A Nasty Divorce. West Vs. West

West Vs. West Divorce with America's first Millinaire Family Nathaniel West was a master mariner who was in the employment of Elizabeth Derby’s father. Elizabeth fell in love with a social inferior. At 21 she eloped in the spring of 1783. Her father was unhappy, but eventually learned to love him more than Elizabeth will. He gave Nathaniel West more responsibility in this mercantile interests and made him one of his heirs. She blamed him when her father died in 1799 that she didn’t inherit the family mansion. She and Nathaniel did inherit a farm in Danvers called Oak Hill, which she set about renovating and expanding.

Their marital quarrels grew fiercer and more frequent. Her brothers also fought with him over family business issues. In 1800, Nathaniel West had a public fist to cuffs with Elias Hasket Derby Jr. and his sister Elizabeth on the docks of Salem. The year after Elias Hasket Derby Sr. died West inherited Derby Wharf, dispossessing his children of the property. In 1803 the couple separated. Divorce was rare in those days. Between 1692 and 1774 only 82 Massachusetts couples – one a year — were granted annulment, divorce or separation. Elizabeth waited for a change in the law that allowed for the wife to retain more property in cases of adultery.

The feud between the Derbys and Nathaniel West reached a nadir when Elizabeth brought prostitutes’ into court, wrote Bentley: “…after every quarrel with all her relatives she waged open war against her husband & this day, aided by the unfeeling perseverance of her malignant Br[other] Gen. E.H. D[erby] who has a private quarrel to avenge, she displayed in open court, to prove the incontinence of Capt. W[est], all the sweepings of the Brothels of Boston, & all the vile wretches of Salem, Marblehead, Cape Ann.” She submitted a statement by a woman claiming Nathaniel West fathered her two children. She procured a letter stating West made financial arrangements the child, but denied his name to. Nathaniel West produced evidence his wife offered local women money to claim he fathered their children. The court was unmoved. Since the judges dined with Elizabeth West’s brother after the evidence was presented, Bentley correctly assumed they would rule against the husband.

She was no saint either Rev. Bentley says of her, “Elizabeth was a Crowninshield and well known for vanity which she exposed to constant & deserved ridicule. E. possessed the rigid temper of her father, with all the weakness of her mother.” So sometimes there are two sides why someone seeks a friendlier bed.

After the divorce, not only did they get separated, so did their house. Many parts of which ended up being added to various homes throughout the surrounding towns. A parlor she designed for the farm house is now on exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. After both her death and that of one of their daughters, West inherited a third of the estate and promptly removed his inheritance to Salem, creating a “spite house” of sorts. He erected (or assembled) in 1821 a mansion on Chestnut Street from that third. Then he added additional rooms to create a new (late) Federal mansion.

Mrs. West had wanted the Captain to have nothing to do with Oak Hill, but after living in his boarding house where the Salem Inn now stands on Summer Street in Salem he got the best of her in death. Now he haunts his old boarding house. My friends’ dog hates going past his portrait in his parlor of the Salem Inn. He digs his feet in before the painting and when dragged past he runs up the stairs and away. If you go to his parlor, have a drink of port and toast him. There is always a decanter waiting for you.

By the way, that wharf West fought the Derby’s on, I assume he won the battle or at least the wharf in the end. He will leave Derby Wharf in his will to the Salem Marine Society. The will was contested, but in the end the Society profited $12,500 from it.

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Orne’s Point and the Brick Kiln for the Tunnels

Orne's Point Salem MATimothy Orne the First was a ship owner who gave George Crowninshield and Richard Derby their start in his counting house. Their children Elias Hasket and Mary Crowninshield would be later married and be the first millionaire couple in the country. On Orne’s Point Timothy had a tavern that had long been connected to tunnels in town. If you walk the marsh on the property you will noticed a “Y” appear out of it. This is the high ground after the marsh sunk around the tunnel that splits to the two properties on the point.

