H.P. Lovecraft and Salem MA

HP Lovecraft and Salem MA

March 1931 H.P. Lovecraft of Providence Rhode Island will write At the Mountains of Madness. A story that is set inside the interior of Antarctica. One of the characters Frank H. Pabodie will be based on George Peabody’s family. It also mentions the Miskatonic Institute which is based on a Salem institute.

H.P. Lovecraft would travel to Salem, MA in 1923 and 1929. Salem and various surrounding towns will appear in his works. These trips to towns in Essex county would become the basis for the fictional towns in his narratives.

Arkham was from Salem to Ipswich. Innsmouth would be Gloucester and Ipswich. Kingsport would be the city of Marblehead. Many of the locations and buildings in these towns he used as settings for his town still exist. In Salem the Crowninshield-Bentley House would be the setting for the Thing on the Doorstep. People we have mentioned in my narrative, the Crowninshields and Derbys, would be characters in the story. The first story Arkham appears in is The Picture in the House.

The Thing on the Doorstep was set behind the Hawthorne Hotel when the doorstep faced the Common. A female cousin is talking to her male cousin of her possession by their ancestors, Derbys and Crowninshields, as she is shrinking into a dwarf. At the end of the narrative the thing on the doorstep goes running into the Common. The house is now next to the house Joseph White was murdered in.

Other locations include the Old Burying Point, Essex Institute, and Danvers State Hospital. The Old Burying Point appears in Pickman’s Model. Pickman was another smuggling family inside Salem. The Essex Institute, now part of the Peabody Essex Institute, becomes the Miskatonic Institute. It appears in At the Mountain of Madness, Shadow Out of Time, Dunwich Horror, Dreams in the Witch House, and Herbert West- Reanimator. The last story deals with a typhoid outbreak. The Essex Institute hosted the Salem Lyceum lectures in which John Quincy Adams spoke on politics, James Russell Lowell read parts of Dante’s Inferno, Longfellow would try out new pieces at, and Alexander Graham Bell would have his first public demonstration of the phone. Nathaniel Hawthorne was their secretary.

Arkham Sanitarium is Danver’s State Hospital. Danver’s State Hospital and it appears in Pickman’s Model and Shadow over Innsmouth. The real sanitarium was inspired by Thomas Story Kirkbride. He was the founder of the precursor to the American Psychiatric Association. Many hospitals would be based on his Kirkbride Plan, including Dr. Thomas Miller’s St. Elizabeth in Washington D.C. Kirkbride developed his requirements based on a philosophy of moral Treatment. The typical floor plan, with long rambling wings arranged en echelon (staggered, so each connected wing received sunlight and fresh air), was meant to promote privacy and comfort for patients. The building form itself was meant to have a curative effect, “a special apparatus for the care of lunacy, [whose grounds should be] highly improved and tastefully ornamented.” The idea of institutionalization was thus central to Kirkbride’s plan for effectively treating patients with mental illnesses.

The asylums tended to be large, imposing, Victorian-era institutional buildings within extensive surrounding grounds, which often included farmland, sometimes worked by patients as part of physical exercise and therapy.

Danvers State Hospital was built in 1878. Following Kirkbride’s direction it was a shining star, even though the first prefrontal lobotomy had happened here. By the time when the psychiatric field turned toward over predominance of pharmaceutical treatment it became hell on Earth. When I moved to Salem in 1992 the institute closed a day after my birthday on January 24th. For the most part they just opened their doors and let the patients walk out. Many would find their way to Salem where the Crombie Street Shelter was. Built behind Stephen White’ Barton Square Church.

These gentlemen provided lots of local color to Salem. There was Kevin and Ken always around. Then there was Dreadbeard. One was a millionaire who got weekly stipends. You would see him with a new laptop or digital camera at times. Many times he would sell them after and hour for $5 to a local merchant. Once he showed me pictures on his digital SLR camera of the view from an airplane of St. Thomas where he decided to be homeless for the winter.

Danvers State Hospital was left abandoned for years. Many would venture through the various tunnels on the property which were so scary that Hells Angels have been know to run out of it. If it is not haunted, it definitely is eerie with the scrawling of troubled minds on the walls. The tunnels connected the wings to a donkey engine rail to move carts of laundry and food.

My friend John Archer was one of thee main supporters of an effort to preserve the buildings from contractors in 2005. The center Kirkbride building was saved along with 4 apartment complexes, that would mysteriously burn down where they wanted a new parking lot. John Archer was able to salvage much of the interior and a cupola to be used in the construction of a new wing to his mansion. It has been written up in the New York Times Magazine and other periodicals. John was so kind to extend the use of his mansion for a group 40th birthday party for me and my friends catered by the great Boston catering company Brandi Foods.

Danvers State Hospital will appear in the film Session 9 and will inspire Batman authors to use it as Arkham Asylum in their DC universe. Lovecraft actively admired and supported authors who would develop stories based on his lexicon of mythology.

