Black Dan; Daniel Webster

Sam the Eagle you Say…

Daniel Webster a character in Sub Rosa.

Daniel Webster. His son marries Stephen White’s daughter and his brother-in-law marries the other daughter. Webster prosecuted innocent men for Stephen White to get away with murdering his uncle. The two would go on to assassinate President Harrison.

Not only is he the basis for the Muppets Sam the Eagle, he was one of the three most powerful senators in America leading up to the Civil War. He was controlled by Stephen White who was the murderer in the real life murder the game Clue is based on.

These two, along with Henry Clay, planned the assassination of President William Harrison in attempts to restore a new national bank. Stephen White lived on the Salem Common. Here Webster would visit and President Andrew Jackson would be expelled for not renewing the Second Bank of the United States Charter.

To find out more book tickets for the Salem Smugglers’ Tour of the historic Salem Common today! Also read Sub Rosa and Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City
http://www.salemtunneltour.com
More Than Witches!!!!

Superior Court Justice Joseph Story

The Great Interpreter of the Constitution…

Joseph Story Smuggler in Salem MA

Man who shaped the Constitution, Associate Supreme Curt Justice Joseph Story. Brother-in-law to Stephen White. He is the most responsible for the interpretation of the Constitution we follow.

This man has created the interpretations of the U.S. Constitution we still follow today. Along with his brother-in-law Stephen White who controlled him they defended the Second Bank of the United States from all comers till President Jackson did not renew the bank’s charter. In 1811 Joseph Story, Stephen White, Joseph “Jr.” White, Joseph White, Senator Nathaniel Silsbee, Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield, and opium dealer Thomas Perkins all received new mansions from agents of Baring Brothers Bank to restore a new national bank after the First National Bank of the United States lost its charter for being controlled by the Bank of England.

After the War of 1812, to settle America’s war debts the Second Bank of the United States was chartered which ended up being controlled by the Bank of England. All of these men became directors in the Second Bank of the United States. Many of their houses are on the Salem Common and are connected together by tunnels.

To find out more book a tour on the Salem Smugglers’ Tour of the historic Salem Common. http://www.salemtunneltour.com
More Than Witches!

Charles Bulfinch the Architect of Washington D.C.

The Tunnel Guy…

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

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

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

Chief Justice Parker and the Game Clue

Who had a Clue…

His grand cousins, the Parker Brothers, would purchase the game Cluedo and rename it Clue because of his mysterious death. The most famous Victorian American Murder was of the privateer Joseph White in 1830. Chief Justice Isaac Parker would die 3 days after saying he never felt better and never missed a day on the bench. It was 3 months since Joseph White was murdered and Parker died the night before the trial. Three days later Daniel Webster came to Salem to be the prosecutor in the murder. Parker was despised by Webster for a hang jury verdict on a libel case resulting from accusations of Webster being a traitor during the Hartford Convention.

Isaac’s cousin William Parker lived off the Salem Common and so did Joseph White who was the victim. William was the Parker Brother’s grandfather and smuggler in Salem. White’s nephew Stephen committed the crime and had others hanged for the murder, under his uncle Joseph’s orders who was dying already.

To find out more book a tour on the Salem Smugglers’ Tour of the historic Salem Common today!  Also read the books Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin your tour guide.
http://www.salemtunneltour.com
More Than Witches!!!

Old Bet the Stoned Elephant

Something from the Devil?

Stoned Elephant departing boat at NYC

Jacob Crowninshield a representative in Congress from Salem purchased the first elephant to be shipped to America. On the journey there was a threat that the elephant would drink all of the water, so they gave all the beer to her and sailors got the water. By the time she got to NYC she was pink from being drunk so long; hence we have the term pink elephants.

The Stoned Elephant toured America and would drink a beer for a nickel and a keg for a dime. Later she was rescued by Hachaliah Bailey of Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus and renamed Old Bet who became his star attraction. Then when traveling in Maine many years later, a farmer thought she was something from the devil and shot her.

Jacob came to a sticky end too; he would spit up blood on the Congress floor and die five days afterward. After a bloody campaign Joseph Story who was the Crowninshield personal lawyer would beat out Benjamin Crowninshield for the Congress seat who was on his brother-in-law Stephen White’s payroll. Story would later move on to become the Superior Court Justice who has shaped our interpretation the most of the Constitution and White would go on to become the man behind the assassination of President William Harrison.

To hear more stories like this on the best Salem walking tour book tickets for the Salem Smugglers’ Tour of the historic Salem Common today! Also read Salem Secret Underground and Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin.

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

Strange Connections: James Taylor, The Game Clue, Opium, and Presidential Assassination?

