Law on Nantucket

13 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2016

See all articles by G. Edward White

G. Edward White

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: June 13, 2016


Nantucket Island, in the North Atlantic about twenty-seven nautical miles south-southeast of Hyannis, Massachusetts, has been, and remains, a writer’s dream subject. There are countless works on Nantucket, ranging from cookbooks to studies of the Atlantic ridge by oceanographers. But the traditional ways to write about Nantucket seem to fall into categories. Those categories have been so recurrent as to virtually define not just Nantucket Island’s tourist experience, but the experiences of resident islanders and mainlanders as well. After a brief discussion of those categories, I propose, in this essay, to introduce another category, one that at first blush might not seem an interesting way to think about Nantucket, but one that strikes me as fundamental to an understanding of the place.

Keywords: legal history, environmental law, real property, Native Americans, whaling industry, Nantucket Island

Suggested Citation

White, G. Edward, Law on Nantucket (June 13, 2016). Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No 2016-38, Available at SSRN:

G. Edward White (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
(434) 924-3455 (Phone)


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