Salem Secret Underground Used in Writing Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich

 

Wicked Charm Book Cover used Salem Secret Underground for researchLook Who is Reading Salem Secret Underground…

Imagine my surprise when I am reading an author who has sold million of copies of her various series when…she references by book Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City! My book was used to create the background to her tale! Kind of cool.

Here she first mentions the tunnels in Salem based on my research…
Research based on Salem Secret Underground used by Janet Evanovich

Elias Hasket Derby Jr. conscripted a militia in response to Jefferson’s orders for the local militias to help collect his new custom duties. This militia would instead of collecting duties dig 3 miles of tunnels to smuggle through.

Then she mentions the tunnels under the old Naumkeag Trust/Eastern Bank building on Essex Street I used to give tours in…

Here are the pictures of that bank…

The author is Janet Evanovich, aided by Phoef Sutton in Wicked Charms which is set in Salem and Marblehead.

Also thanks to Carol J. Perry for given thanks in her book Tails, You Lose which she based her research on “Salem Secret Underground“! Also my family name “Dowgin” is in her latest book.

Dedication in Tales you Lose by Carol J. PerryTales You Lose by Carol J. Perry Book Cover

Evanovich even mentions the fictional shed with the tunnel below it from Carol’s Tails, You Lose.

It would be cool to find out who references Sub Rosa in the future. There is a lot of nitty gritty details to American history you never heard or thought of in it….Image so much coming from little old Salem.

Sub Rosa available on Amazon.com.

Buy your copy today. The Sequel to the hit book that everyone digs, Salem Secret Underground!

New Tunnel Finds

Tunnels in Salem MA photos

TUNNELS IN SALEM AND BEYOND

  Through the years since Salem Secret Underground has been written I have kept looking for new homes that are connected. Sometimes when I find them they come with funny stories. There was a home on Northey Street that housed a woman who was a horrible cook. Next door was an excellent cook. They would meet in the tunnel in between the houses and the one woman would deliver home cooked meals for her neighbor. These were passed off as her own.

  Around the corner on Woodbury Court I met a family that had a tunnel running ¾ of the length of their home that was used to smuggle to and from the North River. The only thing blocking the entrance was a tall hill of sand.  There was this great kid who would light up every time he would see me. I was that guy who told him he had a pirate tunnel in his basement. I kept hoping he would take his sand shovel and dig the entrance open…

  Other times I would just schedule an appointment to see a house that was on the market. Several real estate agents would hand me their info and I would go and investigate the basements of these homes. Sometimes the agent forgot to bring the keys to the basement.  When they did not I would get images of these sealed up ways. I found more houses on Oliver, Andrew, Federal, and Chestnut Streets. Sometimes I just confirmed homes I speculated about in the first book. With each confirmation I got to make updates to the book. Salem Secret Underground was a living book, it changed from week to week, or month to month for seven years.

  In one of those houses I confirmed on Pickman Street had turned one of the tunnels into a bomb shelter. All of the stored water from the 40’s or 50’s were still in large wine bottles. Where the addition was added in the back there was a well in the basement where they used to drop gold fish into. This property was on the edge where Collins Cove used to be on the corner of Milk and Pickman streets, so the tunnel in the back of the house was flooded.

   I have been under the chapel in Greenlawn Cemetery. We filmed those tunnels for a documentary. Another documentary on the tunnels airs on YouTube and Winthrop Cable. A tunnel led 20 feet from the basement heading southeast under the old greenhouse. A greenhouse, I wonder if it was the one Elias Hasket Derby Jr. sold in 1811 that was part of the Derby Mansion on Derby Square. The tunnel is blocked off at a staircase. This tunnel at one time was lit by electricity, much like the one coming out of the old Naumkeag Trust building on Essex Street. Heading Northwest from the basement is a long corridor leading to a chamber that used to house corpses in the winter. Now its stalls houses weed whackers. There is another tunnel leading south. Next to it is a toilet that had a ton of bricks dropped on it. I hope no one was using it at the time.  One tunnel leads to Orne’s Point.

  Other Tunnels in the Nation

There are many tunnels in Georgetown, another Peabody hunting ground. On the  3300 Block of O Street Col. Alf Heidberg found an arched tunnel when digging out the basement for a bomb shelter.  He lived there in the 50’s. His wife’s second husband was General Douglas MacArthur.  Also the Halcyon House in Georgetown has what they call a slave tunnel which is haunted. Plus, Healy Hall Georgetown University.