Other locations used in Lovecraft stories would include the Witch House and the Derby House. The Derby House is where Elias Hasket Derby Jr. grew up who extended the tunnels in 1801 in town. The Witch House was the residence of Roger Williams. Williams was a minister in the First Church in Salem before the Witch Trials. He was removed from town for his beliefs that Native Americans should be fairly compensated for their property and he believed in separation of church and state. In fact it was Thomas Jefferson’s studies on the trials which inspired him to include separation of church and state in the First Amendment. Williams would go on and become the founder of Rhode Island and the Baptist Church.

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.
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Strange Alcoholic Tales from Salem MA

lydiaRev. Theobold Mathew, or Father Mathew (1790-1856), was an Irish temperance reformer who founded a mission in Cork, Ireland. The Father Mathew Total Abstinence Society, mostly Irish, was founded to inspire males to abjure from alcohol. He was a big proponent of social activities, including picnics, dances and sporting events. Within nine months, no less than 150,000 people had enrolled and took his abstinence pledge. His movement was also successful in Liverpool, Manchester, and London before it spread to America.

Despite ill health, “the apostle of temperance” Father Mathew lead a successful campaign across the United States. For two years he made his way across America, visiting Salem in Sept. of 1849 and President Taylor in the White House February of 1850.

After his visit the Total Abstinence Society became prosperous and would buy the Gideon Tucker Mansion in 1875 on Essex Street. One of the many homes connected to the tunnels in Salem. They erected a statue in his honor in 1887. They placed it in front of the Phoenix Hall near a poisoned well and a distillery. The distillery ran from Charter to Derby Street on the old grounds of Stephen White’s wharf. Somebody did not believe it was an apt place for the statue.

In 1916, the statue was moved from Central and Charter Streets to its present location, the corner of Derby Street and Hawthorne Boulevard (also known as Bertram Park.) Then in 1920 Prohibition started.
In 1922, Lydia’s Pinkham’s daughter Aroline Pinkham Chase Gove founded the Lydia E. Pinkham Memorial Clinic to provide health services to young mothers and their children; right across from the Father Mathew Statue. April of that same year, the Boston Globe reported on the sudden rise of “baby-carriage bootleggers” and described women as “champion booze hiders.” Woman tucked bottles under blankets, under mattresses, and on children. “The most popular refuge picked by the woman for contraband booze is the pocket hidden beneath her skirt,” they reported. “A properly tailored dress will secrete a number of bottles about the person without the hazard of clinking glass or gurgling nozzles.” The most common producer of these drinks were Lydia Pinkham.

Lydia Pinkham produced remedies to end womanly complaints. Most were 18% alcohol; others reached as high as 40 proof. Life Magazine had said, “Two or three bottles taken at once will make any woman forget her complaints, and her Christian name.”

She was the first woman to put her face on a product. The only other woman’s face that was as popular was Queen Victoria and many didn’t know the difference. Her ad campaigns read, “A fearful tragedy-Clergyman of Stratford, Conn. Killed by his own wife-Insanity brought on by 16 years of female complaints the cause-Lydia Pinkham Vegetable Compound-The sure cure to these complaints.” Advertising copy urged women to write to Mrs. Pinkham. They did, and they received answers. They continued to write and receive answers for decades after Pinkham’s own death.

Life is strange and city hall is stranger. Somebody on the license board had a sense of humor. They allowed the building that commemorated the woman who got women hammered during prohibition to be built next to the statue of the Irish Priest who tried to get men to remain sober….
For more stories like this about how Salem has shaped American History read Sub Rosa. Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and your favorite local independent book seller.

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Strange Ties to the Clue Murder in Salem, Another Ghastly Murder, and Zachary Taylor’s attempted Assassination

Webster Prkman Murder SketchAround August 12th, 1849 in Meadville, Pennsylvania on a northern tour of the country 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 with a severe stomach complaint, but survived. Prescott was sick before leaving Boston to meet Taylor. 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 and die.  I believe typhoid incubates for a week or two? Can it lay dormant longer? Well at least it was a valiant attempt by Prescott. His father was involved with the Essex Junto, Northern Confederacy, the Hartford Convention, an secession from America during the War of 1812. One of the fabulous smugglers who ventured through the tunnels of Salem, MA.

Now as Prescott was leaving Boston for Washington 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 after he murdered Chief Justice Parker. Since he heard the case for Selman and Chase he could not hear the case for Knapps. He was also married to a Knapp. So it proved a horrible choice for Webster to make.

Also the suspect was John White Webster. 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.

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 incinerator in the school.

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 Bartholomew 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.

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..


For More tales like this from Salem, MA read Sub Rosa and learn how Salem shaped American History. The book is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and your local Book Seller.
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Salem History is Electrifying!!!!!

In 1835 the first public demonstration of the electric motor as a means of providing motive power for transportation was made by Thomas Davenport, of Brandon, Vermont. In 1847 Moses Farmer of Salem built a two-passenger electric train and in 1851 Charles Grafton Page invented a 16-mph electric train. These two inventors’s from Salem would go on to do so much.