Now his grandson Timothy Orne III left behind a widow Elizabeth Seawall Pynchon Orne. Out of desperation she began selling off parts of the large Orne estate. Beginning with a larger than usual sale of land, $1,800, to John Sherry had given her a little influx. Also John Buffum was running the ancient tavern on the site. In 1804, however, her means to support the estate had changed; the Widow Orne embarked on the brickyard business.

It has been 3 years since the Salem Common Improvement Fund subscribers began their extension of the tunnels through town. John Fullerton I believe was supplying the bricks initially. The widow Orne subsequently purchased a shop situated in Marlborough Street (Federal Street) on land of William Hunt and had the building moved to Orne’s Point in January of 1804. She also bought oxen and several shovels. She then contracted with Pickering Dodge for her first order of 300,000 bricks. Several other brick sales, some of them quite large, soon followed. Timothy Pickering, a cousin, orders 200,000. Now it only takes somewhere in between 2,000 and 4,000 bricks to build a home, so these purchases give away their real intent. Her daughter Margaret married Joseph Perkins, light house keeper on Baker’s Island, harbor pilot, and he was a Salem Common Improvement Subscriber.

Her son-in-law, Colonel Thomas Cushing IV became involved in the brickyard. Cushing’s father was John Hancock’s best friend and Lieutenant Governor. Thomas Cushing III might of brought Hancock to Salem to run the Provincial Government on Short, Essex, and Washington Streets in front of Daniel Lowe’s building. Col. Thomas Cushing IV was related to John Perkins Cushing through Thomas Cushing II born in 1663. His house is now the Barking Cat on Essex Street.

He was married to Elizabeth Orne’s daughter, Catherine Seawall Pynchon, in 1802. Thomas Cushing and Elizabeth Orne continued to cooperate the brickyard. While managing the sale, supply and distribution of the bricks, had been Elizabeth Orne and Thomas Cushing’s jobs, the actual clay digging and brick molding was subcontracted to Elihu Eggleston. Beginning in 1806, the year of Thomas Cushing’s death, Elizabeth Orne leased the entire operation to Elihu Eggleston for $500.00 per year, and apparently distanced herself from day to day operations.

The remainder of Elizabeth Orne’s life, from 1806-1821, she returned to the domestic realm. Catherine Cushing remarries, this time to Elisha Mack and the couple moves into Elizabeth’s home. Mack’s sister donates Mack Park to the city and establishes the Mack Industrial School for Girls. Its building is connected to the tunnels in town.

Now if you walk down Orne Street to the point you will pass the public playground and look down at your feat. You will notice the road is so badly humped from the ground settling around the brick arched tunnel below. As you continue you will see that marsh I talked about and notice the “Y” in the field. At this point the road becomes private. When I walked down the road one night I found a lama. The lama looked like he wanted to be pet.

I walked back to the playground and started to play. That is when I heard the guard rooster. I didn’t think much of it at the time. So in due course I stopped playing on the swings and stuff and walked back toward the graveyard.

Before I could get to Lee and Orne Street a pickup drove slowly past looking at me. I was looking for a beach head that night that had stories of a witch head buried in it. So I went down the next road, but to no avail. So I headed back up and then saw the police cruiser. I assume looking for me. I was ratted out by the guard rooster.

I have since been in the basement of their money management business in Jacob Rust’s store on Essex Street and seen six sealed tunnel entrances in their basement. Thanks to the great philanthropist John Boris who introduced me. They received Orne’s point through Rebecca Orne, the daughter of Timothy II and Rebecca Orne, who married Joseph S. Cabot. I believe their son was Joseph S. Cabot the fourth mayor of the City of Salem.

City Hall resides on Joseph’s property. His basement and tunnels still are attached to the current building. Recently the town filmed the tunnels and placed a time capsule in them. Cabot was president of the Asiatic Bank founded by Stephen White and the Salem Savings Bank founded by Edward Augustus Holyoke. Two of the smugglers in town. He was head of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society that owned the Northeast section of the cemetery on Lee Street. He was also the Massachusetts State Bank Commissioner. Many people know Orne’s Point as Cabot Farm today.

