Timothy Pickering and the Hartford Convention

He was Once Secretary of State for Two Presidents….

Engraving of Timothy Pickering

The Hartford Convention. The first time secession was planned was way before the Civil War and it was led by Salem’s Essex Junto. Timothy Pickering who had served Washington and Adams as Secretary of State led this group at Hartford during the War of 1812. Massachusetts already pulled financial and military aid from the war when the Junto went to the convention. By the time they left to gather in Hartford Connecticut, the peace treat was signed in Ghent across the ocean. By the time they got to Washington D.C. with their resolutions Jackson and Lafitte just defeated Wellington’s army in New Orleans. By the time they returned to Salem everyone knew the war was over.

For more info read Sub Rosa to find out how Salem shaped America and your lives! Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.

Salem House Press
www.salemhousepress.com

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How the Revolutionary War Almost Started in Salem MA

Leslie's Retreat and the Old North Bridge in Salem, MA

In 1774 Col. David Mason of Salem purchased 19 French cannons mounted to carriages. They were hidden at Captain Foster’s shop in North Salem.

Military Governor Thomas Gage in Boston heard rumors about the canons in Salem. Gage was already distressed that Captain John Felt had taken charge of the Salem militia, and the town had hosted the Massachusetts Provincial Congress led by John Hancock. They met in a building that once stood in front of the Daniel Lowe building on the corner of Washington and Essex Street.

The members of the Massachusetts Governor’s Council was elected by the king now and not a provincial assembly, so in response the Massachusetts Provincial Congress was erected. They would become the state’s official body outside of Boston. After leaving Salem they would set up in Concord.
On February 26 Gage sent Lieut. Col. Alexander Leslie with the 64th regiment by ship to Marblehead with instructions to march to Salem with 240 troops and seize the cannons and munitions of war. Col. Leslie was known by his fellow officers as “a genteel little man who lives well and drinks good claret.”

He quietly landed with his troops at Homan’s Cove on Marblehead Neck while everyone was at mass. As soon as the ships landed a guard ran to the door of the church and sounded the alarm on his drum. They left Marblehead for Salem and encountered problems entering town when the southern bridge had boards pulled up. Upon fixing the bridge they entered the town square with bayonets fixed playing martial music.

Local Tories explained to the Colonel where to find the canons near the North Bridge. David Masons ran from his house on the east side of what is now the hill in Mack Park to the North Church yelling “the regulars are coming!”

The congregation left the church for the old North Bridge. Mason rode his horse to check on the canons and his wife and daughter went about hiding the arsenal. Captain Timothy Pickering led the Salem Militia to the bridge. Pickering, whose manual An Easy Plan for a Militia would later be used as the Continental Army drill book. Citizens from the south of town rushed the drawbridge and raised it.

Leslie ordered it to be dropped once more. In response he was barraged with insults. In an effort to calm the situation the Rev. Thomas Barnard, an x- Tory, tried to get them to let down the bridge, but Captain Foster, the blacksmith scolded him, “We don’t know you in this business. When Felt orders it’twill be time enough.”

Leslie was damned if he was not going to cross that bridge. On the other side several was on top of the upraised leaf “like so many hens at roost.” The Colonel stamped and swore and insisted that he had orders to cross it, and he would if it cost him his whole troop.

The alarm sounded and as many as 10,000 Minutemen came from surrounding towns. A cavalry rode in from Danvers, but they reached the Salem distillery and decided it needed protection. Much like at Lexington the battle started in front of the tavern.

Captain Felt was standing next to Colonel Leslie and heard him say to fire on the people. Felt responded, “Fire? You had better be dead than fire! You have no right to fire without further orders. If you do fire, you will all be dead men!” The order was not repeated and the war will have to wait two more months.

Col. Leslie told Felt “I am determined to pass over this bridge before I return to Boston, if I remain here until next Autumn.” Capt. Felt answered, “Nobody would care for that.” Leslie replied, “By God I will not be defeated.” Felt coolly replied, “You must acknowledge that you have been already baffled.”

There was gondolas on the west side of the bridge and the town inhabitants feared Leslie would use them so they set to them with axes as regulars tried to stop them.

Felt, Barnard and Mason negotiating with Col. Leslie, who was at length persuaded into a compromise instead of standing there for a few more hours. The conversation went:

“So, you came all this way just to cross a bridge?”
“Well yes, and to get the guns.”
“We’ve hidden them where you can’t find them”
“Well how can I tell the Governor that I found no guns if he learns that
I never even got across the bloody bridge?”
“You want to tell the Governor that you crossed the bridge but discovered no guns?”
“Considering the circumstances, me thinks that will suffice.”