In 1847, Farmer constructed “an electromagnetic locomotive, and with forty-eight-pint cup cells of Grove nitric acid battery drew a little car carrying two passengers on a track a foot and a half wide”. He would travel throughout the country exhibiting this train during his lectures allowing children to ride it. Elihu Thomson, GE founder, would have a small train on his estate in Swampscott, MA. I wonder if he bought Farmer’s train for his kids to ride.

In 1851, Charles Grafton Page demonstrated an electric motor car capable of 16 MPH. It ran on the B & O Railroad tracks leaving Washington for Baltimore. It suffered many setbacks on the journey and proved not to be a commercial success.

Charles Grafton Page was born to Captain Jeremiah “Jere” Lee Page and Lucy Lang Page on January 25, 1812, in Salem, having eight siblings, four of each gender, he was the only one of five sons to pursue a career into mature adulthood. One of his brothers died in infancy. Brother George died from typhoid at age sixteen, brother Jerry perished on a sea expedition to the Caribbean at age twenty-five, and Henry, afflicted by poliomyelitis, was not able to support himself. In writing to Charles during his final voyage, Jerry expressed the family’s hope for his success: “You are the only classical Page in our book.” Page married Priscilla Sewall Webster in 1844.

Page was an accomplished singer and ventriloquist. One way he used his ventriloquist abilities was to prove that the famous Fox Sisters were frauds. Electricity was being bundled together with other pseudosciences like spiritualism. By confronting hoaxes he believed that electricity could be seen removed from the category and become more respected.

During the Civil War in 1863, Union soldiers broke into his laboratory and destroyed his equipment, inventions and laboratory notebooks. Also a fire in the Smithsonian Institution destroyed many of his other inventions in 1865. One was a powerful electrical magnet that could lift a thousand pounds. He worked in the patent office in D.C. for several years. Now he is mostly forgotten, but he had once been important in the development of the telegraph. I wonder if he was the model for how the government would sequester Tesla’s life work from us today.

The Electrics… In 1890 thanks to William Morrison, a chemist who lived in Des Moines, Iowa batteries were created to run electric cars efficiently for the time. His six-passenger vehicle capable of a top speed of 14 miles per hour helped spark interest in electric vehicles. It was not until 1895 that Americans began to devote attention to electric vehicles, after A.L. Ryker introduced the first electric tricycles to the America, by that point, Europeans had been making use of electric tricycles, bicycles, and cars for almost 15 years.

Farmer, Page, and even Dixon working with Frances Peabody were making trains, but Louis B. Packard was making electric cars. In Salem, we had one of the early electrical car companies. Packard Electrics made the Four Wheel Packard Electric in 1896 and the Three Wheel Packard Electric in 1898. Both electrics were built by Lucius B. Packard at his shop on the corner of Liberty and Derby Streets at the foot of the Olde Burial Point seawall. Previously to him, it was a sea mechanic shop and launch. The Salem Wax Museum now stands on that location. He was a wheelwright and a cabinet maker who tinkered in everything. The three-wheeler was destroyed in the Great Salem Fire of 1914, the year of his death. Also David M. Little would build his steam truck around 1900 in his boatyard on a wharf off Derby Street. It could reach a speed of 35 miles per hour.

Now steam was more popular than electric all the way up to 1900, but electrics came in at a close second with gas-powered vehicles the least popular. In 1900 in the United States, 4,192 cars were produced: 1,681 steam cars, 1,575 electric, and only 936 gasoline cars.

The smoke, the noise, and the muscle needed to start a gas-powered car originally took it out of the market for most. Electric runabouts were great for city dwellers. Especially women who did not have the strength to turn the hand crank in the front of the car. Most people could not leave the city with them because of the battery life, plus they could only reach 30 miles an hour so rural travel was hard for them. Plus the roads were pretty rough outside of the cities…

Very few rural Americans had electricity at that time. To overcome this problem an exchangeable battery service was first proposed as early as 1896. Hartford Electric Light Company through the GeVeCo battery service were the first to offer this service to electric trucks. The owner purchased the vehicle from General Vehicle Company (GeVeCo, a subsidiary of the General Electric Company) without a battery and the electricity was purchased from Hartford Electric Light Company through an exchangeable battery plan. The owner paid a monthly service fee and a variable per-mile charge. Both vehicles and batteries were modified to facilitate a fast battery exchange. From 1910 to 1924 their vehicles traveled more than 6 million miles.

Thomas Edison and Elihu Thomson tried their hands at making electrics and steamers in the next town south, Lynn. Professor Herman Lemp, who worked for the General Electric Co. convinced them that there was a market for the electrics. They created many cars, but they never got around to mass marketing any. They ended up as company vehicles, even though many claimed they were the best of their time.

It started in 1897, Elihu Thomson and Elwin W. Rice believed that manufacturing automobiles were advantageous to their corporation. The actual construction of their first car began in March and it was on the streets of Lynn on the Third of July. Their first car could carry eight persons with a 3 horse powered motor at a speed at 14-18 mph with a radius of 20 miles.