Now to connect Jacob Rust’s store to the Greenlawn Cemetery. When you watch Lords Of Salem notice Rob Zombie’s wife’s apartment on Essex Street in the old doctor’s office by the Library. Next door to the left was Jacob Rust’s house. Many houses and stores were connected together through leases in Salem. Connected by leases above board and tunnels below. Also Rob Zombie’s wife will walk in the cemetery at the end of the movie.

Another funny thing about the Jacob Rust House on Essex and Hamilton Streets, it is in a quiet zone. This quiet zone starts after the Salem Athenaeum library and ends before the Salem Public Library. Neither library is within the quiet zone…
The other Orne property of any mention is the old Bowman Bakery which now houses the Barking Cat on Essex Street before the YMCA.

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How the Revolutionary War Almost Started in Salem MA

Leslie's Retreat and the Old North Bridge in Salem, MA

In 1774 Col. David Mason of Salem purchased 19 French cannons mounted to carriages. They were hidden at Captain Foster’s shop in North Salem.

Military Governor Thomas Gage in Boston heard rumors about the canons in Salem. Gage was already distressed that Captain John Felt had taken charge of the Salem militia, and the town had hosted the Massachusetts Provincial Congress led by John Hancock. They met in a building that once stood in front of the Daniel Lowe building on the corner of Washington and Essex Street.

The members of the Massachusetts Governor’s Council was elected by the king now and not a provincial assembly, so in response the Massachusetts Provincial Congress was erected. They would become the state’s official body outside of Boston. After leaving Salem they would set up in Concord.
On February 26 Gage sent Lieut. Col. Alexander Leslie with the 64th regiment by ship to Marblehead with instructions to march to Salem with 240 troops and seize the cannons and munitions of war. Col. Leslie was known by his fellow officers as “a genteel little man who lives well and drinks good claret.”

He quietly landed with his troops at Homan’s Cove on Marblehead Neck while everyone was at mass. As soon as the ships landed a guard ran to the door of the church and sounded the alarm on his drum. They left Marblehead for Salem and encountered problems entering town when the southern bridge had boards pulled up. Upon fixing the bridge they entered the town square with bayonets fixed playing martial music.

Local Tories explained to the Colonel where to find the canons near the North Bridge. David Masons ran from his house on the east side of what is now the hill in Mack Park to the North Church yelling “the regulars are coming!”

The congregation left the church for the old North Bridge. Mason rode his horse to check on the canons and his wife and daughter went about hiding the arsenal. Captain Timothy Pickering led the Salem Militia to the bridge. Pickering, whose manual An Easy Plan for a Militia would later be used as the Continental Army drill book. Citizens from the south of town rushed the drawbridge and raised it.

Leslie ordered it to be dropped once more. In response he was barraged with insults. In an effort to calm the situation the Rev. Thomas Barnard, an x- Tory, tried to get them to let down the bridge, but Captain Foster, the blacksmith scolded him, “We don’t know you in this business. When Felt orders it’twill be time enough.”

Leslie was damned if he was not going to cross that bridge. On the other side several was on top of the upraised leaf “like so many hens at roost.” The Colonel stamped and swore and insisted that he had orders to cross it, and he would if it cost him his whole troop.

The alarm sounded and as many as 10,000 Minutemen came from surrounding towns. A cavalry rode in from Danvers, but they reached the Salem distillery and decided it needed protection. Much like at Lexington the battle started in front of the tavern.

Captain Felt was standing next to Colonel Leslie and heard him say to fire on the people. Felt responded, “Fire? You had better be dead than fire! You have no right to fire without further orders. If you do fire, you will all be dead men!” The order was not repeated and the war will have to wait two more months.