So the bridge was lowered and they crossed for 50 yards, about faced, and marched back across. On the way by a young nurse yelled out a window, “Go home and tell your master he has sent you on a fool’s errand, and broken the peace of our Sabbath.” a soldier raised his musket at her and she continued, “What? Do you think we were born in the woods to be frightened by owls? Fire if you have the courage, but I doubt it.”

On their way back to Marblehead their band played The World Turned Upside Down the song heard years later when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. The song that was played at the beginning of the struggle wold be the last they played.

On April 18th everyone will remember the Battle of the North Bridge, with the shot heard around the world, but Salem’s stand at the North Bridge is mostly forgotten. Timothy Pickering? He would become aide de camp for Washington, the Secretary of State for him and Adams, write the Alien & Sedition Acts, and spend the rest of his life trying to give New England back to the British…

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For more tales like this about how Salem MA has shaped American History read Sub Rosa by Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin available at Barnes & Nobel, Amazon.com, and your favorite local independent book seller.
Ask for it by name!

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!!!

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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

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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.

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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!!

Greenlawn Cemetery Tunnels, and Lords of Salem

Dead Men Tell No Tales

Greenlawn Chapel and Greenhouse Salem Ma

A beautiful memorial chapel and conservatory, erected in 1894, by Walter Scott Dickson in memory of his wife, is located here. Dickson Chapel is a High Victorian Gothic work of architecture, made with light-brown granite with trim of olive stone. The conservatory was taken down in the 1970’s after it suffered damage. In 1887 the cemetery was enclosed with an iron fence and gates, 1,087 feet long. Major improvements were initiated in 1933 and 1934 with W.P.A. workers planting many botanical specimens. F. Carroll Sargent, noted arborist, brought many varieties of trees and shrubs from all over North America, China, Japan, Europe, Manchuria, Siberia and Korea to plant at the cemetery. Notable speciments are the following trees: Amur Cork, Dawn Redwood, Osage Orange, Yellowwood, and Katsura Trees. In 1934 the Workers Progress Administration (WPA) workers planted hundreds of trees. Over the years that followed, seeds of shrubs and trees were received from the Arnold Arboretum and started and nurtured in the cemetery greenhouses for eventual planting on the grounds. Longtime Cemetery Commissioner F. Carroll Sargent was instrumental in continuing the tradition of planting and propagating trees and shrubs for the cemetery. There are two bodies of water, Sargent Pond and Fountain Pond.

MA Salem Greenlawn Cemetery Pond and Bridge Color

Pond

Dickson Memorial Chapel is a hidden treasure nestled in North Salem’s Greenlawn Cemetery. The highly significant and impressive Gothic Revival, stone Dickson Memorial Chapel (1894), was designed by Newton architect George Meacham. What is truly hidden are the tunnels under it.

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

The tunnel blocked off by the stairs you enter upon would lead to Orne’s Point where a widow would sell bricks to build the tunnels in town. Another headed toward Manning’s house, a Salem Common Improvement Fund members house. The other led to that creepy crypt, now storing weed whackers. Plus there is an old crapper under a pile of bricks, I bet that was one hell of a shit.

Toilet covered in brick in the Dickson Chapekl Salem MA

Now Rob Zombie filmed Lords of Salem in this cemetery, but he did not see any of these tunnels. Not even the crypt…

Lords of Salem 14

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!

Then for a great time take the Salem Smugglers’ Tour to find out all of the secrets one can dig up in town!

Jacob Rust Store in Salem MA

Lords of Salem

Jacob Rust

Jacob Rust Store

216-220 Essex Street

This building was built for the Salem Commons Improvement Fund subscriber Jacob Rust in 1801. This is the first storefront from the time of Elias Hasket Derby Jr’s tenure at digging tunnels that was connected. Jacob rust had owned Rust Wharf that had a prison ship docked there from 1812 to 1815 during the War with England. Where I grew up in NJ there was this Chinese house. Who ever bought it bought the restaurant with it. It was a package deal. Only thing cooler in Salem was, when you bought the house you got to walk through a tunnel to work. The Jacob Rust house on the corner of Hamilton and Essex Street was also connected to the tunnel along with his neighbor on Beckford Street. Next door on Essex Street is the house Rob Zombie’s wife’s apartment in Lords of Salem.

Essex Street in Salem MA

The House rising out of the rear of the bus is the Apartment house from Lords of Salem.

Now the the Jacob Rust store is owned by Cabot Money Management. The Cabot Farm in north Salem is a private place on a public road owned by Cabot Money Management’s owners. Orne’s Point was bought by Joseph Cabot. Joseph Sebastian Cabot (October 8, 1796 – June 29, 1874) was a Massachusetts banker and politician who served as the fourth Mayor of Salem, Massachusetts.Cabot was president of the Asiatic Bank,the Salem Savings Bank, and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society that resided in Greenlawn Cemetery. He was also the Massachusetts State Bank Commissioner.