  Then the Water Street Custom House and under Federal Hill in Baltimore. This was the town Peabody moved to before he left for London.

  Then the most interesting is Joseph Bonaparte’s mansion in Bordentown, NJ off of the Delaware. He moved to NJ in 1815 buying 1,800 acres in town. He was once king of Spain and Naples when his brother loomed over Europe. In 1816 he built his mansion Point Breeze that burned to the ground in 1820, but not before creating a paradise. An avid gardener Bonaparte installed a park on the grounds which was the forerunner to Central Park that he kept open to the public. The park was improved with trees, twelve miles of bridle paths and carriage drives, and an arched brick causeway across a man-made lake was constructed, all at a cost believed to be over $300,000 (over four and a half million in today’s dollars).

  Many powerful people would visit his home. One was Stephen Girard. Stephen Girard who purchased most of the stocks of The First Bank of the United States when it lost its charter opened his own bank known as Girard’s Bank in the same building. He underwrote 95% of the loans to pay for the War of 1812. He then became a major stockholder and director of The Second Bank of the United States in Philadelphia along with Joseph Story. Girard bought Joseph Bonaparte  a 16 oar barge to row his guests up the river.

  Henry Clay Sr. had just took the last room in the City Hotel in NYC when Bonaparte arrived in America. Clay just returned from the signing the Treaty of Ghent to end the War of 1812. Upon hearing Joseph was in the hotel he offered him his dinner and suite. This was the beginning of their friendship.  Could of Clay brought Daniel Webster and John Quincy Adams to Point Breeze. All have known to visit, but at the same time? If they did indeed visit together, I wonder if they compared the quality of his tunnels to the ones in Salem?

  Then the Hoosac Tunnel outside of Fitchburg, MA in 1819. Originally proposed as a canal to connect Boston to Upstate New York via the Deerfield River on the east of the Hoosac Range and the Hoosic River on the west. That project was shelved, and later reborn as part of the new Troy and Greenfield Railroad. The project was nicknamed “The Great Bore” by future Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who said he’d like to “wall up a dozen lawyers at one end of the tunnel and put a good fee at the other.” One of which is the lawyer Elias Hasket Derby III. He was the lawyer for the Fitchburg Railroad. His father might have engineered long tunnels, Junior was set to make huge tunnels.  The Hoosac was built after Derby received a loan for $650,000 to build it. His other railroad from Boston to New Bedford was the Old Colony. The Old Colony rail will soon be restored as a commuter rail by my friend Adam who is working on the engineering plans for the State.

  I looked up this reference after an acquaintance in the basement of an old underground smuggling train station now called Opus Underground in Salem. He had mentioned walking in long tunnels in Fitchburg and ending up under a grocery store.  Also Fitchburg State University has a tunnel leading from Palmer House through the new Hammond Campus Center second level to the Thompson Hall’s basement. Thompson Hall was the original building built in 1896 that the college was housed in at its beginning. It is much like the Loring Mansion (St. Chretienne Academy) now part of Salem State University South Campus with the tunnel leaving the basement through the side of the hill to the old girls high school.

Here are some of their pictures:

To find out more and other fabulous stories about how Salem, MA shaped American History read Sub Rosa by Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin published by Salem House Press.

Here is a List of Those Who Paid for Derby’s Tunnels

Smugglers of Salem

  In 1801 Elias Hasket Derby  Jr., King Derby, extended the old tunnel system in town. The plethora of the extensions to the system he engineered was paid for by the Salem Common Fund Subscribers in the 19th century.  These are tunnels familiar to Webster and Adams.

  The Salem Common Subscriber Fund was a project brought about by Elias Hasket Derby Jr. disguised as a beatification program. A subscription was collected from 159 citizens of Salem, equaled to $2,500 ($35,855.80 roughly today), to on paper take down the hills, grade the common, fill in the 5 ponds and the river, add a whitewash fence, and some poplars.  The sum fell short and an additional fund was created to pay for the project with 66 more subscriptions. Some who had paid for the first would contribute again. Afterward many ship captains would build grand Federalist mansions around the park removing the industrial feel that pervaded earlier. No longer the tanneries, rope walks, foundries, and bakeries dotted the Common.

  Elias Hasket Derby Jr. would rise up as General Derby of Salem’s local militia. He would use these men to carry out the work. Previous the local militia had fallen to disorganization. So what occurred to inspire Derby to reorganize them? Thomas Jefferson.

