Definitions starting with N

ID #2985

New Providence

[see quot.] n. the island on which the Bahamian capital of Nassau is located: 1880 As far as is known, the first discoverer of the island of New Providence was Captain William Sayle, who was driven into the harbour of Nassau by stress of weather on his passage out of the Carolinas in 1647. The name he gave to the island was in grateful recognition of the good Providence that had led him to this hitherto unknown haven; and to distinguish it from the colony of Providence in America, he called it New Providence (Powles 32). 1899 In most accounts of the Bahamas it is stated that the English first settled New Providence in 1629 and held it until 1641 . . . thus confounding New Providence in the Bahamas with Old Providence, which is in the Spanish Main, not far from Cape Gracias a Dios (Hassam 8).

(Note: Providencia, an island off Nicaragua's Caribbean coast, is still called Old Providence in MCC. Some survivors from the English colony there destroyed by the Spanish in 1641 may have retreated to the Bahamas; there was another dispersal of English colonists from this area in 1786; cf. Holm 1978) 1945 They named it New Providence for the generality of our people that went they were soe poore that they were not able to transport themselves (Miller 44, quoting 1670 letter).

Tags: geography, island, noun

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Last update: 2010-11-16 03:31
Author: Holm and Shilling, DBE, 1982
Revision: 1.2

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