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!

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!

Click Here to Get Your Copy Now!

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

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!

Salem Secret Underground and The Salem Smugglers’ Tour

Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Chris Dowgin Leading the Salem Smugglers' Tour

So what is down there? Within the pages of the book Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City I tell you. The book is filled with pictures of the tunnels in the city. On the Salem Smugglers’ Tour I take you where the photos were taken and show you them on my tablet while going over the history of the people who built them.

So are any of these smugglers important today, or even then? Well lets take a look…

Joseph Story Smuggler in Salem MA

Man who shaped the Constitution, Associate Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story.

George Peabody in Salem MA

George Peabody orchestrated several economic panics with Rothschild in England. His bank is now called JP Morgan which orchestrated the 2008 Financial Collapse.

 

Timothy Pickering in Salem MA

Timothy Pickering was Secretary of State for Washington and Adams. He wrote the Alien & Sedition Acts which are now very similar to Homeland Security and the Patriot Act.

So these men were the politicians who shaped our country. Pickering was Washington’s general and Secretary of State who helped ratify the Constitution. Joseph Story shaped the Constitution with Daniel Webster. Both were in Stephen White’s pocket defending the Second Bank of the United States and their attempts to create what we call the Federal Reserve today. George Peabody founded the Rockefeller Foundation, sold the majority of shares in our national bank to foreign investors, collapsed our economy several times, founded what became JP Morgan bank, and bailed out the local museum which was renamed after him. He owned the Eastern Railroad that built the Gothic railroad station in town.

Elias Hasket Derby Jr.

Elias Hasket Derby Jr. spent the 10th Largest fortune in American history and extended 3 miles of tunnels in town.

 

Elias Hasket Derby

Elias Hasket Derby America’s first millionaire and tenth richest man in American history.

Who else? Elias Hasket Derby was America’s first millionaire and the tenth richest man in American history to this day. Beyond Gates and Buffet put together. He built a tunnel from his wharf, to his home, and to his cousin’s Hodges house who founded the Peabody Essex Museum. His son Eias Hasket Derby Jr. who extended the tunnels so 159 politicians and businessmen could avoid paying Jefferson’s duties. Thomas Perkins who’s opium empire spurred on the wealth of the Forbes, Russells, and Sturgis families. In fact the Russells purchase his land in New Haven and erect the Skull & Bones crypt on it. Russell will create the fraternity with Alphonso Taft who is President Taft’s grandfather.

How do I know these tunnels exist? Because I have been in them!

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Can I get you in…no! One day though so keep checking back, but for now there is so much more about this tour than witches. Stuff that still effects you today! Plus the tour is filled with vintage photos of town from the 1800’s, old car crashes, comedy, ghost stories and a famous murder!!!

40731 10202387671025682 East_India_Marine_Hall_3 Essex_Street_Mud_Puddle_Toys Original Almy's next to Pamplemousse 10202387802188961

Also you will learn how Stephen White who had the East India Marine Hall in the Peabody Essex built got away with murdering his uncle with the involvement of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story and Secretary of State Daniel Webster. A murder that empowered them to murder presidents Harrison and Taylor to secure the Third Bank of the United States so George Peabody could sell more of our country away to the Rothschilds.

President Taylor. Second to president to be murdered because of the Third Bank of the United States.

President Taylor. Second president to be murdered because of the Third Bank of the United States.

 

President Harrison. Murdered by people in Salem.

President Harrison. The first president murdered by people in Salem.

Daniel Webster Murdered Two Presidents.

Daniel Webster who murdered two presidents in a failed attempt to create the Third Bank of the United States.

Here are some of the cool tunnels in Salem you will see in the book and on the tablet on the tour.

Crypts

Green-House-Tunnel-Stairs2

DSCN0255

From_Street

Registry_Tunnel

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Downing_Block_Me_Jail_Cell_Door2

Door that led to compartments runaway slaves could sleep in on the tunnel route in Salem, MA.