  Thomas Jefferson had won a silent revolution in 1800 which limited the aristocratic tendencies of the Federalist Party. With Jefferson there was the hope of moving away from the seaboard into the country and buying a farm. Once you were a property owner you would have the ability to have a vote. To help for the interior improvements Jefferson imposed new duties on imports. A move not much favored in Salem.

   To help collect these duties Jefferson had asked the local militias to aid the custom agency in their collection. So Elias, General Derby, housed the militia in Wakefield Place on the location of the Hawthorne Hotel and had them set to work in the Common.  They did indeed carried out the plan that was above board, but they did much more below.

   Under the guise of a beautification program this militia dug a series of tunnels around the Common and hid the dirt in the ponds and the river that led to Collins Cove. The tunnels would connect the new Federalist mansions through their fireplace arches or holes in their basements. So these 159 merchants could smuggle goods from their wharf, to store in their homes, push to their stores, and bring the proceeds into the vaults connected to the tunnels. If they did not want to sell their goods in town, there was an underground railroad station provided by George Peabody, the progenitor of J.P. Morgan.

    These subscribers included  state and federal Senators and Congressmen, half the custom agency, local mayors, the founder of the New England Medical Review Journal, and families related by marriage or business to the Derbys, Peabodys, and Crowninshields. Later the tunnels would connect the homes of a Secretary of the Navy, an Associate Superior Court Justice, the financier behind Daniel Webster, a Secretary of State, and one of the most famous men to be murdered in the 19th century, and more…

     Benjamin Crowninshield (1772-1851)

  Director of The Second Bank of the United States Boston and Philadelphia, Secretary of the Navy, Senator, Collector of the Port of Marblehead, belonged to a family of merchant-seamen in his native Salem, Massachusetts. Served with Thomas H. Perkins as directors of the bank in Boston.

  He was a partner in his father’s firm, George Crowninshield & Sons and its successors, a business that prospered during the War of 1812 but dissolved in 1817. Crowninshield was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1811 and to the state senate the following year. President James Madison appointed him Secretary of the Navy late in 1814. Although at first declining the position, Crowninshield soon consented and remained in office until his resignation in 1818.

  Thereafter he returned to his business pursuits, having been elected president of the Merchants Bank of Salem in 1811. Board members Joseph Story (another director The Second Bank of the United States in Philadelphia and Boston), John Dodge, and Stephen White. Joseph Story replaced him as president of Merchant Bank when he became Secretary of the Navy in 1815.  He was president of the following companies and institutions: The East India Marine Society, for 16 years ; (His grandfather was its first president); the Salem Lead Company (where Joseph Dixon got lead for his #2 pencils); the Association for the Relief of Aged and Destitute Women, for 19 years; and the Salem Savings Bank. He was a member of the Board of Aldermen in 1859. He was active and prominent in church work, and was for many years superintendent of the Sunday School of the East Church (Where the Witch Museum stands today), later called the Second Unitarian Church.

  He reentered the political arena with election to the Massachusetts House in 1821, Crowninshield became a director of The Second Bank of the United States in 1822 and remained connected to that institution until its charter expired in 1836.  He sat in the United States House of Representatives, 1823–31, where he aligned himself politically with John Quincy Adams. In 1833 Crowninshield served one final term in the Massachusetts House before retiring to Boston, where he died.

    George Crowninshield & Co.

  Benjamin’s brother’s company founded by their father George Crowninshield.

    Jacob Crowninshield

  Representative in U.S. Congress. Spits up blood in session and dies 5 days later in 1808. The once family lawyer Joseph Story will usurp Benjamin Crowninshield from the seat. Many strange deaths surround Story and his brother-in-law Stephen White. Jacob brought the first elephant to America. He did not understand how much an elephant could drink on board ship, so he preserved what was left for the sailors. In turn he gave her all of the beer on the ship. Once at port in NYC she was slightly pink from the alcohol. Pink elephants…Later the Stoned Elephant, Old Bet,would travel the country drinking bottles of beer she would uncork to drink for a nickel. A dime and she would drink the whole keg.

    William “Billy” Gray Jr.

  Started in Elias Hasket Derby Sr.’s counting house. He moved the Sun Tavern which was Benjamin Brown’s old house to the corner of Liberty and Essex Street. On the spot he will build his fine mansion that would become the Essex House hotel after he makes his leave to Boston. William Brown was also a loyalist who lost his property on Derby Square.  Lucy Brown would retain it so her father-in-law Elias Hasket Derby Sr. could build his wife the grand mansion there.