It all starts with salmonella and a good game of Clue

Around August 12th, 1849 in Meadville, Pennsylvania on a northern tour of the country President Zachary Taylor would suffer from typhoid for 3 days and recover. In April 1850 he would dine with William H. Prescott who he tried to convince to write a history of the Mexican-War. Out of spite Prescott would write the Conquest of Mexico…about Cortez and his friends instead.

I wonder about Prescott. He had dined with Polk before he died. Polk had been sick afterward, but survived. Prescott would be a great spy. He had access to John Quincy Adams, James Polk, Arthur Wellington, Prince Albert, and Zachary Taylor. Prince Albert would die of typhoid as well. Two years after Prescott’s death though. Taylor would become sick 3 months after meeting Prescott, I believe typhoid incubates for a week or two? Can it lay dormant longer? Zachary Taylor would be the second of the only two Whig candidates who were elected president, and the second to die early in their term of Typhoid. The first was William Harrison who died within a month of his inauguration, and under 2 months of his son’s death.

Daniel Webster a character in Sub Rosa.

Daniel Webster. His son marries Stephen White’s daughter and his brother-in-law marries the other daughter. Webster prosecuted innocent men for Stephen White to get away with murdering his uncle. The two would go on to assassinate President Harrison.

Now Stephen White was the power behind Daniel Webster who was 1 of 3 of the most powerful senators in the country. Webster was the prosecutor in the Joseph White murder, the uncle of Stephen. Stephen got away with the murder and then engineered the assassination of William Harrison with Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. The Joseph White murder is the basis of the Parker Brother’s choice to purchase the American rights to the English game Cluedo and rename it Clue. What spur this? A grand uncle of the Parker Brothers was the judge in the murder case who dies the night before the trial started.

Now as Prescott was leaving Boston for Washington to dine with Taylor the famous Webster-Parkman trial was happening. Lemuel Shaw was the State Superior Court Justice on the case. He was the man Webster appointed to the position of Chief Justice after he possibly murdered Chief Justice Parker.  Parker previously presided over a hung jury libel case Webster brought against someone who claimed he was a traitor during the Hartford Convention. Since Shaw heard the case for Selman and Chase who were acquitted in the White murder previously he could not hear the murder case against the  Knapps. He was also married to a Knapp. So it proved a horrible choice for Webster to make. Also the Knapp’s attorney was the same defense attorney from the libel case.

Parkman Webster Murder illustration

Now the suspect in the John Parkman murder was John White Webster. Daniel Webster was asked to prosecute the case. Did Daniel Webster refuse the case because to many memories of the Captain Joseph White murder case in Salem? The suspect had White and Webster in his name. The judge, Lemuel Shaw, was his first choice for the White murder, after the Parker murder that was.

Parker. Parkman? It does sound eerily familiar. Was Webster hearing the tell tail heart? Especially if he was sending his youthful friend to poison a president. Prescott’s father was another traitor during the Hartford Convention with Daniel Webster. This would be the first assassination after the mysterious death of Stephen White after an accidental poisoning,  second if you include Polk who had left office already. Stephen White was behind the assassination of Harrison with Webster and Clay.

Now Prescott had just spent time with Parkman’s son at the time of the murder. Also Prescott’s aunt was married to John White Webster. Parkman and John White Webster were teachers at Harvard.

Parkman helped create the McLean Asylum which is now in Belmont, MA. He would also testify at the Abraham Prescott murder which tried using sleepwalker as a defense in the murder. He was testifying that insanity can be genetically passed along, since Abraham Prescott close family were all nuts. It was Daniel Webster’s friend Rufus Choate who first successfully used sleepwalking as a defense in American history in 1846. Choate convinced a jury that the accused, Albert Tirrell, did not cut the throat of his lover, or, if he did so, he did it while sleepwalking, under the ‘ insanity of sleep’.

John White Webster had murdered Parkman and dismantled his corpse and tried burning him in the Harvard’s incinerator.

Trivia. Lemuel Shaw’s daughter Elizabeth marries Herman Melville. He presided over Cobb Vs Cobb in which Brigham Young was having affair with Augusta Adams and Henry Adams wins a divorce. Brigham Young will be at Nathaniel Felt’s house in Salem when he hears news of Joseph Smith’s death. Felt was married to John Quincy Adam’s cousin. Shaw was married to Elizabeth Knapp who was the daughter of Josiah Knapp. George Parkman’s sister married Robert Gould Shaw, grandfather of 54th regiment Robert Gould Shaw (the general Matthew Broderick played in Glory). Also Nathaniel Russell Sturgis was married to Susannah Parkman. Maybe they all bought to much opium from Sturgis.