13.Downing_Block_Jail_Cell_Door2

Joshua_Ward_House_Far_Left_Tunnel_edited

Tunnel_Between_Buildings_Front

So book a tour today at http://www.salemtunneltour.com and head over to Barnes & Noble to buy Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City. If you buy the book on the tour you will save $5 and will have it signed and doodled in by the author for no extra cost! What a deal!!

Derby Square and the Tunnels of Salem MA

Home of the Engineer and Playboy

Derby Mansion Derby Square Salem MA

Old Town Hall

32 Derby Square

This was the site of Col. William Browne who was a loyalist during the Revolutionary War who fled to Canada. In consequence the state of Massachusetts confiscated his property in 1784. Through Derby’s wife he inherited Brown’s property including Castle Hill which Hawthorne called Brown’s Folly. Castle Hill will be torn down by the Massachusetts Rock and Stone Company. This mansion was designed by Charles Bulfinch and later modified by Samuel McIntire. Charles Bulfinch built the Capital Building in Washington D.C. , the Essex Bank Building in Salem, and the tunnels entrances that connect them. In between the years 1795 and 1799 the mansion was under construction. Soon after the construction was over Elias Hasket Derby dies.

Elias_Hasket_Derby_Jr_2

After returning from sea, Elias Hasket Derby Jr. inherits the mansion and retires into it for 10 years. Did Elias Hasket Derby Jr. build the tunnels leading from the mansion or were they already there? If they preexisted his return to Salem, did these tunnels inspire him to connect other buildings in town? Either way he will spend the next 10 years filling in the Commons and building an extensive network of tunnels to the old colonial system.

At the end of his ten years with his finances faltering, Elias Hasket Derby Jr. returns to the sea and comes back with a 1,000 Merino sheep. Soon afterwards he moves to Londonberry, N.H. and sells the estate to John Derby III and Benjamin Pickman. The house had been left abandoned for years because of the high cost of sustaining it. Elias Hasket Derby Jr. has the mansion demolished before he sells it.

Old_Town_Hall_Right_Side

In 1816 John Derby III and Benjamin Pickman Jr. offer the foundation of the house to the town to have a market place and town hall on the property forever. The town accepts and they have Joshua Upham build Old Town Hall from plans drawn by Charles Bulfinch. Also brick stalls were added to the walkway leading to New Derby Street. These would be demolished at some point and rebuilt in the 1970’s which today houses Artist Row. The opening of Old Town Hall was graced with the appearance of James Monroe as he visited Salem. This will be one of many buildings Monroe would visit that was connected by the tunnels in town. Old Town Hall served as the city seat till 1836 when the new city hall was built.

Now when you sit in the men’s room as the train goes through the tunnel on Washington Street, 2 buildings away, you can feel the wind come through a vent in the back of the stall along with the sound of the wheels running on the track. The back wall of the men’s room is in the middle of the building. Access to the front of the basement towards Essex Street is prohibitive. As well as the back corner of the basement facing Lawrence Place. There are several manholes surrounding the property reading “S’, “Sewer”, and “Drain”. Staff on the city electrical building say it is connected to the current Bank Plaza Building and Daniel Low’s old Warehouse which used to house the Goddess Treasure Chest now.

In 1816 John Derby and Benjamin Pickman Jr. also built the Pickman Building at 22-26 Front Street and 15 Derby Square. 15 Derby Square houses Maria’ Sweet Something and the former location of Fiddelhead. The building in which Front Street Coffeehouse and the needlework shop is in was a later addition. The next row of buildings attached to these two were original along with a third building which stood where the air conditioning unit stands behind the fence.

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Get the book everyone digs before its sequel comes out!
Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City!
Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, and Wicked Good Books in Salem on Essex Street. Also on Amazon.com!