  After supporting Jefferson in the Embargo Act and keeping the sailors in town who suffered from it well fed, he was forced to remove to Boston.  During such time the country was poor and needed volunteers to gather subscriptions to build ships. Gray and Derby Sr. were behind the efforts to raise the money for the Salem Beverly Bridge, the aqueduct from Danvers with Joshua Ward,  and  for the USS Essex in 1799. During the War of 1812 David Porter would be captain of the ship.

  In his first biography Porter would tell of his genocides of native people in the Pacific and  the massacres of English sailors on whaling ships on the Pacific during the War of 1812. Then the Navy will rewrite his biography and gloss over these facts.

  Yes your history was correct, the War of 1812 was fought on the Atlantic and the west coast of North America was English, Russian, and Spanish. Admiral Farragut who served under Porter would later go on an massacre natives following his example.

  He was appointed a director to the Boston Branch of The Second Bank of the United States in 1815. Previously he was a director in The First Bank of the United Sates with George Cabot. In 1817 Gray was President of Discounts and Deposits of the Boston Branch. Also he was an agent to sell shares with Essex Junto Israel Thorndike and Thomas H. Perkins for the bank. His apprentice Joshua Bates would become a partner in Baring Brothers Bank who was also connected to associate director Thomas H. Perkins. Bates would purchase large amount of shares for his English bank. William Gray  Jr. would continue on to a be a senator from Boston and die the richest man in New England.

   John Treadwell (1738-1811)

  Moved to Salem where he became a state senator and judge of the Court of Common Pleas.

     Joseph Waters

  Appointed Navy agent to build the frigate Essex with Enos Briggs the master builder.

    William Prescott Jr. (1762-1844)

  William Prescott Jr. was a representative from MA who attended the 1814-15 Hartford Convention.  Prescott was the only child of American Revolution leader Colonel William Prescott, who served at  Bunker Hill in 1775. William Prescott, Jr., graduated from Harvard in 1783, and then taught at Brooklyn, Conn. and later at Beverly, MA. He passed the bar exam in 1787 after studying law in Beverly with Nathan Dane. Dane had taught Daniel Webster at Dartmouth.  Webster and Dane attended the secessionist Hartford Convention with him. Prescott founded a law practice in Beverly.

  In 1789, he moved his practice to Salem where he became a well-known attorney. He represented Salem for several years in the MA Legislature.  He was elected a state senator by the Federalist Party in 1806 and 1813.  He twice declined a seat on the bench of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts.  In 1808 he moved to Boston and was for several years a member of the Governor’s Council. In 1815 he became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science.

  His son William H. Prescott became a well known historian and traveling partner to John Quincy Adams in Europe.  In Europe he met Queen Victoria, Robert Peele, and the Duke of Wellington. Prescott was Justice of the Peace with Stephen White and Daniel Webster in Boston in 1835.

  In 1849 spoke to Daniel Webster to keep Nathaniel Hawthorne’s post in the Custom House. He was on the original board of the Perkins School for the Blind with Israel Thorndike, William Balch Parker, Thomas H. Perkins, and Benjamin Pickman. Many were members of the Salem Common Subscriber Fund. If you were going to make secret tunnels in Boston, I guess it would be great to have a building of blind people not knowing what you were doing…

  In America he met Zachary Taylor and James Polk,  two presidents that would die from Typhoid. As a friend of Daniel Webster, I wonder if  he had access to Polk and Taylor’s food… He did sit next to Taylor and feigned off suggestions about a history of the Mexican War in which Taylor was a hero in 3 months before Taylor was to die of Typhoid. Before he dined with Taylor he was at Henry Clay Sr.’s table. This was in April of 1850. Right before visiting Taylor, Prescott would suffer a stomach ailment before traveling. I believe Taylor might have been ill after his visit, but he would not catch the Typhoid that killed him until July 4th.

    William Carlton

Salem Register was a Republican-Democratic paper that ran against the Salem Gazette which was a Federalist paper. Rev. William Bentley and Joseph Story wrote in it. It started in 1800 and ran till 1911 with different names. The press that was used to print it was paid for by the Crowninshields. He chided the town Federalist for not supporting John Adams enough after the Essex Junto jumped ship to Hamilton. His newspaper led to the failed congressional campaign of the Essex Junto’s leader Timothy Pickering against Jacob Crowninshield of the Stoned Elephant fame.