Sturgis was in the employment of Thomas Perkins’ opium empire which made his Forbes nephews a fortune andthe drug empire was  later sold to the Russells, the family who founded the Skull & Bones.

McLean Asylum later would house Ray Charles, James Taylor, and John Nash. Ray Charles and James Taylor would be addicts of a form of opium…

I bet you had no clue…

For more information on tunnels in Salem and how the city shaped American history read Sub Rosa and Salem Secret Underground: The HIstory of the Tunnels in the City. Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and anywhere books are sold! Also eBooks available at www.salemhousepress.com. Also take the Salem Smugglers’ Tour when in Salem MA to learn this all first hand from the author.
Sub Rosa Book CoverSSU2

Jolie Tea and the History of the Building

Some Great History and a cup of tea…

Photo of Brown Building on Essex Street in Salem, MAAt 105 Essex Street this building was built in 1808-1809. Over the years it has been called the Brown, Merchant’s, and Union Building. It is the oldest mixed used building in Salem. Over the years the building has seen Sophia’s Antiques,  The Merchant Bank, and William Stearn’s Apothecary Store. It has also housed schools, religious groups, and professionals in its offices. John Watson was one of the many tenants that had a school in this building. He was the Parker Brothers’ great grandfather. Over the years the most famous personage to live here outside of Sophia Hawthorne was Congressman and once Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield.

Merchant Bank of Salem Ma locationsHe was to open his Merchant Bank in the same location as Jolie Tea on the corner of Union and Essex Streets. The lease was $130 a year. The first deposit of specie in their bank was $54,939.90, $23,841 notes printed for their bank, and $20,279.86 of other bank notes. Once they opened those other banks had to redeem their notes and bring their gold and silver to the new bank to exchange for their bills. They opened their doors on October 11th, 1811.

Painting of Benjamin CrowninshieldAlso in this year its founder Crowninshield will build his new mansion which is now the Brookhouse Home for Aged Women.  Both were paid for by British agents who worked with several in Salem to create a new National Bank  after the War of 1812. Many think that the war was brought on for America to incur a war debt forcing them to create a new national bank in which they can sell the majority of the shares to English bankers to handle the debt. 1811 was the year in which The First National Bank of the United States lost its charter. Benjamin Crowninshield would become a director in The Second Bank of the United States after the War in 1816 along with Associate Joseph Story, Senator Nathaniel Silsbee, Stephen White, Joseph White, Thomas Perkins, and Daniel Webster who would become major shareholders in the new bank or directors. All of them received bribes from British agents as well in 1811 and built or bought new mansions.

Photo of Merchant Bank of Salem Ma Bank NotesBenjamin Crowninshield was a State Representative from 1808, 1809, 1810, 1811, and 1821. He served as State Senator 1812, 1822, and 1823. In 1814 he became Secretary of the Navy during the War of 1812.  Later he would become a Member of Congress from 1823-1831.  He would serve as director of The Second Bank of the United States in Boston and Philadelphia.

After Benjamin Crowninshield stepped down as president of the Merchant’s Bank to become Secretary of the Navy, Associate Superior Court Justice Joseph Story becomes president. Story was also a director of The Second National Bank of the United States in Philadelphia and Boston. Story spent 33 years in the Supreme Court and has had the most impact of the Constitutions interpretation till the modern day. He worked tirelessly with Senator Daniel Webster to protect the national bank from all contenders. Story and Webster were agents for Stephen White who was behind the election and assassination of President William Harrison.

The Merchant Bank operated in this location till 1831 when they moved to the Manning Building which was where the offices are for the Peabody Essex Museum is now in the Bowker Block. In time they would also relocate into the corner of Essex and Washington streets in the Northy Building where Army Barracks is now and then the old Asiatic Building which now houses the new restaurant The Ledger.

Engraving of Sophia Peabody HawthorneNow back to Sophia. Sophia was born in this building. During her early years she played with the Hathorne  family, including Nathaniel,  till her parents moved her away. Also her mother taught school in this building. After many years of separation Sophia marries Nathaniel in 1842.

Oh by the way, the tunnel entering this building is just under the backroom of Jolie Tea. Now the furnace built just inside of the tunnel entrance is supplied by air within the tunnel.

Brown Building tunnel in Salem MaSo come and sit down at Jolie Tea and read Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City and Sub Rosa over a delicious cup of tea (Maybe a scone too…) to find out more about Benjamin Crowninshield, our nation’s banking history, the tunnels in the city, and other amazing ways Salem, MA has shaped American history.

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