Arthur Stanley was a foreman of General Electric in charge of the experimental cars. He built his own steam car in 1906. By early summer he was driving it along Revere Beach Boulevard at speeds up to 70 mph. The car’s odometer in time would read 160,000 miles. Also in Lynn, Clarence Simmonds who was an employee at the Lynn Gas and Electric Company built a 2 cylinder vertical engine, using naphtha as fuel for the burner and featured a porcupine type boiler. It took only 5 minutes to get the proper amount of steam to reach a top speed of 10 mph. He gained permission from the city to drive his car at certain times to and from work only. He was friends with the Stanley Twins. The Stanley twins from Newton, Ma. Twins Francis E. Stanley (1849–1918) and Freelan O. Stanley (1849–1940) founded the company after selling their photographic dry plate business to Eastman Kodak. They created the Stanley Steamers we are all familiar with. Eastman Kodak would have a plant in Peabody. Ma for several years.
Back in Salem in 1902, Lock Regulator Company built a four-passenger steam runabout that was named the “Puritan”. In Danvers Ralph Hood created the Electromagnetic Steamer manufactured by the Simplex Motor Vehicle Company. The company was incorporated in 1900 but made its first car in 1899. Then Otto Hood created a hybrid car in Peabody. His company the Vaughn Machine Co. changed its name to Corwin Mfg. Co. in 1903. They also had American rights to the coal-powered 35 horse powered Coulthard truck. It had a carrying capacity of 6 tons and was capable of hauling a trailer with a 5-ton load.

By 1912, the gasoline car costs only $650, while an electric roadster sold for $1,750. That same year, Charles Kettering introduced the electric starter, eliminating the need for the hand crank and giving rise to more gasoline-powered vehicle sales. So even women would be won over. Most of what drove the prices down for the gas-powered car was Henry Ford’s assembly line.

Now we have touched on Moses Farmer, Elihu Thomson, and Thomas Edison, but we have not mentioned Nikola Tesla yet. Before War World I Tesla had worked with John Hays Hammond Jr. of Magnolia section of Gloucester, MA.

Roger Conant had lived in Gloucester before moving the Old Planters to Salem, Ma in 1626. It is about a half-hour from Salem on the coast. Many movies like the Russians are Coming and The Perfect Storm were filmed there. Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler would spend summers there painting. Now in front of the old smugglers East Church, The Salem Witch Museum, off the Common stands a statue of him in Roman fashion. Roman’s never learned to make free-standing sculpture without props to hold them up. He is not a witch, but if you look at him at the right angle the placement of his hand when viewed from the old church makes him look like he is engaged in a lewd behavior. Or at the very least, relieving himself. The moral to the story, never rush an artist…

Hammond and Tesla had worked on robotics, remote guidance, and torpedoes. Most of these inventions Tesla invented but allowed Hammond to pursue them as commercial ventures for the Navy. Hammond proposed they create the Tesla-Hammond Wireless Development Co. Beyond creating a better torpedo, Hammond shared his dreams of free electricity. A project J.P. Morgan pulled the plug on when he was creating the Wardenclyffe Tower. In the end like many others, including Edison, Hammond just took advantage of Tesla and stole his inventions.

Also, John Hays Hammond Sr. worked with the Guggenheims to acquire silver mines in Mexico and the Utah Copper Company. J.P. Morgan was trying to invest in this concern as well. Tesla free electricity would put a serious dent in their $100 million dollar profit a year laying out wire on telephone poles. So it seems both Hammonds might of worked against him.

John Hays Hammond Jr.’s wife was a spiritualist who conducted many seances in his castle. Hammond also an occultist experimented with ESP with Eileen Garnett. Hammond placed Garrett in a Faraday cage, a cage designed to keep out electromagnetic waves, to determine whether ESP used electromagnetic frequencies as a carrier wave. Tesla determined ESP waves were not carried by electromagnetic waves, since she communicated with others a half-mile away.

Hammond Castle still has a Tesla coil that produces lightning in a room which can even simulate rain. Tesla never visited the castle, for he met Hammond in his father’s estate. In 1965 many of the documents Tesla and Hammond created would be confiscated as top secret from the castle. Many rumors still exist about Tesla’s personal document was confiscated upon his death in his room at the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan as well.

One says the F.B.I. had called in Dr. John Trump of M.I.T., Donald Trump’s uncle, to go through his papers and read them. Many people thought Tesla might have been working on a death ray that might fall into the wrong hands. Professor Trump examined Tesla’s papers and equipment and told the F.B.I. not to worry: Tesla’s “thoughts and efforts during at least the past 15 years were primarily of a speculative, philosophical, and somewhat promotional character,” but “did not include new, sound, workable principles or methods for realizing such results.”

Now there are rumors that Tesla had provided power to the Naumkeag Steam Cotton Co. in Salem. I have not found the original source that I was informed about this from, but Moses Farmer, and Thomas Edison would join him to light up the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 in Chicago. He was in Gloucester with John Hays Hammond Jr. from 1912-1913. The plant would be electrified in 1916 after it was razed in the Great Salem Fire of 1914. He had enough connections to this region and its people to make it a possibility.