Col. Leslie told Felt “I am determined to pass over this bridge before I return to Boston, if I remain here until next Autumn.” Capt. Felt answered, “Nobody would care for that.” Leslie replied, “By God I will not be defeated.” Felt coolly replied, “You must acknowledge that you have been already baffled.”

There was gondolas on the west side of the bridge and the town inhabitants feared Leslie would use them so they set to them with axes as regulars tried to stop them.

Felt, Barnard and Mason negotiating with Col. Leslie, who was at length persuaded into a compromise instead of standing there for a few more hours. The conversation went:

“So, you came all this way just to cross a bridge?”
“Well yes, and to get the guns.”
“We’ve hidden them where you can’t find them”
“Well how can I tell the Governor that I found no guns if he learns that
I never even got across the bloody bridge?”
“You want to tell the Governor that you crossed the bridge but discovered no guns?”
“Considering the circumstances, me thinks that will suffice.”

So the bridge was lowered and they crossed for 50 yards, about faced, and marched back across. On the way by a young nurse yelled out a window, “Go home and tell your master he has sent you on a fool’s errand, and broken the peace of our Sabbath.” a soldier raised his musket at her and she continued, “What? Do you think we were born in the woods to be frightened by owls? Fire if you have the courage, but I doubt it.”

On their way back to Marblehead their band played The World Turned Upside Down the song heard years later when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. The song that was played at the beginning of the struggle wold be the last they played.

On April 18th everyone will remember the Battle of the North Bridge, with the shot heard around the world, but Salem’s stand at the North Bridge is mostly forgotten. Timothy Pickering? He would become aide de camp for Washington, the Secretary of State for him and Adams, write the Alien & Sedition Acts, and spend the rest of his life trying to give New England back to the British…

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Charles Bulfinch and the Tunnels in Salem, Boston, and Washington D.C.

bulfinch-tunnels

Charles Bulfinch served from 1791 to 1795 on Boston’s board of selectmen for free… He stepped down when there was a glut of tunnels/houses to be built. Then he returns in 1799. From 1799 to 1817, he was the chairman of Boston’s board of selectmen improving the city’s streets, drains, and lighting. In 1800 opium smuggler Russell Sturgis was on the board with him. Through this connection he would meet Thomas H. Perkins and build the Perkins School for the Blind, Mass General Hospital, and the Beacon Hill Monument that Perkins financed.

“Boston was the child of my Father and he did pretty much what he wanted with it,” his son said. Bulfinch designed the Boston Common, remodelling Faneuil Hall (1805), and built India Wharf. Bulfinch had built the Federal Street Theatre where Edgar Allan Poe’s mother and Grandmother performed in.
It can be said he built Beacon Hill. Built Colonnade Row between West and Mason on the Common which have been taken down. Bulfinch built 3 houses for Essex Junto member Harrison Otis Gray in Boston. Then 87 Mt. Vernon Street for Stephen Higginson Jr. Plus 13,15, 17 Chestnut Street for Mrs. Swan. Also Bulfinch was friends with Hon. Stephen Longfellow, the poet’s father, which might confirm the existence of tunnels leading from the Longfellow House in Cambridge, MA.

He also became the Police Superintendent 1794. Imagine the man who was most responsible for the conveyance of all the smuggling in Boston and Salem through his tunnels, a Police Superintendent? He had to take the job because he was suffering from being on the brink of bankruptcy. He had a small respite two years later, but he continued to have financial troubles. He was building the State House in 1796 at the time he received only $1,400 for designing and overseeing its construction. In 1811 he went to debtor’s prison. He spent time in the jail he built himself. He also risked bankruptcy in 1815 filling in the flats to extend Charles Street to West Boston Bridge.

When you are digging tunnels, you need property to hide the dirt in. If that property is on a marsh or a river even better. I assume he overextended himself in between payments for the buildings he was erecting or the tunnel digging was proceeding slower than expected.

