59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

A Finding Aid to the Elizabeth Islands Collection

Descriptive Summary

RepositoryMartha's Vineyard MuseumGale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
Call NumberRU 470
TitleElizabeth Islands collection
Date1741-1897, 1936-2004, undated
Extent1 box (0.504 cubic feet)
LanguageThe materials are in English.
AbstractThe collection consists of brochures, correspondence, deeds, essays, monographs, newsletters, postcards, publications, and wills concerning three of the Elizabeth Islands: Cuttyhunk, Naushon, and Pasque.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions to access.

Use and Reproduction Restrictions

Requests to reproduce material from this collection should be directed to museum staff. Reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation

Martha's Vineyard Museum, RU 470, Elizabeth Islands Collection.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mr. Thatcher M. Brown in 1941 (Accession no. 1941.029). Gift of Mrs. Weston Howland in 1967 (Accession no. 1967.011). Gift of Roland Borges in 1970 (Accession no. 1970.017). Gift of the Cuttyhunk Historical Center in 1979 (Accession no. 1979.032). Gift of Josephine Bruno in 1983 (Accession no. 1983.043). Gift of William B. Cooper in 1984 (Accession no. 1984.006). Gift of the West Tisbury Library in 1984 (Accession no. 1984.006). Anonymous gift in 1985 (Accession no. 1985.062). Gift of Edith Blake in 1987 (Accession no. 1987.024). Gift of James Jenkins in 1992 (Accession no. 1992.114). The immediate source of acquisition and date of accession for the rest of the material is unknown.


  • Cuttyhunk Historical Society. Cuttyhunk and the Elizabeth Islands: From 1602. Edited by Janet Bosworth. East Longmeadow, Mass.: John C. Otto Company, Inc., 1993.
  • Haskell, Louise T. The Story of Cuttyhunk. New Bedford, Mass.: Reynolds Printing, Inc., 1953.
  • Howland, Alice Forbes. Three Islands: Pasque, Nashawena and Penikese. Boston: Pinkham Press, 1964.

Publication Information

Martha's Vineyard Museum

Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Lara J. Ullman in July 2014. Finding aid machine-encoded by Nathaniel Janick, July 2014.

 Creation of this finding aid was sponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Related Materials

Related Material

See also, Photograph Archive.

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Cuttyhunk Historical Society


  • Brochures
  • Correspondence
  • Deeds
  • Essays
  • Monographs
  • Newsletters
  • Postcards
  • Publications
  • Wills

Geographic Name(s)

  • Cuttyhunk Island (Mass.)
  • Elizabeth Islands (Mass.)
  • Naushon Island (Mass.)
  • Pasque Island (Mass.)


  • Islands--Massachusetts

Biography/Historical Note

The Elizabeth Islands are a chain of small islands extending southwest from the southern coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Located at the outer edge of Buzzards Bay, north of Martha's Vineyard, the Elizabeth Islands include Cuttyhunk, Nashawena, Naushon, Nonamesset, Pasque, Penikese, Uncatena, Veckatimest, and the Weepecket Islands. The Elizabeth Islands were discovered by English explorer Captain Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602. Since the islands were discovered by an Englishman they fell under the jurisdiction of the British Crown and were included in a territorial grant of Charles I to the Council of New England in 1635. Thomas Mayhew, Sr., merchant of Watertown, Massachusetts, purchased Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and the right to plant on the Elizabeth Islands from Alexander, Earl of Sterling, in 1641.

Scope and Content Note

The collection includes material concerning three of the Elizabeth Islands: Cuttyhunk, Naushon, and Pasque. The material about Cuttyhunk includes monographs and newsletters published by and about the Cuttyhunk Historical Society; brochures; postcards; and essays. The Naushon material includes correspondence, an anonymous account written by a caretaker's wife, a promissory note, a receipt, and recipes. The material about Pasque includes deeds, legal documents, and correspondence. Of note are two deeds, one for two Elizabeth Islands from Tsonoarum (an Indian) to Daniel Wilcocks in 1667 and one for half of Pasque Island from Daniel Wilcocks to John Tucker in 1696.


The collection is arranged by island (Cuttyhunk, Naushon, Pasque, and finally the Elizabeth Islands in general) and therein alphabetically by folder title.

Collection Inventory


Brochures and Post Cards (Cuttyhunk), circa 1936, 1986 


Cuttyhunk As I Remember It (in 1904) by Margaret Brewer, 1979 June 


Cuttyhunk Historical Society: Annual Report, 1990 


Cuttyhunk Historical Society: Monographs, 1982-1990 


Cuttyhunk Historical Society: Monographs, 1997-2004, undated 


Cuttyhunk Historical Society: Quarterboard, 1990, 1996, 2004 


Cuttyhunk Island and Striped Bass, 1883-1897. Published by Cuttyhunk Historical Center, 1980 June 


Gosnold's Settlement at Cuttyhunk. Published by The Directors of the Old South Work, undated 


Hall, Arthur Cleveland. Cuttyhunk. New England Magazine, September 1897, 1897 September 


Letter from Louise T. Haskell to Mrs. Howland with attached page of Akin family genealogical information, 1963 February 21 


Permit issued to D. P. Bosworth by Josiah W. Tilton to remove Samuel Peckham's body from Cuttyhunk, 1889 October 22 


Souvenir Map of Cuttyhunk Island Published by Cuttyhunk Store, undated 


Term Paper: Cuttyhunk - The Setting for the Tempest by Ronald Borges, 1970 May 3 


Town of Gosnold: Annual Town Meeting Warrants, 1986, 1996 


Anonymous account of the life of a caretaker's wife on Naushon Island, 1896, 1956 


Clark, Admont G. Naushon Island and Tarpaulin Cove Light. Candles and Spermaceti Oil. (Annotated draft), undated 


Letter to Miss Weeks from Adeline, sent from Naushon Island, 1836 September 


Promissory Note to Francis Rotch from Asa Johnson, on Naushon, 1830 March 25 


Receipt to James A. Johnson for smelt, 1834 April 1 


Recipes for various ailments, anonymous, undated 


All Year Round: A Book of Watercolors and Verse 1914 by W. R. McDowell (Pasque Island), 1992 


Agreements, Letters, Notes, and Releases regarding Pasque Island, 1866, 1875, 1877 


Deeds for Pasque Island, 1667, 1696, 1741 


Deeds for Pasque Island, 1866-1869, undated 


Deeds and Abstract of Titles for Pasque Island, 1866-1869, undated 


Indemnity Bond of Pasque Island Corporation to Peter Balen and Welcome R. Beebe, 1870 February 1 


Boundary Map of the Rale Estate on Pasque Island, hand drawn, undated 


True Copy of John Tucker's Will, 1751 


Tucker Family Tree with notations on Pasque Island Owners, undated 


Essay about Striped Bass and Geology (Elizabeth Islands), undated