Sailors and Tales from Salem MA

Derby_Wharf_BoatsDid Viking sailors come to Salem? They have found Roman coins in Beverly and Manchester on the beaches either brought by Vikings or an earlier traveler. There are the tales of Lief Erikson’s brother Thorfin being murdered by Natives near Bass Rocks in Gloucester, the hotel there used to be named after him.

Then we have the stories of Prince Henry Sinclair sailing to Salem looking for Vinland and his knight Sir James Gunn who dies in Westford MA. Gunn is now known as the Westford Knight and his effigy still lies in Westford. The mascot for Salem State University is a Viking. On Baker’s Island, there is the Northman Rock.

Then we have Professor Eben Norton Horsford. Horsford was a Harvard professor who patented our current formula for Baking Powder. He believed Boston was Norumbega. To commemorate his beliefs he had the Lief Erikson statue erected in Boston and the Norumbega Tower built at the mouth of Stony Brook. Across from it was Norumbega Park. Most of it is now the Newton Marriott. Horsford also believed that the Dighton Rock in the Taunton River by Fall River had Viking runes on it. Now it is in Berkley, MA. The museum who owns the stone thinks it was Portuguese who were dropped to these shores by the Phoenicians who carved it. They might have been the guys who dropped the Roman coins… Longfellow was part of the original group to build the Lief Erikson Statue, on the Longfellow Bridge are Viking Ships.  In fact, many of the Transcendentalist believed they did.

Most of the sailors from Salem were scoundrels and smugglers who dug tunnels to avoid duties that went on to shape all the horrible parts of our government at its foundation, including a cession movement. Still, a few of them have some humorous stories that dance in and out of each other.

Jacob Crowninshield brought the Stoned Elephant to town. The privateer Fame was owned by many who decided to paint it pink… Just like the color of the Elephant, at times.

Captain West fought his wife and her brother Elias Hasket Derby Jr. (He extended the tunnels throughout the town in 1801) on Derby Wharf after their father left the wharf to West. Elizabeth Derby and Nathaniel West had the most infamous divorce in the nineteenth century.  Their mansion Oak Hill is where the North Shore Mall is now on Rt 128.

John Derby jumped ship first to tell England we started the Revolution and was the first to sail back to tell them it was over.

George Crowninshield Jr. (His father’s house is where the Custom House is. When they built the Custom House, not only did they leave the basement intact with the tunnels attached to it, they added a few more) built Cleopatra’s Barge. There was talk this ship helped Napoleon escape from his island prison. Who knows, there is a rumor that Napoleon visited his brother Joseph at Bordenton NJ at Point Breeze.

Joseph Napoleon’s mansion had several tunnels leading to the Delaware River. His park attached to his estate is the basis for Central Park designed by Olmsted. Olmsted is famous in Boston for the Emerald Necklace. He also designed Forest River Park and planted some trees in the Common. Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster visited Point Breeze, I wonder if they compared the Tunnels in Salem that run around the Common to his. All these men were always walking through Salem’s tunnels.

Captain West is connected to the Bonaparte’s as well. The other side of the family. Before Joseph Bonaparte became king of Naples and Spain, his brother Lucien resided there who was openly against Napoleon. Captain West after the Embargo Act was lifted sailed to Naples. The Embargo Act was created by Jefferson to prevent American sailors and ships from being stolen during the Napoleonic Wars by the French and English. When it was lifted, West sailed his ship Minerva to Naples and was captured by Admiral Marat in Napoleon’s navy. He was set free if he would sail Lucien Bonaparte to Malta, but they were captured by the English and they were all made heroes once they sailed to Liverpool.

Three other ships Marat captured were owned by Joseph White, Joseph Knapp Sr., and Richard Crowninshield Sr. This would lead to the murder that influenced the game Clue and Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart. Knapp and Crowninshield, who were Democrats, realized their folly and Jefferson’s wisdom and insulted White who was a Federalist. Add to this Knapp’s wife gave birth to a son named Joseph after he lost White’s baby, the ship Revenge. Mrs. White died leaving Joseph without an heir. In his own death, White had his revenge against his business partners by having their sons hanged for his own murder after having his nephew hire a man named Palmer to murder him. The nephew created the Whig party with Daniel Webster and Henry Clay of the Great Triumphant. Stephen White was behind John Quincy Adams failed election against Andrew Jackson.