He also designed the Massachusetts State Prison (1803); Boylston Market (1810); University Hall for Harvard University (1813–1814); the Meeting House in Lancaster, Massachusetts (1815–17); and the Bulfinch Building home of the Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital (1818), its completion overseen by Alexander Parris, who was working in Bulfinch’s office at the time the architect was summoned to Washington.

Charles Bulfinch from 1818-1830 was architect of DC with a salary of $2,500 plus expenses. He met President James Monroe in the Summer of 1817 and spent two weeks travelling with him in Massachusetts. Bulfinch brought him to Salem to show him the tunnels in Salem at Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield’s, Senator Nathaniel Silsbee’s House, Superior Court Justice Joseph Story’s, and Stephen White’s homes. Benjamin Crowninshield, Nathaniel Silsbee, and Joseph Story were directors of the Boston Branch of The Second Bank of the United States in the building built by Bulfinch. Stephen White was a major investor in the bank. After this visit Monroe had hired Bulfinch to rebuild Washington after the siege of the capitol during the 1812 War.

In Salem he built Old Town Hall, The Essex Bank Building known as the Boy’s Club, and Looby Asylum. Then many others follow his design of connecting tunnels through exterior chimneys that prevent flashing problems and create a draw system through their flues for the tunnels in town. It was another writer Ralph Waldo Emerson’s maternal grandmother’s brother Jonathan Waldo who engineered the design of the tunnels in Salem to have a brick arch supporting them along their course.

As the Architect of D.C., Bulfinch completed the Capitol’s wings and central portion, designed the western approach and portico, and constructed the Capitol’s original low wooden dome to his own design (replaced by the present cast-iron dome completed in the mid-1860s). In 1829 Bulfinch completed the construction of the Capitol, 36 years after its cornerstone was laid. During his interval in Washington, Bulfinch also drew plans for the State House in Augusta, Maine (1829–1832), a Unitarian Church and prison in Washington, D.C.. In 1796 he built the State House in Connecticut for the Blue Light Federalists.

During his tenure he connected the major buildings in the capitol by an elaborate tunnel design that runs at least 3 levels deep. I was able to venture between the Adams and Jefferson wings of the Library of Congress through the 3 levels of tunnels that attach them. They are open to the public, but the book shelves are not. I wanted to take a picture of my books on their shelves. I found out your not allowed and they will have someone go and fetch the book for you. In the end I do have a Library of Congress Card. Also you now enter the capitol Building as a tourist through the tunnel in front of it. Senators tend to use the tunnels to avoid the public. Bulfinch left the job eventually because it could not support his family.

Charles Bulfinch’s sister Elizabeth marries into the Coolidge family. Her husband traces back to the 1630 Watertown resident John Coolidge. President Calvin Coolidge also traces back to him. Elizabeth Bulfinch Coolidge married Joseph Coolidge II. Their son Joseph Coolidge III in 1824 attended the reunion of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette at Monticello. He might of journeyed with Lafayette from Salem to Virginia. There he met Jefferson’s granddaughter Ellen Wayles Randolph, whom he married the following year. Their son was Thomas Jefferson Coolidge. He was one of Perkins’ opium dealers in Russell & Co. Thomas Jefferson Coolidge Jr. would be part owner of United Fruit who had a small genocide in Guatemala. So Charles’ sister married a bad banana…

Charles’ children would do better. One son Thomas wrote Bulfinch’s Mythology. It was a posthumous 1881 compilation of his three previous works: The Age of Fable, or Stories of Gods and Heroes (1855), The Age of Chivalry, or Legends of King Arthur (1858), Legends of Charlemagne, or Romance of the Middle Ages (1863). Its a classic work of mythology, the standard and still in print 160 years later. Edward Everett Hale compiled his previous works to make the Mythology. It includes various stories from the Matter of Rome, the Matter of Britain and the Matter of France, respectively. Bulfinch wrote in his preface: “Our work is not for the learned, nor for the theologian, nor for the philosopher, but for the reader of English literature, of either sex, who wishes to comprehend the allusions so frequently made by public speakers, lecturers, essayists, and poets, and those which occur in polite conversation.” It was dedicated to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who was a friend of the family.
His other son George Greenleaf Bulfinch’s son is Francis Vaughn Bulfinch the architect. Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge built the original Italian Villa at Castle Hill in Ipswich MA for Richard T. Crane Jr. who was a member of the Jekyll Island Club who met in private to plan the Federal Reserve. He also was a bootlegger who built his home on the ocean. The Italian Villa was torn down because he promised his wife if she still hated it after ten years they would build a new one. It was torn down after ten years for the current house.

