Jean Missud and the Second Corp Cadets Band

His band is Still Heard on the Salem Commons

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

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

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

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

Joseph Smith and Buried Treasure in Salem MA

More than Holy Revelations…

Nathaniel Henry Felt was a friend of Brigham Young and bordered Young’s daughter. It was from Felt’s house now on Charter Street did they both hear of Joseph Smith’s assassination on his campaign trail for president in Illinois. Though before his death, Smith took a trip to Salem to look for hidden treasure…

Here from the Christian Advocate:
“As Linn describes the facts a Mormon named Burgess had gone to Kirtland with a story about a large amount of money that was buried in the cellar of a house of Salem which had belonged to a widow. He alone knowing the location Smith credited the report and on July 25 1836 he started with his brother Hyrum Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery for Salem and there he hired a house and occupied the same throughout the month teaching the people from house to house. When they got there Burgess said that time had so changed the appearance of the houses that he could not be sure which was the widow’s and he left Salem in disgrace. The house that Smith hired he thought might be the right one and it was when his associates were becoming discouraged that he delivered this revelation it is published in the book of Doctrine and Covenants without giving the name of the place where it was received but Ebenezer Robinson who believed in the Prophet’s divine calling…”

Nathaniel H. Felt

Could the treasure still be in a tunnel attached to the old widow’s cellar?

Army Tunnels of the North Shore

Could be Rabbit…

Tunnelling-photo-Hill-60

I just heard a story about a tunnel that led from the National Guard base, Curtis Guild, in Wakefield MA. A friend of mine during a war game found a tunnel on the base, they thought they could come up and out flank their opponent. Instead they were more intrigued with where the tunnel went. So they walked to the Nike site in Danvers and then they walked to Tremont Street right before Mack Park in Salem where the tunnel was blocked off. Sounded like a true story, it might be fabricated? The curious thing though, if it was true, Salem had too many stories to allow the military to walk through their tunnels….
A Salem Cadets

Well in fact it was the Second Corp of Cadets in 1801, the descendants of the first National Guard Unit in the country founded in 1637, who built the tunnels in Salem. Why not keep up the tradition?

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.
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.

Tecumseh’s Curse?

Background

Log-Cabin

It all started with the election of William Harrison against Martin Van Buren. The election was the first to use propaganda, slogans, and songs. Two slogans have made it into everyday speech. ‘Keep that ball rolling’ was one of them. Harrison supporters made a large leather and tin ball plastered with slogans they would roll from city to city saying… Another is Booze. Edmund G. Booz had made a whiskey bottle shaped like a log cabin that Harrison supporters handed out. At 67 Harrison was the oldest president ever to be elected until Reagan who was 71. It was said of him, “Give him a barrel of hard cider, and … a pension of two thousand [dollars] a year … and … he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin.” So the Whig’s spun it to their side and commissioned E.G. Booze to make the bottles.

“Tippee Canoe and Tyler Too,” was the campaign slogan. Harrison was riding on the fame of the battle at Tippee Canoe where the Indian leader who was called the Prophet was killed. The Prophet, Tenskwatawa, was the brother of Tecumseh. It was Richard Mentor Johnson who was running against Harrison as Van Buren’s Vice President, before he was dropped form the ticket, who many believed was the man who killed Tecumseh. Johnson’s common law wife was Julia Chinn, a slave which he was brought up with. She died 7 years before the election, but the country was not ready for one who was proud of his interracial wife. James Knox Polk would also be dropped from the Van Buren ticket. In the end Van Buren ran with no Vice President. Even though many thought Johnson killed Tecumseh, “Rumpsey Dumpsey, Rumpsey Dumpsey, Colonel Johnson killed Tecumseh”, Harrison would be the first to befall Tecumseh’s Curse.

William Harrison started the election as an Anti-Masonic Party candidate with Daniel Webster. The Anti-Mason Party was absorbed in the campaign by the Whigs and Webster was supplanted by Tyler. Webster was Salem’s candidate with the support of Stephen White who had a personal grudge against Jackson for not renewing the charter on the Second Bank of the United States. White ran Associate Superior Court Justice Joseph White and Webster by the purse strings through a series of political marriages. Story and Webster were directors in the bank. The Anti-Masonic Party was anti-Jackson and the Whigs were even more anti-Jackson who absorbed the party.  Henry Clay founded the party based on English supporters of the Bank of England for the sole purpose of restoring a new national bank after Jackson destroyed the last one.

The Curse

Appletons'_Tecumseh

Tecumseh in his native tongue meant shooting star. Then in 1811 during the War of 1812 a great comet was seen which rose Tecumseh to stardom literally. He was to bring the largest confederacy of natives together that had a training camp at Tippee Canoe. After a defeat they were forced to make ties with the British. During this time Tecumseh led the battle of Detroit by fooling the Americans that he had a force 3 times the size they did by circling the same troops on the fort. At the Battle of the Thames he would be killed, it is believed for they never confirmed his remains or the person who would have killed him.