OK (Old Kinder Hook), I brought up Moses Farmer a few times already, but who was he? Moses Farmer was the son of Col. John Farmer. In 1846 he constructed a small electromagnetic locomotive, also a small railroad track, and exhibited it in various towns and cities with accompanying lectures, and demonstrating how the principle could be used with torpedoes and sub-marine blasting. In the expositions he gave rides to small children on his train. Could Thomson have bought it for his children in Swampscott? I know I asked that already…In 1848 he moves to Salem from Eliot, Maine.

He built a platinum filament incandescent light in 1859. At the age of 39 in 1869 while living in Salem, Massachusetts, he lit the parlor of his home at 11 Pearl St. with incandescent lamps and the Farmer Dynamo, the first house in the world to be lit by electricity. It was powered by his batteries in the basement. My friends Don Goldman and his son Andy Goldman now live in the house. Andy has created these illuminated balls that he has crowds in Boston play with during their first night celebrations.

They are called Have a Ball. Originally part of a Newton’s Cradle he took them apart to be used for Boston’s first-night celebration a few years back. They were suspended in the air and you were encouraged to hit them so they would light up the night. Finally, they were used as tether balls at burning man. Could Andy have been inspired by the house?

Moses Farmer’s early light bulb was bought by Edison. Farmer and his partner William Wallace invented the early dynamo which powered a system of arc lights he exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia. The threat Farmer was creating a better mousetrap forced Edison to work on an improved incandescent light. Edison used the Wallace-Farmer 8 horsepower, 6.0 kW, dynamo to power his early electric light demonstrations.

Farmer would die at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. Most of his legacy was left for the betterment of society. He and his wife were spiritualists, they felt that their talents were God-given. A belief he shared with Tesla which failed to give him great commercial success. His daughter Sarah Jane Farmer at his estate in Eliot, Maine would found a Baha’i retreat where the Russo-Japanese War came to an end on August 31st, 1905 with the Portsmouth Treaty signed in Kittery, Maine at the Portsmouth Navy Yard on September 5th.

The funny thing about the Navy, their bases are never in the towns they are named after. Portsmouth Navy Yard is not in Portsmouth NH, but Kittery, Maine. Lakehurst Naval and Engineering is in Manchester and not Lakehurst NJ. Plus Lakehurst is a half-hour drive from the ocean…
Revenue Agents…

Now south of Salem are the two towns of Swampscott and Lynn. Thomson-Houston Electric Co. was a manufacturing company that was one of the precursors of the General Electric Co. which was housed in Lynn.

Elihu Thomson who had that kids train lived in Swampscott. He also created the electrical meters on the outside of your house. In 1883 Thomson-Houston Electric Co. was formed when many Lynn shoe company investors led by Charles A. Coffin bought out Elihu Thomson and Edwin Houston’s American Electric Co. from their New Britain, Connecticut investors. Then they moved their company to Western Avenue in Lynn. Lynn would not only be known as “Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin”, but as the shoe capital of the world until the 1980’s. In 1889 Thomson-Houston Electric Co. deployed power plants in the South, including two in Atlanta, Georgia to run their electric lighting.

Coffin organized the finances and marketing; Elwin W. Rice managed the manufacturing; Thomson ran the Model Room which was an industrial research lab. The company was worth $10 million in sales and had 4,000 employees by 1892. Thomson-Houston Electric Co. later merged with the Edison General Electric Co. of Schenectady, New York to form the General Electric Co. in 1892, with plants in Lynn and Schenectady, both of which remain to this day as the two original GE factories. In 1889 Drexel, Morgan & Co. had outmaneuvered Thomas Edison. Drexel, Morgan & Co., a company founded by J.P. Morgan and Anthony J. Drexel, financed Edison’s research and helped merge Edison’s varied companies under one corporation to form Edison General Electric Company which was incorporated on April 24, 1889.

Also in Salem was Frank Poor, a rich man who always remained Poor. Sylvania traces its roots back to 1901, when young entrepreneur Frank Poor became a partner in a small company in Middleton, MA, that renewed burned-out light bulbs. The company would buy an old bulb for a few cents, cut off the glass tip, replace the filament, and reseal the bulb. He would buy out the company and rename it the Bay State Lamp Company and hired his brothers Edward and Walter. In 1909 the Poor brothers started the Hygrade Incandescent Lamp Company to sell new light bulbs. In 1916, Hygrade opened a new plant and headquarters in Salem, Massachusetts, which could turn out 16,000 bulbs a day. Hygrade merges with Sylvania who made radio tubes when Philco Radio decides to sell radios with tubes pre-installed. Edward Poor would be the CEO of Sylvania Hygrade. The company helped create the Cobol computer language.