I used to work in the home every weekend for a catering company owned by a dignitary and high Buddhist monk from the territory of Sikkim in India. May you always be well Sonam.

Here is a little secret, if you want to tour the current mansion which has been in Witches of Eastwick and Ghosts of Girlfriend’s Past for free and get great parking; just tell the guard you forgot your vest over the weekend from working the last party and he will let you drive up to the mansion and park. The grounds were designed by the Olmsted Brothers. Their father was the landscape designer of the Columbian Expedition in Chicago where Moses Farmer would die after lighting the city.
In 1844 Charles Bulfinch would die. I wonder if he is still building tunnels or wormholes between worlds on the other side?
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Salem Jail and the Second Witchcraft Hysteria

Salem JailIn 1811 the Old Witch Gaol was set to be closed as they started construction on the new jail up the road on St. Peter Street. 1811 was the Second Witchcraft Hysteria. I assume they were expecting a bigger turn out this time.

A woman had come from Boston and stayed with a friend on Northey Street, up from Joseph Story’s new mansion on Winter Street. She claimed she was being harassed remotely by a woman in Boston and she was having fits. A thousand people gathered in front of the house that day.

Rev. Bentley explains, “3/03/1811 The fanaticism of this town has had a new aggravation. A Girl named Bancroft came from Boston to a house in Northey street, Wind mill point, & had terrible convulsion fits, was tormented, had outcries, & complained of a woman in Boston who bewitched her, was troubled only in the night & prophesied the death of the woman, besides endless circumstances which report had aggravated into all the extraordinary things of 1692. The public mind long disturbed by fanaticism took the alarm like tinder. The house was crowded day & night by priests & people. A thousand were assembled this evening & the subject was debated among the multitude just as it would have been in 1692 & as extravagant fears betrayed. A firm policy is our salvation. Mr. Lambert shews us the extacies of the Negroe in Charleston & the boundless eccentricities of the Camp Meeting. Not a traveler passes the country but he has his remarks to make upon the fanaticism, folly & prevalence of little sects in our County. Mr. Kendal says he went from the Stafford Springs to Wilmington, & after giving an exact picture of the house & assembly he gives a sermon or sketch in the true style of the better sort of Anabaptists when not in camp & extacy. It might be judged an illnatured ridicule did not the preaching on the Common, the exhortations of women & children, the singing in the street, the tales of changes, & the irregularities of their Assemblies, furnish, even in Salem, all the means to verify these accounts & to confirm this dismal description of our fanaticism. The overseer of the poor ordered her to the work house or leave town. She moved on to Maine. One thought they seen an invisible specter torment her. She was from the poor neighborhoods of Boston.”

In 1811 as General Derby is selling off his mansion and leaving town, John Gardner is facing bankruptcy, The First Bank of the United States is loosing its charter, the Whites and Story are moving into grand mansions along with Thomas H. Perkins as they start laying the foundation for the new prison. One that will never be the residence for our Salem locals who got away with murder, protected the bank that sold America away, or helped over 80% of the youth in China to become dependent on opium. My friend was friends with one of the Sheriff’s in town and he came about a good stack of intake document from the nineteenth century. Many of the people who resided in the prison then were arrested for being drunkards. The real criminals went on instead and shaped our nations history.