  He was jailed for libel under the times of the Alien & Sedition Acts for statement against it’s drafter Timothy Pickering stating it was hard to believe he did not take bribes from the British.  He was sentenced to 2 months in prison and 2 years of bonds that secured his silence. He was a hard drinker in poor health and jail did not help matters any.  He succumbed to the stress of 2 more Federalists suits and fines. A fine for having his print shop open on a Sunday. Then another libel suit from Timothy Pickering. All of this would lead to his death 2 years after being released from jail. His wife followed soon afterward. Democratic-Republicans tried to alter the state libel law in 1804 but failed.

    Benjamin Webb

  1851 director of Merchants Bank when it resided in his building.  Owned the Sun Tavern, the tavern the smugglers drank and dined in. Currently the offices of the Peabody Essex Museum on Essex Street.

    Isaac Osgood

  Brewer. Alexander Hamilton petitions congress to grant him a loan for brewing malt liquors. Could he be a member of Essex Junto and provide them with their ale? On the government cuff?

    Joshua Ward

    Member of the Salem Marine Society. Married Edward Augustus Holyoke’s daughter. His mother was a Derby. He lent rooms in his home to the Essex Lodge once they reestablished themselves after the Revolutionary War.  The Mason George Washington would stay in his home on the second floor and walk through his tunnel to the Stearns Building which held the Assembly Hall where a party was given in his honor where the Fountainside Diner resides now on the corner of Washington and Essex.  His house was built on the site of Sheriff Curwin’s home in which he was buried under the stairs until his wife could pay off the lien on his body. Ward was also a distiller.

    Abel Lawrence

  Distillery was in Lawrence Place. A place not haunted but filled with spirits.  He was the 4th captain of the Essex Cadets. He was the Master Mason after Joseph Hiller in the Essex Lodge. His home was across the street from the Lodge and Joshua Ward House. He provided the Mason’s strong drink with duty free molasses…when Ward ran out he just had to run across the street.

    Israel Dodge

  Another distiller.

   John Norris

  Left fortune to Andover Theological Institution. Distiller…

    Jonathan Hodges

  You guessed it… distiller. Father of Benjamin Hodges who founded the Salem East India Marine Society. The society that started the Peabody Essex Museum.

    Nehemiah Adams

  Wood worker who burned down 3 shops. One on the Common that burned down in 1798. Maybe he drank too much fire water from the group above. His son was Nehemiah also. He was a pastor and writer. Many of Senior’s furniture was moved into the Winterthur House after Frank Crowninshield marries Louisa Dupont around WWI. Frank owned Benjamin Crowninshield’s house on Peach’s Point Marblehead. The house is gone but the chasm from the ocean they would smuggle under the house remains.

  Joseph Hiller (147-1817)

  Appointed from 1789 to 1802 as Collector of Customs for Salem and Beverly MA in Salem MA. First Master of the Essex Lodge after the Revolutionary War. Lodge met in Joshua Wards House. Silversmith and watch maker. His father performed electrical experiments near the Old Meeting House in Boston and was a silversmith as well. Married Margaret Cleveland.

    Rev. Charles Cleveland (1772-1872)

  Father of Charles Dexter Cleveland, was born in Norwich, Connecticut. Introduced by an uncle to Salem. He would fulfill his seaman apprenticeship around the Cape of Good Hope. He later served as a deputy collector at the Salem custom house until 1802. He would step down the same year Joseph Hiller was removed from his post.

  Charles next became a clerk in Charlestown for seven years and subsequently launched his own brokerage business in Boston, Massachusetts. He changed careers again to become a senior partner in the dry-goods firm of Cleveland & Dane from 1822 until 1829. Charles then returned to working as a broker for approximately five years, which he followed with his complete abandonment of the business world in order to devote himself full time to charitable works.

     In 1816 he organized the Society for the Moral and Religious Instruction of the Poor at his home. He also labored to collect funds for a mission-house, which was dedicated in May 1821 and in 1830 became a missionary to the Boston poor. Charles received a license to preach in 1835 and was ordained an evangelist on July 10, 1838. Throughout his life, Charles, who eventually became known as “Father Cleveland,” continued to engage in charitable works, including serving as the Chaplain at a House of Correction for both men and women. Rev. Charles Cleveland died on June 5 1872, just sixteen days short of reaching his one-hundredth birthday.  He was the granduncle of President Grover Cleveland.