So what is with his curse? William Harrison, was the oldest president elected at the time, was the first to die from the curse and the current oldest president ever elected was Ronald Reagan who was the last. Harrison died a month in office and Reagan survived 2 terms after a failed assassination. So let’s start closer to the present with the history of the curse.

John Warnock Hinckley Jr. was released on September 10th 2016 from St. Elizabeth in Washington D.C. Garfield’s assassin, Charles Julius Guiteau, and Andrew Jackson’s attempted assassin Richard Lawrence were interned here as well. Lawrence tried killing Jackson in support of the Second National Bank of the United States. Garfield was a supporter of the Gold Standard and investigated the Black Friday Gold Panic Scandal, could someone delude Guiteau to serve their purposes? St. Elizabeth was founded by Dr. Miller who was present at William Harrison’s death of typhoid. For most of its history it has served as the mental asylum for military officers. Augustus Owsley Stanley III was also placed in St. Elizabeth who was The Beatles and Ken Kesey LSD dealer. The hospital will in the near future become the new headquarters for Homeland Defense which came about after September 11th. Hinckley would have been the last assassin to be involved in the curse, but he failed.

The full list of presidents who befell Tecumseh’s Curse:

William Harrison  Poisoned March 26th                                             died April 4th 1841

Zachary Taylor Poisoned July 4th                                                         died July 9th 1850

Abraham Lincoln Shot Good Friday April 14th                                 died April 15th 1865 ?

James A. Garfield shot July 2nd                                                            died September 19th 1881

William McKinley shot September 6th                                               died September 14th 1901

Warren G. Harding Poisoned, Suicide, or Heart Attack                 died August 2nd 1923

Franklin D. Roosevelt Cerebral Hemorrhage March 29th              died April 12th 1945

John F. Kennedy November 26th                                                         Shot dead

Ronald Reagan Shot March 30th 1981                                                Survived

Reagan brought the curse to an end. At the time Russia was sending submarines to invade Poland in response to their Solidarity Movement. Was Reagan thinking of supporting the Poles? The Greatest American Hero just premiered with the main character Ralph Hinckley, later renamed Ralph Hanley. Around the assassination attempt Neil Bush of Standard Oil and Winston Partners ate dinner with Scott Hinckley of Vanderbilt Oil in Denver and brother to the would be assassin. The Hinckleys and Bushs grew up together in Texas.

Another look at the list:

Five were shot.

Four killed by Doctors.

Four were dying in April.

Three were hospitalized in March.

Three possibly poisoned.

Two hospitalized in July.

Two died in September.

Now it all started with Stephen White, Daniel Webster, and Henry Clay’s plan of assassinating their political candidate William Harrison for his refusal of creating a new national bank. After Stephen White’s death in the same year of Harrison, Clay and Webster would go on and kill Zachary Taylor making the second to befall Tecumseh’s Curse. They will also murder James Knox Polk 3 months after he leaves office and 13 month before Taylor’s assassination. So technically Polk does not count in the curse. Polk was murdered for supporting Jackson as Speaker of the House in his removal of the Second Bank of the United States and making an Independent Treasury while he served as president.

Along the way William Harrison lost a child 2 weeks before he became president; Webster, and Clay who did not trust each other would lose several family members mysteriously; Clay and Webster would both die in 1852 without seeing the Third Bank of the United States created.  So many had died and the bank would not be created till 1913.

Was Anyone Else Suspicious?

Has anyone in our century questioned Harrison, Polk, or Taylor’s death? Clara Rising, a former University of Florida professor was studying the life of Zachary Taylor. Upon doing so she began questioning his death. Upon further study she had enough questions and historical evidence to contact Taylor’s closest living relative, John McIlhenny, to ask for his remains to be exhumed.

This would not be the first president to be exhumed. The coffin of Abraham Lincoln, another who suffered Tecumseh’s Curse, was opened 4 times. Most recently on Sept. 26, 1901 to confirm that it contained his remains. Robert Todd Lincoln would be at his father’s death and also present at Garfield’s assassination. Abraham Lincoln was shot on Good Friday…That is a totally different story about his and Booth’s survival…

Zachary Taylor was exhumed on January 17th 1991 with officials, a new flag for his coffin, and 20 onlookers. Some present were other relatives of the dead president. Louise LeBourgeois who was observing was his great-great-great-great-granddaughter.

Rising was not the first to bring his death into debate. In 1978, Hamilton Smith based his assassination theory on the timing of drugs, the lack of confirmed cholera or Typhoid outbreaks, and other material. Also after Lincoln’s death it was widely mentioned he was assassinated just like Taylor.

So that is the skippy on Tecumseh’s Curse…

Sub Rosa Book Cover

To find out more read Sub Rosa and learn more about this and other amazing ways how Salem MA shaped American History up to the present. Advance Readers copies for sale on Amazon.com, Remember Salem, and Jolie Tea.