The Salem Jail had many illustrious/infamous convicts. Bobby Hebb who had the hit Sunny in 1966 that led to a successful tour with the Beatles spent a few years inside after shooting his wife which survived. She was one of Laurie Cabot’s first student witches. They might of met in the West India Good Shop when it was owned by my friend Charles Wellington who gave me those intake documents. He would get customers looking for readings in his shop and he would call Laurie Cabot to come by. Bobby Hebb and him would drink together in the building upstairs where he lived.
Albert Desalvo resided in the prison for a short period. Although he never was convicted of the murder and rape of 11 women, most know him as the Boston Strangler. Later he would be killed in Walpole. My friend worked on a commission for Dukakis in the 80’s doing outreach in the prison mentioned that at that time area police had assassin squads to kill those people they could never gather enough evidence to convict. One of these squads he had said killed the real strangler.
Also tales of people in Witness Protection, people caught by the FBI, and any other high profile convicts would be kept on the top floor in secret. At one time the floor below would house the women prisoners. They were forced to move to another women’s prison after they bared their breast once too often at the men below during Sunday services. On this floor was also the eye loop for the hangman’s rope and the trapdoor which would drop the condemned into the dining area below. In the basement behind the boiler was the tunnel leaving the building with shackles on the walls. My friend who was a bit of a scamp as child could go through the tunnel from his house to the prison, but was stopped by an iron door from keeping from entering the property from below.
There were stories that Bobby Hebb and others could escape for the weekend and come back on Monday. Sherif Cahill called the jail porous when he became warden. Two tried escaping through some lose slates on the roof, but when they realized how steep the roof was…they called for help.
The conditions were so rough inside the warden tended to cut most prisoners stays in half. There was no plumbing in the cell and prisoners got to empty their bucket once a week. Sometimes they emptied them on their jailers. My friend also explained that the only difference at times between the inmates and the guards was one escaped long enough through military duty to not become a criminal when their friend from the neighbourhood did not. The jail would be open without plumbing in the cells to 1991 for regular population and then be used as holding cells for the county court till 1993. It was closed after 850 prisoners sued the state and won a shared settlement for $1,395,000.
In 1811 Joseph Story would rise to the bench of Superior Court and will be in complicity of the murder of Joseph White when in belief and proof his brother-in-law committed the murder. Also he would be in complicity to the assassination of one president if not three. He would side with The Second Bank of the United States against all comers as they sold control of our treasury to England. He remained all of his life behind the bench, but if you had a little drink too much you landed inside the Salem Jail.

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The Murder that Inspired the Game Clue and Revenge!!!

Joseph White Murder Salem MACaptain Joseph White was a loyal British subject at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, till the British raided one of his ships. Then he bought the Come Along Paddy from Elias Hasket Derby Sr. which he renamed the Revenge and became the first privateer from Salem. He became so successful with prizes in that war he abstained from privateering during the War of 1812 when many captains from Salem resumed once more.

He would sell that ship to Joseph Knapp Sr. who had owned several ships with him and his two nephews. Through this contact Joseph Knapp Jr. would sail one of Stephen White’s ships in 1827. Knapp’s fortunes would turn after the father would lose the Revenge to a pirate. But, real hatred did not form in Joseph White’s heart till his son Joseph Knapp Jr. marries his grandniece who he was trying to have an heir with.

His other business partner was Richard Crowninshield Sr. Joseph White had already turned Joseph Story away from the Crowninshields who used to employ his legal services. In April of 1808 he would replace Jacob Crowninshield in the U.S. House of Representatives after Jacob spits up blood on the House floor and dies 5 days later. Captain White, William Harrison, and Jacob Crowninshield will die suddenly in April throughout the years. A nephew in 1883 would also die in April after intestinal problems.
Now Richard had owned ships with Captain White as well. After the Embargo Act was lifted three ships sail from Salem to Naples. All three were confiscated by Admiral Marat in Napoleon’s Navy. Probably in the Sun Tavern where most of these smugglers drank, in which is now the offices of the PEM, Richard Crowninshield Sr. could be heard praising Jefferson and Madison and their embargo and lambasted their foolishness for sending the ships. One was Crowninshield’s and one of the others were White’s. This was a public insult from the man who married the worst gossip in town. There is the number 3 again, 3 ships confiscated…