The Salem Commons and the Tunnels of the City

Secrets of the Commons

Old Map of Salem Common

The Commons had a creek that ran into the ocean. It started where the basketball court is and ran parallel to Washington Square East and turned and ran down what is now Forrester Street towards the Ocean. Land on the north side of Forrester was also land held in common to the town. The creek had five ponds in total attached to it. There was Flag pond that formed after heavy rains to the southeast; then opposite Southwick’s School House was Southwick Pond; opposite Captain Mason’s was Mason’s Pond; then to the east of that was Cheever’s Pond across from Cheever’s tannery; and one near the school house by Forrester Street was Lang’s Pond. Also it had included several hills and hillocks. This area was used to graze unfenced livestock, gather berries, cut flags and hoops. Ducks, horses, cattle, geese, hens, and stray pigs ran free in the Commons. It had several names including “pen”, “Town Swamp”, “Training Field”, “Washington Square”, and “Salem Common”.Previous to 1714 there were disputes between cottagers and commoners who had rights to the swamp. The Rev. John Higginson had a house on thenorth of the Commons and Col. Nathaniel Higginson had a house where the Hawthorne Hotel is now. In 1714 the Commons was voted to be forever a training field for the use of Salem’s militia in front of Higginson’s house.

In 1772 an almshouse was built on the northeast corner on Washington Square South. Also there were a powder house, engine house, and a tavern owned by Beadle. This street was home to the Phillips School House and the Southwick School House.

Winter Street Tunnel Hole Salem MA

On Washington Square East there was the Captain Francis Boardman house built in 1782. The land was owned by John Hodges. Next was the house of Joseph Vincent with his rope walk in the rear running to the Cove and next north of that a two story house owned and occupied by Thomas Briggs. Then an old building which had been occupied by Benjamin Brown as a bake house. Briggs street was not then opened. It was first a Court extending about two thirds the length of the street. Briggs’s Rope Walk commenced at the place now occupied by Hon. Nathaniel Silsbee’s house (Knights of Columbus) and extended to the Cove. Andrew street was not opened till after the Common was leveled. The field extending from north of Briggs’s Rope Walk (to the north of the house which was owned by William B. Vincent which was built in 1799) was owned by Col. William Browne who bought it from Capt. Joseph Gardner who was slain in the battle with the Narragansets in 1675. Col. William Browne will have all of his property in Salem confiscated after fleeing to Canada during the Revolutionary War, including what would become Derby Square. Elias Hasket Derby’s wife was a relation so she inherited most of his property. Vincent’s grandson Jonathan A. Vincent carried on the tanning and currying business there until it was sold in 1791 to another William Browne and his son who continued the tannery until they opened Andrew Street and sold it off as house lots. The Full-Spychalski Funeral Home stands where Dr. Hardy Phippen house was and earlier to that it was Benjamin Ives tan yard and bark house. This site was also the ropewalk owned by Joseph Vincent which stretch to Collins Cove as well. In 1785 a school was built on the commons. In 1788 the Beverly Bridge was opened and Pleasant Street was extended from the commons to meet Bridge Street. Also after the opening of the bridge Winter Street and Bath Street (Forrester Street) was created. Hay scales were erected on Winter Street in 1789 in front of a pond next to Robert Upton’s house half way up the road. On Washington Square North was the Samuel Cheever house who had a tannery in the rear. Then there was James Wright’s bakery. On the corner of Oliver was Mr. Austin’s brass founder shop. After that was Jeremiah Shepard’s grocery store, behind that runs an alley to Rev. John Higginson’s mansion. Next was Jonathan Mason’s shop (the mason William Roberts lived in this home after it was moved to Federal Street) followed by Frederick Coom’s Bakery, The Collins house, Tutle’s Rope Walk, Henry Williams on Williams Street, Thaddeus Gwinn ropewalk, Nehemiah Adams cabinet maker, and the East Church (Witch Museum). On Hawthorne Blvd. was a school house and the Gardner-Pingree Mansion.