Now Lords of Zombie was filmed in the Greenlawn Cemetery too, but they did not get to film in the coolest part. In the basement of the chapel there is three tunnels. One leading to Orne’s Point. The one heading north opens up to a chamber that was once used to house corpses in the winter. The one heading southeast heads toward Manning’s house where Hawthorne and his mother used to live. Manning had owned part of the cemetery for hi nursery. This tunnel terminates on an old staircase.

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If you are caught walking on that public road with its public park and you wake up the Cabot’s guard rooster you are in trouble. Someone from their house will drive up and down the road and they will call the police. That public road is badly humped from the erosion of the tunnel leading from the chapel in Green Lawn Cemetery to their field. Then in their field you can see further erosion as a path raises out of a marsh and then forks to their homes. The path exposes the two tunnels leading to their homes on the farm. The homes have several secret passages in them I am told. Plus they have easy access to the North River where they could land goods to smuggle into town. Or at least the Orne’s Could.

Timothy Pickering Salem MA

Timothy Pickering. Secretary of State for Washington and Adams.

On this lot was a widow desperate for income who started a brick yard. Could she of been making bricks for the smugglers? Timothy Pickering ordered 200,000 from her. Mr. Orne who the Orne’s Point is named after had Richard Derby and George Crowninshield start off their careers in his counting house. He also had a famous tavern here at one point.

Rust’s store displays the regular exterior chimneys that can be found on most homes connected by the tunnels. It’s the first brick store front from the time of the Salem Commons Improvement Fund subscribers secret tunnel digging expedition and below are pictures of the sealed up entrances.

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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!

Then for a great time take the Salem Smugglers’ Tour to find out all of the secrets one can dig up in town!

Orne’s Point, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Uncle, and the Tunnels Under the Greenlawn Cemetery Chapel

The Greenlawn Cemetery in the North Fields of Salem, MA was once owned buy Nathaniel Hawthorne’s uncle Manning. Manning was one of 158 subscribers who paid for the beautification of the local common which was a disguise for an elaborate plan to connect most of the town to a network of deceit. A series of smuggling tunnels ran under the city and some of them went through Manning’s old tree nursery which is now the cemetery.

This picturesque cemetery has recently been a location in the Rob Zombie’s film Lords of Salem. The film crew received access to the chapel and graveyard, but they did not gain access to the tunnels below and the crypts…

Then this tunnel is blocked off by a modern set of stairs (cellar stairs not being historically accurate to a building of this age usually were converted tunnel entrances.) that once led to the Cabot Farm. The Cabot Farm was first owned by 3 generations of men named Timothy Orne. The last of the three gentlemen dies young and leaves behind a widow who remains penniless until she starts selling bricks in 1804. The brickyard was run by her son-in-law Thomas Cushing who builds a house on Orne’s Point. He would also own the building in which becomes the Bowman’s Bakery on Essex Street.  Cushing would die in 1806 leaving the operation to Elihu Eggleston who had been making the bricks for them for several years. The widow Cushing had to only collect the money.

 

 

One of the widow Cushing’s first orders was to Pickering Dodge. He had purchased 300,000 bricks. Now lets look at the numbers. Here is an estimate from one site on the web:

If it is assumed that the entire exterior of a 2,400-square-foot house is brick, then it would take about 5,226 bricks in a single layer to cover 2,400 square feet of space.

Mr. Dodge’s order was roughly 60 times what would be needed for one home. Dodge’s home at 29 Chestnut Street might be a large home, but not that large. He was the nephew of Timothy Pickering who was one of Washington’s generals and Secretary of State. Timothy Pickering was the infamous writer of the Alien & Sedition Acts.  Mrs. Cushing was said to have had several large orders like Mr. Dodge’s in the years to come.

Where were all of those bricks going? Could someone have propositioned the desperate widow who was selling off property after her husband died to furnish bricks for the clandestine tunnels in town? The Orne’s were a merchant family with property on the river. A convenient location for smugglers. You can see the tunnels split like a Y in a field on Orne’s Point. Also Orne Street is badly humped from the erosion around the tunnels below it. Here are the pictures of the tunnels running under the old hot house next to the chapel.

The North Fields were also said to be a hotbed of abolitionist spirit. Many homes could of been connected in this area to help runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad.  Here are a few more pictures.

Green_HouseFor more information make sure you read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City by Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin. Also look out for its sequel Sub Rosa coming out this summer! How the men who built the tunnels in the city conspired to have two presidents killed, crash the nations economy, reinterpret the Constitution, and started the drug war in the nineteenth century.