Also Richard Crowninshield Sr. had been attacked by Judge Joseph Story in 1819. In Sturgis vs. Crowninshield Story nailed Richard Crowninshield Sr. who’s business had failed in NYC and followed NY bankruptcy law which allowed him to pay back only a portion of his debt when his original contract prohibited it. In the case it sided for Josiah Sturgis and Federal law proved to trump over state bankruptcy laws. Story was once the Crowninshield family lawyer…

For the man named his ship…Revenge. This name displays his internal workings and character. With his death coming on any day he would ask his nephew to perform a mercy killing with a lead pipe. The blow was quite kindly and would not be ghastly enough for the papers, so Stephen White went back after the old man’s heart had stayed and stabbed him 17 times for a better headline. Why 17 times, it would seem a little overkill? Maybe there was a lot of resentment for him being second still to his dead brother?
To make the murder even more ghastly he would enlist the help of a distant cousin of the Knapps to create public opinion against the brothers. Samuel Lorenzo Knapp would go on with the bad press to turn all against the Knapps. Later he would write a biography on Daniel Webster which would be recalled by Stephen White when Webster ran for president erasing all of Webster’s history with this murder to be republished anew.

Now when all is said and done, the childless widower Captain Joseph White, the slave trader who bragged to Bentley he had, “no reluctance in selling any part of the human race,” got his Revenge on his business partners heirs. Richard Dick Crowninshield Jr. would die for his father’s slight against Captain White in a tavern after the loss of his ship and Joseph Knapp Jr. would be the last to hang for his father loosing the captain’s favourite ship, the Revenge. Worst of all Joseph Knapp Jr. was to live long enough to see his friend and brother hang for he married the murdered man’s grand niece and lover removing the last chance he had to have a son named Joseph White Jr.
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The #2 Pencil and Salem MA

dixon2In 1827, Joseph Dixon moved to Salem and opened a factory on North Street to build his high temperature crucibles. His wife Hannah Martin was the daughter of the carpenter who helped him make the pencil. At the same time, still concentrating on graphite and its uses, he invented lubricants and a stove polish which addressed the rust problem that plagued the cast iron stoves most people owned.

Continuing his work with graphite, he invented a hand-cranked machine to mass produce pencils. To make the pencils you had to process the graphite with clay to make the leads and then cut and groove cedar wood for the holder. His machine could produce hundreds of pencils daily. He got his black lead, graphite, from the Lead Mills on the Salem Marblehead line.

George Peabody, who later became a banker, would sell his pencils through local cities and towns. While his stove polish, lubricants, and crucibles were successful, the pencils were not big sellers.
Dixon also had a variety of other inventions. He worked with another inventor, Isaac Babbitt, to develop babbitt metal that was used in machinery where friction usually destroyed the metal. This metal is still used in automobile engines. It is also written that Dixon assisted Fulton with his steam engine. He also produced a galvanic battery (Was it used on Richard Crowninshield Jr.?) and even designed a method for tunneling under water. Something that could be useful to Salem smugglers…
He also made advances in photography creating the prototypes for the single lens reflex camera. He developed new chemical processes for colour lithography and used those to invent currency for the U.S. government that was difficult to counterfeit. He also invented gold and silver melting crucibles for the U.S. Mint for making coins.

It was not till the Civil War did officers see the advantage of the pencil being more portable than ink an quill for quick dispatches. It was not till after his death did his company make a fortune on the pencil making it a household item. The standard #2 Dixon Ticonderoga pencil, the pencil of choice to fill those ovals in with…
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For more tales like this about how Salem MA has shaped American History read Sub Rosa by Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin available at Barnes & Nobel, Amazon.com, and your favorite local independent book seller.
Ask for it by name!