Salem Cadets

Other facts of the Commons. In 1769 custom agents Thomas Row and Robert Wood were tarred and feather on a Liberty Tree for informing on the Salem privateers to the Crown. Salem never liked paying duties… Then in 1801 Elias Hasket Derby Jr. commanded the Second Corp. of Cadets to fill in the ponds and grade the Commons. The Commons was leveled by the Spring of 1802. Derby had raised a subscription of $2,500 to do so and planted rows of poplars and surrounded it with a whitewashed oak fence. The poplars came from the nursery owned by Joseph Franks on what is now Winter Street.

The bills was:
ESTIMATE OF THE COMMITTEE
1,5000 feet of lumber for railing and posts at $10 per hundred is
$156.00
Labor on the above one man 60 days at 9s
$90.00
Ditto one man for digging post holes Ac 60 days at 6s
$60.00
Poplar trees 10 feet apart at 1s apiece
$100.00
Expenses for Drink
$20.00
1 lb of paint will paint 3 square yard twice over 3s 1733 square ft.
577 lb White Lead is equal to 5 ewt at $13 per ewt
$65.00
10 Galls boiled Oil at 8s per GaM
$14.00
20 days work for painting at 6s par day
$20.00
For Leveling say
$1,000.00
For Gravel Walk say
$1,000.00
Stone Gutter
$100.00
Total:$2,625.00

They received a loan from Benjamin A. Gray that 159 subscribers to the Commons improvement* paid back. Some gave twice when funds fell short. The biggest contributors were William Gray, Elias Hasket Derby Jr., George Crowninshield & Sons Co., and Joseph Peabody. Now out of this list we have two subscribers who were block and pump makers, two who owned hardware stores, two were auctioneers to fence the goods, a carpenter who opens up a coffee shop in Boston afterwards, several people working for the Customs Agency (Bartholomew Putnam Surveyor of Port, Henry Tibbets Inspector of Customs, C. Cleveland Deputy Collector, Elijah Haskell Inspector of Customs, James Cheever Officer in the Customs House, Benjamin Crowninshield Collector of Marblehead, Penn Townsend Revenue Agent, Henry Prince’s son captained a Revenue Cutter, Joseph Hiller Customs Collector), 3 presidents of insurance companies, 4 store owners, 5 distillers smuggling molasses again, 4 tavern keeps, 4 politicians, 2 judges, 3 dry good store owners, 2 hardware store owners, 2 ropewalk owners, 4 grocers, 4 in local government, 2 butchers, 2 die at sea, 1 murdered, 2 Clerks of Courts, several Masons, several merchants and captains, several relatives of Hodges, Derby, Peabody, and Crowninshield.So you have a group of captains and merchants who need to smuggle goods pass a series of bribed Customs employees and politicians. Then convince a group of merchants to construct new homes to attach to the tunnels on the Commons to move money and goods through. These tunnels will need to be pumped out of water so carpenters, muscle provided by the several militias, and masons could create them utilizing hardware and rope from other subscribers. These tunnels will smuggle goods into several stores to sell dry goods and food, molasses to the distillers to make spirits, flour and spices to the bakers, liquor for the taverns to sell, auctioneers to sell your big ticket items, and banks to hide your money away tax free. In 1802 the selectmen changed its name to Washington Square. 1803 a bath house was placed on Bath Street (Forrester Street). In 1817 the popular trees gave place to elms and a new wooden fence was put in.

Car Accident on the Salem Common

In 1850 the iron fence was installed at the cost of $7,000 by Messrs. Denio, Cheney and Co. of Boston. After these improvements in 1801 Derby started getting his accomplices to build 2 brick Federal Style mansions set apart from each other the distance between the Derby House on Essex Street and the Hodges House on Orange Street. The industrial and agricultural appearance of the Commons became opulent. These house were to be used to run the tunnels through town to the jail, courts, each others homes, banks, and the businesses downtown. There is even rumors that the tunnels lead under the Commons. There is a square iron cover over a cement shaft in front of the Knights of Columbus and a round manhole cover in front of the 1926 Gazebo. Who knows…

Commons_Trapdoor_2

Get the book everyone digs before its sequel comes out!
Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City!
Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, and Wicked Good Books in Salem on Essex Street. Also on Amazon.com!