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MARTÍ—MARTIAL

terms—owing to insufficient knowledge of the geography of the coast—that both William Alexander, earl of Stirling, and Sir Ferdinando Gorges, proprietor of Maine, claimed Martha’s Vineyard. 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. It seems probable that Forrett acted without authority, and his successor, Forrester, was arrested by the Dutch in New Amsterdam and sent to Holland before he could confirm the transfer. In 1644 the Commissioners of the United Colonies, apparently at the request of the inhabitants of Martha’s Vineyard, annexed the island to Massachusetts, but ten years later the islanders declared their independence of that colony, and apparently for the next decade managed their own affairs. Meanwhile Mayhew had recognized the jurisdiction of Maine;[2] and though the officials of that province showed no disposition to press their claim, it seems that this technical suzerainty continued until 1664, when the Duke of York received from his brother, Charles II., the charter for governing New York, New Jersey, and other territory, including 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. Under the new charter of Massachusetts Bay (1691), after some dispute between Massachusetts and New York, Martha’s Vineyard became a part of Massachusetts.

There is a tradition that the first settlement of Martha’s Vineyard was made in 1632, at or near the present site of Edgartown village, by several English families forming part of a company bound for Virginia, their ship having put in at this harbour on account of heavy weather. It is certain, however, that in 1642, the year after Thomas Mayhew bought the island, his son, also named Thomas Mayhew (c. 1616–1657), and several other persons established a plantation on the site of what is now Edgartown village. This settlement was at first called “Great Harbor,” but soon after Mayhew was appointed governor of the island it was named Edgartown, probably in honour of the only surviving son of the Duke of York. The younger Mayhew, soon after removing to Martha’s Vineyard, devoted himself to missionary work among the Indians, his work beginning at about the same time as that of John Eliot; he was lost at sea in 1657 while on his way to secure financial assistance in England, and his work was continued successfully by his father.[3] The township of Edgartown was incorporated in 1671, and is the county-seat of Dukes county. 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. Oak Bluffs had its origin as a settlement in the camp meetings, which were begun here in 1835, and by 1860 had grown to large proportions. As the village expanded it took the name of Cottage City. In 1880 the township was incorporated under that name, which it retained until January 1907, when the name (and that of the village also) was changed to Oak Bluffs. Tisbury township was bought from the Indians in 1669 and was incorporated in 1671. Its principal village, Vineyard Haven, was called “Holmes’s Hole” (in honour of one of the early settlers) until 1871, when the present name was adopted. West Tisbury township was set off from Tisbury, and incorporated in 1892. Chilmark township was incorporated in 1694. Gay Head township was set off from Chilmark, and incorporated in 1870.

See C. Gilbert Hine, The Story of Martha’s Vineyard (New York, 1908); Charles E. Banks, “Martha’s Vineyard and the Province of Maine” in Collections and Proceedings of the Maine Historical Society, 2nd series, vol. ix. p. 123 (Portland, Maine, 1898); and Walter S. Tower, A History of the American Whale Fishery (Philadelphia, 1907).  (G. G.*) 


MARTÍ, JUAN JOSÉ (1570?–1604), Spanish novelist, was born at Orihuela (Valencia) about 1570. He graduated as bachelor of canon law at Valencia in 1591, and in 1598 took his degree as doctor of canon law; in the latter year he was appointed co-examiner in canon law at Valencia University, and held the post for six years. He died at Valencia, and was buried in the cathedral of that city on the 22nd of December 1604. Martí joined the Valencian Academia de los nocturnos, under the name of “Atrevimiento,” but is best known by another pseudonym, Mateo Luján de Sayavedra, under which he issued an apocryphal continuation (1602) of Alemán’s Guzmán de Alfarache (1599). Marti obtained access to Alemán’s unfinished manuscript, and stole some of his ideas; this dishonesty lends point to the sarcastic congratulations which Alemán, in the genuine sequel (1604) pays to his rival’s sallies: “I greatly envy them, and should be proud that they were mine.” Martí’s book is clever, but the circumstances in which it was produced account for its cold reception and afford presumption that the best scenes are not original.

It has been suggested that Martí is identical with Avellaneda, the writer of a spurious continuation (1614) to Don Quixote; but he died before the first part of Don Quixote was published (1605).


MARTIAL (Marcus Valerius Martialis), Latin epigrammatist, was born, in one of the years A.D. 38–41, for in book x., of which the poems were composed in the years 95–98, he is found celebrating his fifty-seventh birthday (x. 24). Our knowledge of his career is derived almost entirely from himself. Reference to public events enables us approximately to fix the date of the publication of the different books of epigrams, and from these dates to determine those of various important events in his life. The place of his birth was Bilbilis, officially Augusta Bilbilis, in Spain. His name seems to imply that he was born a Roman citizen, but he speaks of himself as “sprung from the Celts and Iberians, and a countryman of the Tagus;” and, in contrasting his own masculine appearance with that of an effeminate Greek, he draws especial attention to “his stiff Spanish hair” (x. 65, 7). His parents, Fronto and Flaccilla, appear to have died in his youth (v. 34). His home was evidently one of rude comfort and plenty, sufficiently in the country to afford him the amusements of hunting and fishing, which he often recalls with keen pleasure, and sufficiently near the town to afford him the companionship of many comrades, the few survivors of whom he looks forward to meeting again after his four-and-thirty years’ absence (x. 104). The memories of this old home, and of other spots, the rough names and local associations which he delights to introduce into his verse, attest the enjoyment which he had in his early life, and were among the influences which kept his spirit alive in the routine of social life in Rome. But his Spanish home could impart, not only the vigorous vitality which was one condition of his success as a wit and poet, but the education which made him so accomplished a writer. The literary distinction obtained by the Senecas, by Lucan, by Quintilian, who belonged to a somewhat older generation, and by his friends and contemporaries, Licinianus of Bilbilis, Decianus of Emerita, and Canius

of Gades, proves how eagerly the novel impulse of letters was

  1. Mayhew was born at Tisbury, Wiltshire, was a merchant in Southampton, emigrated to Massachusetts about 1633, settled at Watertown, Mass., in 1635; was a member of the Massachusetts General Court in 1636–1644, and after 1644 or 1645 lived on Martha’s Vineyard.
  2. It appears from a letter from Mayhew to Governor Andros in 1675 that about 1641 Mayhew obtained a conveyance to Martha’s Vineyard from Richard Vines, agent of Gorges. See F. B. Hough, Papers Relating to the Island of Nantucket, with Documents Relating to the Original Settlement of that Island, Martha’s Vineyard, &c. (Albany, N.Y., 1856).
  3. In 1901, a boulder memorial was erected to the younger Mayhew on the West Tisbury road, between the village of that name and Edgartown, marking the spot where the missionary bade farewell to several hundred Indians. The Martha’s Vineyard Indians were subject to the Wampanoag tribe, on the mainland, were expert watermen, and were very numerous when the whites first came. Nearly all of them were converted to Christianity by the Mayhews, and they were friendly to the settlers during King Philip’s war. By 1698 their numbers had been reduced to about 1000, and by 1764 to about 300. Soon after this they began to intermarry with negroes, and now only faint traces of them remain.