Later the company will merge with GTE and Osram and move their factories to Danvers, MA. I used to live in the carriage house of Frank Poor’s mansion in Danvers on the corner of routes 62 and 35. It was my second residence inside the state of Massachusetts. Years later, I moved back into the servants quarter where his mistress lived…

Frank Poor heads a committee of the Salem Chamber of Commerce and the Salem Rotary to sell shares in a hotel to accommodate his business clients traveling to Salem. On July 23rd 1925 the Hawthorne Hotel opens. The Museum of Fine Art in Boston releases to them their statue of Nathaniel Hawthorne to be placed in front of the hotel that year. The property was bought from the Salem Marine Society which gained the property from Thomas H. Perkins.

After the Franklin Building, where the Parker Brothers had their toy store, suffered 6 fires it was left abandoned for years. Poor approached the society to purchase it in 1923. The society said they would sell it under the condition they could have their clubhouse on top of the building. A cabin from the Taria Topan, an East India trade vessel, stands on the rooftop of the Hawthorne where the Salem Marine Society still meets. My friend John Reardon, of the Pig’s Eye, is their quartermaster. The Pig’s Eye still has a trapdoor in which they might of shanghaied sailors when the street was the most notorious red-light district in the country in the nineteenth century.

In the clubhouse, there is a portrait of Confederate sympathizer Lt. Maury. Lieutenant Matthew Fontaine Maury was the first superintendent of the United States Naval Observatory in Washington D.C. His research led to significant improvements in navigation and was made an honorary member of the Salem Marine Society with much pomp and circumstance.

Then Maury took a post with Confederates using his experience with the transatlantic cable, that Peabody paid for, and electricity flowing through underwater wires, perfected an electric torpedo which raised havoc with Union shipping. The torpedoes, which are similar to present-day contact mines, were said by the Secretary of the Navy in 1865 “to have cost the Union more vessels than all other causes combined.” So they hung his portrait backward on the wall ever since. A few years ago the family of Maury petitioned the society to turn the portrait back. The most they were willing to do is hang a simple color computer print out next to it…

Salem was important at the beginning of electricity in this country, with electric trains, electric cars, light bulbs, power plants, inventors, and confluences of ideas. Till this day, Salem is still abuzz of activity…

For more stories like this and how Salem shaped American history read Sub Rosa which is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and your local Independent Book Seller!

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The History of the Founder of Whiting NJ and the First Mason Lodge in Connecticut

whiting-saw-millThe first Mason Lodge, Hiram Lodge No. 1, in Connecticut was chartered under the Provincial St. John’s Lodge in Boston. It resided in the same city as Yale, New Haven. Influential to its charter was Israel Putnam. Putnam was from Salem and sided against his relatives in the hanging of Rebecca Nurse during the Witchcraft Trials. He went on to serve during the French and Indian War and was at Bunker Hill and the Crossing of the Delaware. He was one of the founding Masons in Connecticut. Another who would help start the first lodge was Col. Nathan Whiting.
Nathan was the grandfather of Nathan C. Whiting who was the founder of the town I grew up in NJ. Col. Nathan Whiting also served during the French and Indian War and was instrumental during the battle of Louisbourg along with Sir William Pepperrell.
Pepperrell’s portrait hangs in the Peabody Essex Museum. He is the spitting image of my friend Jim Armstrong. The portrait hangs next to Richard Saltonstall, who is the spitting image of his brother Neil Armstrong. Not the astronaut… Then again I am not sure if Col. Whiting’s wife Mary Hayes Saltonstall was related to Richard Saltonstall…
Col. Nathan Whiting’s uncle Thomas Clap who was president of Yale University brought him up after his parents death. Nathan attended Yale and served in the state senate.
Others instrumental in the founding of the Hiram Lodge No. 1 was Pierpont Edwards, a relative of Aaron Burr. He also attended Yale with Benedict Arnold. Also David Wooster and Elihu Lyman were founding fathers who attended Yale.

Nathan C. Whiting the grandson founded a sawmill in the Pine Barrens of NJ and had a train station across from his house. The stop was called Whiting’s. So that is how my town in NJ got its name.

The Zuni Tribe, Hats, MA Audubon, the #2 Pencil, and Salem MA!

63c1aa43-155d-451f-67e91f35fed4dd86-large In Salem, Mrs. Mary Hemenway inherited Batchelder’s Point, which is now called Forest River Park in Salem and began to build a Native American ethnological museum called the Hemenway Pueblo Museum. She had married Augustus Hemenway Sr. who was born in 1805 in Salem. He had owned several ships and was a dry goods dealer. Mary Hemenway was not a stranger to controversy and came from a family of abolitionists. She once invited Booker T. Washington to stay in her home, when Boston hotels refused to give him a room.

She built an iron fireproof building that held her Native American pottery, chipped stonework, and artwork from the Southwest and hired Olmsted to design the grounds. The museum focused on artwork from the Southwest, brought back from the archaeological explorations of New Mexico and Arizona she had sponsored. She partnered with Frank Hamilton Cushing of the National Museum in Washington, D.C. to study the Zunis between 1879-1886. It was known as the Hemenway Southwestern Hemenway Southwestern Archaeological Expedition.