The Federalists hated Jefferson and his Embargo Act so much they refused to fight the War of 1812. Most of New England refused to fight the war. Salem did build one ship for the war, but it fought in the Pacific instead of the Atlantic where the war was going on. Admiral Porter attacked whaling ships, had a genocide or two on Polynesian islands, and got caught during a civil war in Chile headed by an Irish man. In fact, Timothy Pickering from Salem and his Essex Junto lead the cession movement that ended at the Hartford Convention. Members of the convention went to Washington afterward to tell them about them siding with the British, but Andrew Jackson defeated the army that defeated Napoleon at Waterloo and John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay had signed the peace Treaty in Ghent before they arrived with their demands. During the war, the Federalist group East India Marine Society (Founders of the Peabody Essex Museum) debated if they should visit the corpse of Admiral Lawrence who was killed in the war. Lawrence was from the same town Joseph Bonaparte lived in NJ.

Elias Hasket Derby Jr. lost his share of the 36th largest estate in American history in 2 years which prompted him to extend the tunnels in town and be paid for by all of the future smugglers. He ends his carrier as a sheep farmer after having a failed voyage to Europe which ended well as Napoleon’s forces headed by his brother Joseph scared 2,000 sheep around his feet on a mountain in Spain. So thanks to the man who built underground tunnels, America did not have to have scratchy underwear anymore since merino wool was a lot smoother.

Aaron Burr worked with Timothy Pickering in his cession plots, as did Hamilton. Some say Hamilton’s falling out with the Essex Junto led to their duel. Burr jumped ship from the group and decided to become the king of western America, but was caught by Jefferson. Cleopatra’s Barge? She was sold to the King of Hawaii. When asked how open the King was to religion one said,

“If you want to know how Religion stands at the Islands I can tell you — All sects are tolerated but the King worships the Barge.”

So that is a few tales of the sailors from Salem. More tales like this can be found in the books Sub Rosa, Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City, and Murder on the Common.

Murder on the Common is the newest from Salem House Press. The tale of how everyone’s favorite immortal solves the murder of the most notorious case in the nineteenth century. The first novel of the Sinclair Narratives published in Arkham: Tales from the Flipside.

By the way, Blackbeard’s skull is in Salem, even though he never came here during his life…

Book Early for October in Salem!

Salem Smugglers’ Tour

Chris Dowgin near Salem ArmoryTake the tour based on the books Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and Sub Rosa by your tour guide Chris Dowgin. Learn how a series of tunnels made for gentlemen who had shaped our country led to fortunes that controlled our nation’s banking, shaped our Constitution, brought the first drunk elephant to America, assassinated three presidents, and much much more!!! Also learn about the real murder behind the game Clue!
More than Witches!!!
Salem Smugglers’ Tour
http://www.salemtunneltour.com

Book Early for October in Salem!

Salem Smugglers’ Tour

Chris Dowgin near Salem ArmoryTake the tour based on the books Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and Sub Rosa by your tour guide Chris Dowgin. Learn how a series of tunnels made for gentlemen who had shaped our country led to fortunes that controlled our nation’s banking, shaped our Constitution, brought the first drunk elephant to America, assassinated three presidents, and much much more!!! Also learn about the real murder behind the game Clue!
More than Witches!!!
Salem Smugglers’ Tour
http://www.salemtunneltour.com

Book Early for October in Salem!

Salem Smugglers’ Tour

Chris Dowgin near Salem ArmoryTake the tour based on the books Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and Sub Rosa by your tour guide Chris Dowgin. Learn how a series of tunnels made for gentlemen who had shaped our country led to fortunes that controlled our nation’s banking, shaped our Constitution, brought the first drunk elephant to America, assassinated three presidents, and much much more!!! Also learn about the real murder behind the game Clue!
More than Witches!!!
Salem Smugglers’ Tour
http://www.salemtunneltour.com

Charles Bulfinch the Architect of Washington D.C.

The Tunnel Guy…

Charles Bulfinch was hired after he gave President James Monroe a tour of the tunnels he built throughout the Boston Back Bay Neighborhoods. In 1785 he developed an elaborate public works project taking down the trimounts in Boston to fill in the mud flats of the Charles River. It proved to be a convenient ruse to help him hide all of the tunnel dirt from the State House, governor’s mansion, and various Beacon Hill mansions.

After he gave the president a tour of Boston, then they toured Salem through the tunnels that emulated his Boston project in 1801 by filing in 5 ponds and a river leaving the Salem Common. The tour went through Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield’s , Stephen White’s, Joseph “Jr.” White’s, Superior Court Justice Joseph Story’s, and Senator Nathaniel Silsbee’s homes by tunnel.

Bulfinch will restore our capitol after it was razed by the British during the 1812 War and connect all of its major buildings by a series of tunnels that are at least 4 levels deep. To find out more book a tour on the Salem Smugglers’ Tour of the Historic Salem Common! http://www.salemtunneltour.com
More than Witches!

