished for his breach of the Sabbath, the church did proceed to a rejection of said West and appointed Bro. Wm. Gibson to draw up sentence of the congregation relating 'hereunto in writing to be sent to said West.']
In the spring of 1682 he sold his lot in West Tisbury and made the first of a series of land purchases at Homes Hole, which from that time to his death became his residence.[He bought land at Homes Hole on February 8, 1681-2, and sold his lot on Old Mill river, April 10, 1682. (Dukes Deeds, I, 31, 375)] This property, by continued acquisition extended from the Lagoon on the north to the Cottle property (head of Lagoon) on the south, and his house was situated near the site of the U. S. Marine Hospital. After his death it descended to his sons in shares and 'set offs,' but in time his eldest son, Abner, acquired the most of it by purchase from the other heirs.
During his life he had the usual experiences observed among his neighbors as respects his business and social relations. He was indicted and fined in 1678 for 'unsavourie speeches' and sued for defamation in 1687 by Simon Athearn. [Dukes Co. Court Records.] He was elected 'townsman' of Tisbury in 1678, and in 1679 was on a committee to 'make rates.' [Tisbury Records, 12, 13.] Beyond these references other mention of him in the records is incidental. He made his will on Jan. 15, 1698, and died Sept. 6, 1706, in the sixtieth year of his age. In this document he bequeaths to his 'eldest son' Abner the estate as far south as 'Chunckes' swamp. To son Thomas certain land next southerly, and to son Peter a tract adjoining the previous bequest; to son William 'all that creek stuff or meadow land which I bought of Mr Sam' (Indian). 'Nextly' it continues, 'I will and bequeath all my books and surgery instruments unto my son Thomas, a gun to my son Sackfield and a sword to my son Judah.' His movable estate was left to the widow Elizabeth, 'for bringing up the children,' and he mentions his 'four' daughters in this connection. 'My will is,' he directs in conclusion, 'that none of my children be disposed of without the advice of Brother Nathaniel Skiffe and my son Abner, whom I do make overseers to this my will.''[Dukes Co. Probate, I, 8. The property was not finally divided until April 3, 1722, when the children who did not receive landed bequests by will were given their shares (ibid. I, 125).]
The name of one of his younger sons, Sackfield, is of curious coincidence, as Sackville is one of the family names of the noble West family, Lords De la Warr of the peerage of England. [No emigrant to New England of the name of Sackfield or Sackville in the 17th century has come to the notice of the author, and it does not seem, therefore, to be the name of the wife of Thomas West whose name was thus perpetuated. It should be said that the Sackville connection with the Wests is of comparatively recent date, and no importance can be attached to it as it relates to our Sackfield West.] It is not to be supposed, however, that the Duxbury carpenter had any connection whatever with this armigerous family. Diligents earch has failed to disclose the maiden name of his wife, Elizabeth, who was born in 1653 or 4, and survived her husband many years. She died Feb. 16, 1728, 'in the 75th year of her age,' and the gravestones of both the Doctor and his wife are in good preservation at West Tisbury. At least six of their descendants were graduates of Harvard College before 1800, and were men distinguished in the annals of the New England pulpit.
Marriage with one of Abraham Chase's daughters, Abigail, brought John Wheldon to Homes Hole. He was probably the son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Marchant) Wheldon of Yarmouth, Cape Cod, born July 21, 1707, in that town. He was a seafaring man and followed the particular occupation of a Sound pilot in these waters. He came here about 1730-40, and he and his wife received from her father, May 29, 1741, a large tract of land extending from the harbor to Tashmoo. [Dukes Deeds, VI, 452, 454, 458.] His death occurred about 1755, as administration of his estate was granted to the widow December 188 that year. Three sons, John, Joseph, and Timothy were lost at sea in 1769 in one vessel.
He was born about 1732-3, and came to Homes Hole some time before Oct. 30, 1765, the date of his first purchase of land in the town.[Ibid, X, 288.] He was married here to Rhoda Chase (131), Nov. 3, 1757, which may be taken as the probable time of his settlement. His occupation was that of a Sound pilot as early as 1769, and he followed this throughout his active life. [Ibid, X, 187.] He was twice married, his second wife being Elizabeth, daughter of John Holmes, and two sets of children were born to him. His death occurred Aug. 26, 1805, in the 73d year of his age. Nothing certain is known of his former residence or parentage. There were Winslows in Rochester and Freetown who had business dealings with the Vineyard before 1750, and it is probable that he came from that section.
In 1759 this person was licensed as a tavern keeper. He was probably an uncle or near relative of the Malachi Baxter of Yarmouth, Cape Cod, who settled here after the Revolution. [There were Baxters here before that date. In the muster roll of a New York company of troops, French and Indian war, 1762, appears the name of Simon Baxter, carpenter, aged 46, whose birthplace is given as Martha's Vineyard. (Rep't N.Y. State Historian, Colonial Series, II, 726-7.) ] He does not appear as a grantor or grantee of property, and doubtless was a tenant only during his stay here. His inn was destroyed by fire in 1762, and after that no more is heard of him in town.