The Hemenway Southwestern Archaeological Expedition, was the first major scientific archaeological expedition undertaken in the American southwest. The prehistoric Hohokam were discovered during the expedition. The expedition was terminated in 1894 with the death of Hemenway. She died in a diabetic coma at her home on Beacon Hill. The museum was dismantled after her death and significant pieces were later given to the Peabody Museum at Harvard University. One of the foundations chartered by George Peabody.

Her son Augustus Hemenway Jr. marries Harriet Lawrence a Boston socialite who founded the Massachusetts Audubon Society.

During the Gilded Age, it became fashionable for women to wear plumes in their hats. Thousands of birds were killed a year for the hat industry. Plumes came from woodpeckers, bluebirds, owls, herons and warblers and the industry was threatening the birds with extinction. In 1896, Hemenway and her cousin Minna B. Hall held tea parties for the wealthy women in Boston and urged them not to wear feathered hats and invited them to join a society for the protection of birds. Hemenway and Hall organized 900 women to form the Massachusetts Audubon Society. She planned to utilize her mother-in-law’s property to make a bird museum that did not see completion. I have read that her or her mother-in-law’s museum had a complete dinosaur. Which is interesting that now we know birds are closer relatives to dinosaurs than lizards.

Forest River was owned by the Ingalls originally. Col. Isaac Wyman married Henry Ingalls daughter Elizabeth. His father Hezekiah fought at the Battle of Concord. Wyman was a Colonel in George Washington’s Army. Col. Isaac Wyman played a significant role in the January 1777 Battle of Princeton, N.J. which resulted in an early and important American victory. He might of even served with Israel Putnam who was at the Crossing of the Delaware. After Wyman was once a commander of the frigate Constitution. After the war the Colonel became a merchant in Federal Period Boston before deciding to engage in diverse business enterprises, including a wholesale re-making of the Forest River tide mill in Salem.

He tore down the old mill and houses and built new ones processing flour, grain, and dye stuff from logs from the East Indies. He got into the business of black lead and then sold it to Col. Francis Peabody who was a Freemason who served during the Civil War. It then became Forest River Mills and provided black lead or graphite to Joseph Dixon. Forest River Park would be then in the Hemenway’s possession.

Wyman’s son Isaac Chauncy Wyman was the last lawyer to try a case of piracy. He worked with US Attorney General Benjamin F. Hallett who was the Democratic National Party chairman. Oakes Smith went to prison for engaging in the slave trade, but escaped. Wyman acted as a detective and went on the hunt for him, but never found him. He also was engaged with the Sioux uprisings.
For more tales like this and how Salem MA has shaped American History read Sub Rosa which is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and you local independent Book Seller!

Ask for it by name!

How the Federal Reserve Work? I Bet You Don’t Know…

Federal Reserve

So how does the Federal Reserve work?

The U.S. Treasury looks for loans by selling Treasury Bonds Bills, Notes, and Securities. They sell these to primary dealers. A primary dealer is a bank or securities broker-dealer who can trade directly with the Federal Reserve after purchasing Treasury Bonds or Securities or sell them to the public. They also make bids or offers on open market operations and provide information to the Fed’s open market trading desk. They consult with U.S. Treasury and the Fed about the budget deficit and implementing monetary policy. Primary dealers can work at the Treasury because of their expertise in the government debt markets, but the Federal Reserve avoids a similar revolving door policy.

The trading between primary dealers, called inter-dealer trading. Located on floors 101 to 105 of One World Trade Center was Cantor Fitzgerald, the single largest inter-dealer broker, who alone controlled 25% of the volume in securities. On 9-11 $500 billion in repos and $80 billion in securities had been traded but the settlement instructions were burned Fed regulators worked many long, over-time hours to accomplish to salvage records of these sales.

All of the top ten dealers in the foreign exchange market are also primary dealers, and between them account for almost 73% of foreign exchange trading volume. Who are the primary dealers whose job is to distribute U.S. Debt? Daiwa Securities and Mizuho Securities distribute the debt to Japanese buyers. BNP Paribas, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, and RBS Greenwich Capital (a division of the Royal Bank of Scotland) distribute the debt to European buyers. Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup account for many American buyers. Most of these firms compete internationally and in all major financial centers. Citigroup was First City National Bank which was influential in the early formation of the Federal Reserve during the period of Stillman and Fifi’s divorce years. After the 2008 Financial Collapse the Federal Reserve set up the Primary Dealers Credit Facility (PDCF), whereby primary dealers could borrow at the Fed’s discount window using several forms of collateral including mortgage-backed loans.

The Primary Dealers today are:

  • Bank of Nova Scotia, New York Agency
  • BMO Capital Markets Corp.
  • BNP Paribas Securities Corp.
  • Barclays Capital Inc.
  • Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.
  • Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
  • Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
  • Daiwa Capital Markets America Inc.
  • Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
  • Goldman, Sachs & Co.
  • HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.
  • Jefferies LLC
  • J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
  • Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated
  • Mizuho Securities USA Inc.
  • Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC
  • Nomura Securities International, Inc.
  • RBC Capital Markets, LLC
  • RBS Securities Inc.
  • SG Americas Securities, LLC
  • TD Securities (USA) LLC
  • UBS Securities LLC.
  • Wells Fargo Securities LLC.

