Salem Common. The largest house in the center is the home of Senator Nathaniel Silsbee, now the home of the Knights of Columbus. This home was purchased from bribes by Joshua Bates, an agent for Barring Brothers Bank, to lobby for the creation of The Second Bank of the United States. The First Bank of the United States just lost its charter in 1811 when the house was built. Bates went to several men in Salem and bribed them to help create the new bank. Both bank’s charters were let to lapse because it was found that over 70% of our treasury ended up in the hands of the British. Silsbee became a director of the Second Bank of the United States in Boston.
After the war of 1812 and the failed Hartford Convention, President James Monroe visited this home to help heal the wounds of the Hartford Convention by appointing the Federalists Silsbee, Joseph Story, Daniel Webster, and Stephen White to directorships in The Second Bank of the United States he would create. He also toured Salem’s underground through this house with Charles Bulfinch who he would hire to build the tunnels in Washington D.C.
For more info read Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin available at Jolie Tea, Remember Salem, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.