Jean Missud and the Second Corp Cadets Band

His band is Still Heard on the Salem Commons

The gazebo in the Salem Common is dedicated to Jean Missud. They say he and his band still can be heard on the Salem Common. On the Common the first National Guard unit was formed in 1637. In 1801 they were charged by President Jefferson to help collect duties on imports from the shipping in the harbor. Instead they dug tunnels to help ship captains avoid paying duties. In the 20’s Missud led them to a different tune.

To hear more stories on Salem’s only original walking tour reserve your tickets today for the Salem Smugglers’ Tour of the historic Common.

http://www.salemtunneltour.com
More Than Witches!!!

Jolie Tea in Salem and a Good Read

Advance Reader Copies of Sub Rosa for Sale…

Sub Rosa Book Cover

Enjoy reading over a cup of tea at Jolie Tea in Salem, MA. They are the first shop to sell these ARCs. What is even more amazing than their 200+ collection of fine teas, is that the building they are in is connected to the tunnels of Salem. Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield had his Merchant Bank in the building. He also was one of many politicians from Salem who was a director of the Second Bank of the United States Boston Branch. Crowninshield was one of many in Salem in 1811 that was bribed by the British to work to create the bank which would sell 70% of its shares to the British after the War of 1812.  Across the Common you can also see Senator Nathaniel Silsbee’s house who also was bribed and became a director in the bank.  In this building Sophia Peabody had lived for a period of time when Nathaniel Hawthorne lived down the street. Hawthorne’s uncle had a stagecoach company with offices in the building or next door.

As rich as the tea at Jolie is the history connected to the building. Looking over your tea cup you can see through the window the Salem Common that was developed to hide massive amounts of tunnel dirt in. It is the same location the first National Guard unit was formed on. Their descendants dug the tunnels and hid the dirt. Just to the left is the historic Hawthorne Hotel. On that property was originally the Franklin Building owned by Thomas Perkins.

Salem Common

The Salem Common with Nathaniel Silsbee House in the distance.

Perkins had paid Charles Bulfinch to build the Bunker Hill Monument, Mass General Hospital, Perkins School for the Blind, and India Wharf. Bulfinch was the one who designed the homes connected to the tunnels in Salem and Boston and the idea of hiding tunnel dirt in rivers, ponds, and marshland. Bulfinch would be the one who built all of the tunnels in Washington D.C. Perkins is the drug dealer who started the Forbes family off to fortune by selling opium to China. His empire was sold to Sturgis Russell who’s cousin founded Skull & Bones. William Russell will purchase property off Perkins in New Haven, Conn. to build the crypt on.

Archer Building that sat previous on this location the Hawthorne Hoptel is on now.

The Franklin Building once stood on the lot the Hawthorne Hotel occupies now. In the closest corner of the building the Parker Brothers had their first toy store.

Also the window seat looks out upon the parking lot which at one time was the location of the Bently-Crowninshield House featured in H.P. Lovecraft’s Thing on the Doorstep. The story details Daniel Upton’s account of the tragedy that befell Edward Derby. Edward Derby marries a woman who becomes possessed by her dead evil father who in time possess Derby’s body after he was pushed into his wife’s body when he was in Arkham Asylum.  Left for dead the wife’s body limps to Upton’s doorstep informing him that it was in fact Derby who inhabits his wife’s decaying body as he becomes the thing on the doorstep. Arkham Asylum is the same asylum that the Batman universe uses. The Bently-Crowninshield  House has since been removed to in front of the Hawthorne.

The Bently-Crowninshield House now on Washington Square and Essex Street. The home featured in the “Thing on the Doorstep.”

Now the window behind you over looks the holy parking lot. Once the location of a Jewish temple. So if you are ever chased by any of Salem’s vampires. A variety called psychic vampires. The type of person who can speak at you for an hour and drain your soul and time away. If you are ever confronted in Salem, MA, it is good to know where the consecrated land is…

The Jewish Temple now in the auxiliary parking lot for the Hawthorne Hotel. You can also see the Bently-Crowninshield House to the left in its original position when Lovecraft wrote the story.

Below are images of Benjamin Crowninshield, Thomas Perkins, Jolie Tea Building, Merchant Bank notes, and the tunnels….

The Brown Building Which houses Jolie Tea.

Benjamin Crowninshield

Merchant Bank Notes

Sealed tunnel under Jolie Tea. Notice the furnace drawing air from beyond the sealed entrance from the tunnel.

Opium Dealer Thomas H. Perkins. Went from slave trader to opium dealer.

Skull & Bones crypt built on Thomas Perkins old lot.

So head over to Jolie Tea and experience some history from your window seat over one of the 200+ teas they offer. They also sell Howqua Tea named after the man that Perkins made the wealthiest man in the world by selling his opium to. Your welcome to read a store copy of Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City or its sequel Sub Rosa while at Jolie or buy a copy to bring home with you! They are both filled with the story of the tunnels in Salem and how her smugglers’ shaped American history…