    Penn Townsend

  Privateer in the war of 1812. Owned the Alexandria from Maryland with Joseph J. Knapp Sr. and Joseph White. Also the Helen and the Dolphin from Georgetown with Joseph “Jr.” White and Joseph J. Knapp Sr.  Owned a few ships without the Whites but with Joseph J. Knapp Sr. His ties were closer to the Knapps than the Whites because he owned 3 more ships with Joseph J. Knapp Sr. without any of the Whites. He was a Mason and a 2nd Lieutenant on a revenue cutter for the Boston Custom House.

    John Gibaut

  Collector for the port of Gloucester.

    Henry Prince

  Bought the Derby House and the West India Good Shop in front of it. His son was a captain of a revenue cutter in the harbor.

    James Cheever

   Jefferson appointed official in the Custom House.

    Elijah Haskell

One arm custom inspector.

    Henry Tibbets

  Inspector of Customs.

  Bartholomew Putnam

  Surveyor of Port who lived where the East Church was built. Now the Salem Witch Museum.

    Edward Augustus Holyoke (1728-1829)

   Third President and founding member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He was president of the Massachusetts Medical Society which created the New England Journal of Medicine which he penned several articles for. He was the first dean of Harvard Medicine. He trained close to 40 doctors. He started the 2nd savings bank in the country. An early proponent of inoculation against smallpox, it is estimated he vaccinated 600 persons during his career against the dreaded disease. Traveling by horseback, chaise, or on foot, Holyoke over the next 80 years would cover an estimated one-and-a-half-million miles and make approximately a quarter-of-a-million house calls.

   He was a founder of both the Social and Philosophical libraries in Salem, and was a driving force in the merger of these two institutions into the Salem Athenaeum in 1810 that also proffered by the Irish chemist’s library that Bowditch loved.  He was also an incorporator of the Essex Historical Society, later the Essex Institute, in 1821.

  Also he looked like my grandmother in drag. My grandmother and him share the succession of Edward’s in their family trees, originate from the same area of England, and both were in the medical profession as my grandmother scored best in her nursing school. So if there is reincarnation, my grandmother beat me to town. I showed his painting in the Essex Institute to my father, he was skeptical. My mother, the daughter-in-law, mouth dropped and she said in a gasp, “Oh Shit! She is back!”

   Jonathan Waldo & Son

  Apothecary owner in the Stearns Building. Major in second Cadets. Renovated Fort Pickering with brick arched corridors. Later uses this experience to help engineer a new tunnel system using brick arches over granite flat tops. Grand Uncle to Ralph Waldo Emerson.

  Benjamin Lynde Oliver Jr. (1760-1835)

  The Rights of an American Citizen: With a Commentary on State Rights, and on Constitution and Policy of the United States 1832…authored. Physician.  Andrew Oliver was his father. His siblings were Peter and Sarah. Studied law under Joseph Story.  1813 tutored Hawthorne. Could have been MA Superior Court Justice and was an excelled chess player. His mansion was built by Justice Lynde whose son would live in it as well before Oliver. It was erected in 1700 taken down in 1836. Dr. Benjamin Lynde lived in that house next till he died in 1835. His estate sells his organ to St. Peter’s Church. Oliver’s Hollow or Cellar, only thing remaining, was standing on the corner of Liberty and Essex from 1836-1844.

  That cellar they filled and made a garden of it. Kids used it as cut across from Essex to Liberty. John Kinsman buys it after Oliver and builds the first Lynde Block…3 stories.

  Mary Oliver

  Dies 1807. Her son is Dr. Benjamin Lynde Oliver. It was a family affair, these tunnels…

    Peter Oliver

  Deranged 1821 and gives estate to Col. Abel Lawrence, head Mason, distiller, and another smuggler.

   Samuel Webb

  Deranged silversmith.

   

   Walter Bartlett

  Deranged auctioneer.  Is there a pattern…

   Joshua Orne

  The site where City Hall is on his lot. One of many buildings in town connected to tunnels. Joseph Cabot, gives up the house he inherited through the Orne’s to build City Hall.  Cabot changes the name of Orne’s Point to the Cabot Farm I believe. A place of many tunnels and the brickyard that built them. Timothy Pickering bought 200,000 bricks in one order from there.

   John James Scobie

  Master mariner turned dry goods merchant from Scotland marries Jonathan Mason’s daughter.  Had dry goods store in the Wakefield Place connected to the tunnels on the location of the Hawthorne Hotel.