The identity of this transient is not satisfactorily established. He appears here in 1725 as the husband of widow Esther (Cottle) Harding, whom he had married in that year probably (Court Records). He remained here perhaps four or five years, as traces of him are found in 1726, 1728 and 1729, his wife having died before the latter date, but whence he came or whither he went resolves itself into guessing, after much search. [He was sued in 1726 (Dukes Co. Court Records); gave evidence in 1728 (Sup. Jud. Court Mss. 21403), and was sued in March, 1729, in our local court. ] It is probable that he is Manasseh Kempton of Plymouth, who had married Mehitable Holmes of that town about 1715 and bought land same year. Two children were born to him, and he sold his property in 1721 and apparently removed elsewhere. [This may be the date of his removal to the Vineyard. (Davis, ' Landmarks of Plymouth,' 207).] The dates permit migration to the Vineyard, where he married a second time and, after a short stay, again changed residence to Southampton, L. I. In 1733, in a deed, he calls himself a 'gunsmith' of the last named place, 'formerly of Plymouth' and refers to his uncle Manasseh Kempton of Dartmouth, and his cousin Ephraim of Plymouth. [Bristol Deeds, XXI, 466.] As no wife signs with him these conditions fit the conclusion that he was the above described Manasseh, son of Ephraim of Plymouth. Our court records indicate that a child was born to him here, but its sex or survival is not known. He was neither grantor nor grantee while resident in town.
He was the son of Isaac and Susanna Perkins of Hampton, N. H., baptized May 24, 1640, in that town and his younger sister, Mary, was the wife of our Isaac Chase. He came to the Vineyard about 1674, with his brother-in-law probably, and perhaps also in company with Samuel Tilton, bringing a wife and one child. While here a second child was born to them.[His first purchase here was February 10, 1674. (Dukes Deeds, I, 336). He was called 'Jacob Perkins (late of Hampton) now of Holmeshole on the Iland of Martyr's Vineyard.' 24-12 mo. 1674 (Norfolk Co. Deeds, III, 20).] By occupation he was a tailor, though it would seem that little of this class of work would occupy his time here with so few settlers. His stay here was brief and troublesome, because of the enmity of the official ruling family, arising from his testimony against one of its members in the slander suit of Daggett vs. Skiffe, as related elsewhere. [Vol. I, 167 (note).] Like a considerable number, who at this time were leaving the Vineyard on account of the petty persecutions following the 'Dutch Rebellion,' he concluded to remove to a more congenial location, and removed across the Sound to Falmouth, where on Oct. 31, 1677, he bought a homestead of William Weeks, Senior. [Barnstable Town Records, I, 36.] His stay in Succanessit was also brief, for on Feb. 8, 1678, he sold this property, and on May 8, 1679, he repurchased an estate in Hampton, and ever after resided there. He was living in 1693 with his wife in that town. [Norfolk County Deeds, X, 44.]
This transient came here in 1755 from Nantucket, and lived on the West Tisbury road, just outside the present village of Vineyard Haven. He was the son of John and Mehitable (Call) Rand of Charlestown, born Dec. 6, 1703, and had married, Aug. 4, 1726, in that place, Katherine Kettell, by whom he had eleven children. The five eldest were of age and unmarried when he came here, and they all married here. He remained until about 1761, and returned to Nantucket, where he died in 1768, aged 65 years. The sons and daughters removed to Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, about 1760 and their descendants still reside in that province.
He was a transient resident here before 1676, and removed to West Tisbury and later to Chilmark, where he ended his days. A sketch of him appears in the annals of the latter town.
Although a part of old Tisbury for purposes of taxation, yet the people of Homes Hole and the place itself occupied very little time and space in the consideration of the freemen of West Tisbury. The name of Homes Hole is not mentioned in the town records from 1673 to 1737, nor is there any reference to it indirectly. From the latter date it occurs irregularly every few years to 1780, when it begins to be recognized in the bestowal of some of the minor offices, such as tithingman, surveyor of highways or warden. In 1783 it is spoken of in the records of Tisbury as 'that tract of Land Called Homeshole.' Not until 1788 was a selectman chosen from this section [Samuel Look] but from that date it had a representative annually. In 1804-5-6 two residents of Homes Hole were on the board of selectmen. The first town meeting was held in Holmes Hole in March, 1807, at the Proprietors' meeting-house, and thenceforth the annual meetings were holden in West Tisbury and Homes Hole alternately. [In 1838-9 and 1841 the town meetings were held at the taverns kept by Thomas Dunham. In 1843 and 1845, at the Union Wharf store, 1847 to 1852 at the school house, South District, 1852 to 1864 at Capawoc hall. The office of selectmen was removed to Homes Hole before 1852, and in 1857 an effort was made to bring the office of town clerk from West Tisbury, but it failed at that time.]
For the first time in the records, in 1763, it was called the Constablewick of Homes Hole, a title signifying a district within the jurisdiction of a constable, similar to a parish in ' ecclesiastical law. [Tisbury Records, 183. The 'Liberty of Tisbury' occurs in a document of 1730, signifying a place having special privileges. (Athearn Mss. Cong. Library).] It was treated as a separate community and place by the rest of the inhabitants of Tisbury, and beyond according it certain school privileges required by law, it was left to shift for itself in all other things. This reached a formal culmination in 1782, when the townsmen voted that all persons and estates
'to the Eastward of a Line Drawn from the Stepping Stone (A Place known by that Name at the head of the Lagoon or Cove ofWater Dividing Said Homseshole from the Town of Edgartown) To Cuteshmoo Spring [be exempt] from paying any Taxes in the Town of Tisbuary for the future Except Common Wealth Taxes, As also that Said Inhabitants Recieve no benefit or Assistance from the Town of Tisbuary for any charges that may Arise on Said Inhabitants for the future, Said Vote Passed in the Affirmative without one Dissenting Vote.' [Tisbury Records, 246.]
This practically left Homes Hole without obligation to pay any rates except state levies. The interests of the two places were antipodal, not only in ecclesiastical affairs, which we shall learn, but in secular matters as well. The 'Hole' was given over to maritime business, the outfitting of ships, the haven of weather-bound craft, and the home of Soundpilots. The west parish was occupied solely in agricultural pursuits.