October 27 - 1660: Cape Cod's first whaler was persecuted "for his evil ways"

Whaling made Provincetown the richest town per capita in Massachusetts
William Hamilton was Cape Cod's first known whaler.

1660: Our Early Whaling Industry

It made Provincetown the richest town per capita in Massachusetts

The New York Times in October of 1894 reported on the first whaler from Cape Cod.

Unfortunately, he was persecuted for "his evil ways" by the Puritans, which delayed the further development of whaling for another half century when it then flourished for the next century on Nantucket and Provincetown where in May 11, 1843 the Provincetown whaling schooner Cordelia took the largest whale ever known to be captured on this coast, southeast of Chatham.

Of course this was centuries before the Puritans would learn about "Willie the Gay Whale" which frolicked around Provincetown Harbor for years, see the October 22 Cape Cod History link below.

According to IAmProvincetown.com:

During the latter half of the nineteenth century, Provincetown was the richest town per capita in Massachusetts, with 54 long wharves, a mackerel fleet, Grand Bankers and Georges Bankers, and 56 whaling ships; at times, there were 700 ships crowded into the harbor, and the town supplied them all.

The Times story in 1894 begins:

The earliest records indicate that one William Hamilton was the first person who killed whales on the New-England coast. He was born in Scotland in 1643, and, coming to this country in the early part of his life, took up his residence at Cape Cod, where he was persecuted by the inhabitants for killing whales, as one who dealt with evil spirits.

Whaling was afterwards carried on by Mr. Paddock who went to Nantucket about the middle of 1890 for the purpose of instructing the English in the art of whaling in boats from the shore, which continued good and profitable till the year 1760...

Read the rest of the New York Times story here or below.


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