    Amos Hovey

  Also had a dry goods company in Wakefield Place and prospered from the tunnels connected to the building. A military man who owned a warehouse on Union Wharf.

    John Norris

  Norris hired Jonathan Goodhue. Later Goodhue & Co. were confidential correspondents of Baring Brothers.

    Nathaniel Bowditch  (1773 – 1838)

  An early American mathematician remembered for his work on ocean navigation.  Serendipity aided Bowditch’s autodidact study inasmuch as he found himself able to use the eminent Irish chemist Richard Kirwan’s library;  a privateer from Salem known as the Pilgrim had intercepted the ship carrying the library between Ireland and England and brought the library back to Salem in June 1791.

  In 1795, Bowditch went to sea on the first of four voyages as a ship’s clerk and captain’s writer. In 1799 elected to the Academy of Arts and Sciences. His fifth voyage was as master and part owner of a ship. Following this voyage, he returned to Salem in 1803 to resume his mathematical studies and enter the insurance business.  In 1804, Bowditch became America’s first insurance actuary as president of the Essex Fire and Marine Insurance Company in Salem.

  By 1819, Bowditch’s international reputation had grown to the extent that he was elected as a member of the Royal Societies of Edinburgh and London. He  also was a member of the Royal Irish Academy.

  In 1823, Bowditch left the Essex Fire and Marine Insurance Company to become an actuary for the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Company in Boston. There he served as a “money manager” for wealthy individuals who made their fortunes at sea, directing their wealth toward manufacturing. Towns such as Lowell, MA prospered as a result.

  Bowditch’s move from Salem to Boston involved the transfer of over 2,500 books, 100 maps and charts and 29 volumes of his own manuscripts.

  Bodwitch is often credited as the founder of modern maritime navigation; his book The New American Practical Navigator first published in 1802, is still carried on board every commissioned U.S. Navy vessel.

Daniel Hathorne

  Mason. Father of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Dies at sea in 1805. Same year subscriber David Patten dies at sea.

   William Manning

  Nathaniel Hawthorne’s uncle and benefactor. Owned the stage coach company in town. His brother Robert owned the nursery near Orne’s Point. This Dutch Colonial cottage was built by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s maternal uncle Robert Manning for his widowed sister, and Nathaniel lived there with his mother after his graduation from Bowdoin College. The cottage was then across and down the street from its present location, adjacent to Manning’s own house and famous nursery, orchard and garden which is part of Greenlawn Cemetery now.

   Richard Manning

  Another uncle of Hawthorne. Money lender, captain, and justice of the peace. His house was removed to build the Phillip’s School which was the location for Hocus Pocus scene in which the kids burn the witches in the furnace. My neighbor used to teach in that school. After knowing her for 15 years I realized that she was retired longer than I was alive…

    Jonathan Gardner Jr. (1755-1821)

  Founder of the Salem Marine Society that still retains their clubhouse on top of the Hawthorne Hotel. A property sold to Frank Poor of Sylvania to fulfill his wishes to have a hotel for his business clients in town. They received the Franklin Building which was once called Wakefield Place from the drug lord Thomas H. Perkins.

  Jonathan was a privateer during the French Indian War and commander of minutemen in the Revolutionary War. His ancestor Joseph Gardner died in the Great Swamp Fight during the King Phillip War and his widow Ann Downing will marry Simon Bradstreet, governor,  and move the Gardner home from Gloucester across the street where I wrote a few books. Ann would become America’s first poet.

  Jonathan Gardner Jr. would suffer financial losses and sells 2 properties that were connected to the tunnels in town to Joseph White who would be murdered in the second house he purchased.

    John Watson

  Maternal great-grandfather of the Parker Brothers. I used to live on his old farm lot and found a marble his great-grandsons could of played with.  Beacon Street was once East Watson Street. One of the many properties he had owned off Bridge Street.

    Joseph Knapp Sr.

  Sons will be hanged for the murder of Joseph White. The game Clue will include rope as a murder weapon to represent his innocent sons hanging. Also the lead pipe is for the real murderer’s weapon Stephen White used and the Scottish dagger his accomplice and blackmailer used to stab White 17 times producing no bloodstains on the sheets in the bed his uncle was murdered in. Knapp will try hanging himself during his son’s trial. His wharf was Union Wharf. He had bought the murdered man’s ship the Revenge years before. He had owned many ships with Joseph White and his nephews.  Then the  Pirate Phillips took the ship Revenge. An insult Joseph White could not stand for, as a widower he treated that boat as his only child and was jealous that Knapp had a child who would continue  his name.  As well as White’s other business partner Richard Crowninshield Sr. had insulted him. His son will be found in his cell hanging from a low window with his knees almost on the ground. One of Richard Crowninshield’s sons would be hanged for White’s murder and two of Knapp’s sons.

