became the property of the town, and in 1816,
when the present almshouse was built, a large
portion of it was enclosed, and has since been
cultivated as the almshouse farm.
The situation of Salem is low, but pleasant and
healthy. Its streets are quite irregular. Essex
is the only street which runs through the town,
and is very angular and crooked. Federal and
Bridge Streets are broad, straight, and regular.
Chestnut is esteemed the handsomest, though it is
not the most public street. It has rows of fine elms
on either side. Winter and Broad Streets are the
widest. The first pavement was made in Essex
Street, between Court and North Streets, in 1773.
The compact part of the city is over a mile and a
half in length, and three fourths of a mile in
width, extending across the peninsula. A bridge
over the North River, 1481 feet long, connects
the city with Beverly, and with some of its own
suburbs. North of this is the railroad bridge,
which also connects with Beverly.
The history of Salem is identified with that of
Massachusetts. Its Indian name was Naumlceag.
It was first settled in 1626, by Roger Conant,
Peter Palfrey, and others, who had failed in an
attempt to plant themselves at Cape Ann. In
1628, a cession of Massachusetts was made to Sir
Henry Roswell and others, with a view to estab-
lish a colony there. Of this company, Matthew
Cradock was president, and in 1628, John Endicott
was sent over to reside at Salem, as the company's
agent. The next year the first church was formed,
with Rev. Francis Higginson as its pastor, which
was the first completely organized Protestant
church formed in North America.
Salem has always been a commercial place.
It has a convenient harbor and good anchorage.
In point of wealth and commerce, it has always
ranked as the second town in New England. Its
rank, the character and number of its population,
its facilities for commerce, and the advantage of
being the chosen residence of many of the first
and most distinguished settlers, made it early and
seriously thought of as the capital, instead of
The commerce of Salem has been very much
extended.. There is hardly any part of the world
which her ships have not visited. The number
of vessels engaged in foreign commerce is over
100, besides a number in the whaling business.
This seaport has been more known for its East
India trade than any other in the United States.
The first ship from Salem engaged in this trade
was the Grand Turk, owned by E. H. Derby.
She was at the Cape of Good Hope in 1784, com-
manded by Captain Jonathan Ingersoll, and at
Canton in 1786, commanded by Ebenezer West.
A model of this ship, completely rigged, is pre-
served in the Museum. In 1818, there were 53
vessels employed in this trade belonging to Salem,
the tonnage of which was 14,272 tons. But the
East India trade is not carried on so extensively
now as formerly from the port of Salem. Many
of the vessels which are owned here bring their
cargoes into Boston and New York. Yet, in pro-
portion to its size, Salem is now one of the
wealthiest places in the United States.
The city is well built, largely of wood, but
partly also of brick and stone. Many of the
houses are elegant, particularly on Chestnut
Street 5 and likewise in the vicinity of the Com-
mon, which is a beautiful public ground in the
E. part of the city, containing about 8£ acres. It
is enclosed, laid out in gravel walks, and bordered
with noble elms. The principal public buildings,
besides the churches, are the City Hall, the Court
House, the Custom House, a Market House,
an Almshouse, and a Hospital.
The City Hall was huilt in 1837. It has a
beautiful granite front, and is handsomely finished
and furnished within.
The Court House is likewise a new and beauti-
ful building, handsomely situated.
There are about 20 churches in Salem of the
various denominations. Several of the church
edifices have much architectural beauty. The
North Church is built of stone, with a beautiful
front of the Gothic order.
The Salem Athenaeum was incorporated in
1810. Its library contains about 11,000 volumes,
and occupies a spacious hall in Lawrence Place.
This is not only an excellent library for popular
use, but it contains an unHsually large proportion
of works of standard value. Early theological
and scientific works, and the transactions of
learned societies, are more fully represented than
in most libraries of this kind. The Essex Insti-
tute, uniting the objects of natural and civil
history, has a library of over 2500 volumes, be-
sides a good collection of maps, portraits, speci-
mens, and relics.
Among the public institutions of Salem is the
East India Marine Society, formed, in 1799, of
those who, as captains or supercargoes, have
doubled the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn.
In 1823, there were 160 of these enterprising
men resident in Salem. The Museum of this
society, consisting of the curiosities of nature and
art collected froni almost every part of the world,
is one of the most interesting and valuable in the
country. There are about 5000 different articles,
the history and use of which are described in the
catalogue. This Museum is kept in a spacious
hall, built for the purpose by the society, which
is open daily for the reception of visitors.
Although Salem is without any important
water power, and has ever been mainly devoted
to maritime pursuits, yet its manufacturing en-
terprise has been by no means inconsiderable.
The value of its manufactures at this time is
probably between three and four millions of dol-
lars. A very extensive steam cotton mill has
been set in operation within a few years past.
Salem became a city in 1836. An aqueduct
furnishes the city with a constant supply of soft
spring water. The railroad between Salem and
Boston was opened in 1838, which brings it
within 50 minutes of that metropolis. There
is another road opened to Boston, through Dan-
vers, going from Reading over the Boston and
Maine Railroad. On leaving the Salem station
for the E., the trains pass through a tunnel built
under Essex and Washington Streets, and thence
over the North River. Other railroads respec-
tively connect Salem with Marblehead on the S.,
with Cape Ann on the E., with Lawrence and
with Lowell on the N. W.
The celebrated witchcraft delusion prevailed
in Salem in 1692, during the continuance of
which 19 persons were condemned and hanged
as witches. The house in,which the accused
were tried is still standing, at the corner of Essex
and North Streets, and the place of their, execu-
tion is now known, as Gallows Hill.'' From this
now smiling eminence the most beautiful view;
of the city is to be obtained. Though common-