Is Satan responsible for those awful Long Island accents?
Calling LIS the “Devil’s Belt” is archaic and fell out of usage – about 300 years ago – but I don’t care. Once touched by the Devil, always touched by the Devil is what I always say.
I can’t recall how I came to find out about this one, but I was able to uncover some definitive “proof” (as these things go) so I’m rolling with it. First, from the book Illustrated History of the Moriches Bay Area by Van and Mary Field states, “The Indians probably thought that they were exchanging the use of their land for protection against their enemies from across the Devils Belt, as the Long Island Sound was called on early charts. Indian ways were such that they didn’t recognize or understand private ownership of land.”
That’s the only mention; and it is fleeting. So my next search – and the one that would make this page real – was of old maps. And here we have it folks, an old map by Anonymous called “The Country Twenty-five Miles Round New York, Drawn by a Gentleman from from That City, 1777. It shows western Long Island at the time of the Battle of Long Island