   Joseph White

  His murder is the premise of the Parker Brother’s version of Clue. The rooms of his mansion appear on the board and the secret passages represent the tunnels leaving the house. He was Salem’s first privateer, a man who loved revenge, and a slave trader who would sell anyone of any color. Owned many shares in The Second Bank of the United States his nephew Stephen will inherit. Once partner to Joseph Knapp Sr. and Richard Crowninshield Sr.

    Benjamin Hodges

  Was a master of the Essex Lodge of Masons. He was the first president of the Salem East India Marine Society, the society whose collection is part of the Peabody Essex Museum now.  His father’s house on the corner of Orange and Essex Street had a tunnel running from the Derby House and another down to Union Wharf which is Pickering Wharf today. The trapdoor in the kitchen might be the last open connection to the vast tunnels in town.

  Also the distance between his house and the Derby’s is the length between his house and Brigg’s and Silsbee’s mansion on the Common. The same distance from Silsbee’s to Cook-Kimball and David Lord’s houses on Pickman Street. Two mansions of great size will be built next to each other all over Salem separated by that distance. The size of the mansions would be used to hide the extra purchases of the bricks to go that stretch.

  Most members of the Salem East India Marine Society were members of the Salem Marine Society. A friendship that still continues for if you want liquor at the Peabody Essex East India Marine Hall you have to have it supplied by the hotel below the Salem Marine Society’s clubhouse.

  Joseph Vincent

  First Steward of renewed Lodge in the Joshua Ward House. Elias Hasket Derby Jr. Senior Warden.  William Bentley Junior Warden. Joseph Hiller Master Right Worshipful and Head of Customs. Vincent owned a ropewalk on the Common next to Thomas Brigg’s ropewalk. If the project called for it they would join ropes from one ropewalk to  the other as they did when they made the rope for the anchor of the USS Essex. Grand parties would be held in the Common for the rope walks and buffets would be stretched the grand distance of their establishments for their employees.  First brought Henry Clay Sr. to New England to discuss the economic advantages of hemp over jute or sisal in making rope for riggings. This visit might of introduced him to John Quincy Adams who he serves under as Secretary of State. He was a Revolutionary War Hero. His son Joseph K. Vincent becomes a judge in Idaho.

    Jeduthan Upton Jr.

  Upton was exchanged for another prisoner and returned to Salem, Mass. on July 9, 1813.  Marries Jessie Smith’s daughter. Smith was the last of Washington’s bodyguards to die.

    Israel Williams

  First captain of Friendship. Captain of the Cadets.

    Aaron Waite

  Partners with Jerthmael Pierce in the ship Friendship. Their wharf was off the old North Street Bridge. Carlton’s bridge washed up against their wharf from Felt Street during the Great High Tide.

  Jerthmael Pierce

  Partner in Pierce & Waite

   Samuel Skerry

  Kicked in head by a horse in 1808 in  his 36th year.

   Nathaniel West

  Suffered one of the worst divorces in history. He wished he was kicked in the head by a horse instead.

To find out more and other fabulous stories about how Salem, MA shaped American History read Sub Rosa by Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin published by Salem House Press.

Limited Collector’s Preview Edition

Sub Rosa The Sequel to Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City

 

Don’t miss your opportunity to get these rare copies. Be the first to find a typo, a smudge, or a section of type that might not make it to the final copy of the book. Strange as it sounds, people love the books in which they can find a flaw.

Do know any copies bought on Amazon.com within the next two weeks will be the Advance Readers Editions which would have these limited errors. Then after the next two weeks, everyone gets the same book. The next million copies will be the same. Yes I did say Advance Reader’s Editions!  In the next two weeks, I might upload three or four revisions. So you might get lucky and purchase the one and only printing of that revision…

It is the luck of the draw and you only have two weeks from the date this post was…posted. Read the latest posts in our blog to get a taste of the stories in the book. So Good Luck and enjoy the book!

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Cover to the book Sub Rosa which is about Tunnels in Salem and those who built them.

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.

bottomFor 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.
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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.

bottomFor 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.
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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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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!