J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley & Co. continue George Peabody’s tradition today selling state securities abroad. They also follow his steps to make a perfect panic. Both corporations were fined for orchestrating the 2008 Financial Scandal among other crimes recently. The largest fine only equalled about 12% what they could make in one year.

The Bank of Nova Scotia is rumored to have been robbed after September 11th when World Trade Center Building 4 was compromised. The long tunnel that was converted over from a PATH way that serves as its entrance was in the film Die Hard 3. Although in the film it was the Federal Reserve NY branch and New York City Water Tunnel #3.

Wells Fargo is owned by Kuhn, Loeb & Co. and linked by the Schiffs to N.M. Rothschild & Sons.
Who prints the Federal Reserve notes? Crane & Co. Winthrop Murray Crane was an advisor to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, and served as a political mentor to Calvin Coolidge received the contract to print them.

Stephen Crane was the first in the Crane family to make paper. “The Liberty Paper Mill” opened in 1770. They sold currency-type paper to engraver Paul Revere, who printed the American Colonies’ first paper money. Crane embed parallel silk threads in banknote paper to denominate notes and prevent counterfeiting in 1844. In 1879, Crane grew when Winthrop M. Crane won a contract to deliver U.S. currency paper to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C. In 1922, Crane & Co. incorporated, with Frederick G. Crane elected as president. Dixon also came up with an anti counterfeiting practice.

What is the discount window and how do banks profit?

When the government needs money for their budget they print Treasury Bonds, Bills, and Notes. The Primary Dealers buy them and sell them to the Federal Reserve, other nations, and large corporations. At other times the Federal Reserve sells the securities to the Primary Dealers. The Primary Dealers buy them from Treasury Automated Auction Processing System (TAAPS). The dealers who bid on the largest amount of the debt with the lowest yield wins the portion they bid on. They then sell these to the Federal Reserve at a higher yield.

Then the Federal Reserve prints new money and digitally increase their accounts. They then lend this money to banks throughout the nation at a higher yield. On top of that they hold 10% of all the money they sell to the banks. Example…The initial expansion of deposits and reserves will lead to an expansion of 10 times $10 million because each dollar of reserves will support roughly 10 times that amount in deposits. So now there is $100 million more in circulation.
When your bank receives the other 90% of the money ($90 million) they borrowed they lend it to you at a higher yield. They credit your account and when you make a purchase the money is circulated. So in this example the Federal Reserve has made magical money that grows on trees. They start with $10 million they owe interest on and turn it into more than $100 million. Impressive…

Well now your bank can lend 90% of what they borrowed to other banks and those banks can lend 90% of that amount, and so on….

Then you have inflation. It only starts with the government spending more than they receive in taxes and other funds. They are like the fleas on Norwegian Brown Mice that bite you, the Federal Reserve and the bankers are the ones who really spread the plague.
It is a slight of hand. The government didn’t raise your taxes, it just stripped your buying power of every dollar. Every year it gives you an invisible pay cut. Crafty fingers are no longer needed to pick pocket you.

So who owns the debt? Well there is public debt and intergovernmental holdings. On November 7, 2016, debt held by the public was $14.3 trillion or about 76% of the previous 12 months of GDP. Of that debt 55% is held by state and local pensions and mutual funds. The remaining 24% is held by foreign government and investors. $1.5 Trillion is held by China and $1.25 Trillion is held by Japan. Third is Ireland who owns $271 million. Go figure the Cayman Islands is fourth. Brazil is Fifth and the United Kingdom is 8th.

To find out more and other great stories from Salem and how that little city shaped America read Sub Rosa which is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and your local bookseller!

JFK and the Silver Standard

Many people have cited that Kennedy was assassinated because he threatened the Federal Reserve. Which is far from the truth! In fact he made them the sole private corporation that could print currency within the nation and made them a fortune in one sweep of his hand.

When silver reached $1.29 per troy ounce, the price floor for the redemption of silver certificates established by the Silver Purchase Act of 1934 would be breached. In 1966, the market price of silver reached the magic number of $1.38 per troy ounce. Then consumers could begin to purchase the certificates at face value, redeem them for silver, and sell the silver at a profit. Also they could illegally melt them down and sell them on foreign markets. Did J.P. Morgan Jr. sell a lot of silver to Nathan Mayer Rothschild the younger? This became a national security threat. Was silver artificially inflated so the Federal Reserve notes to become the only legal tender?

The Treasury repealed the function of the original Silver Purchase Act of 1934 through a series of legislation between 1961 and 1963 under President Nixon and Kennedy, and began pulling U.S. silver certificates from circulation. In 1961 Morgan, Grenfell & Co. was the largest bank in England at the time and they are ready to profit from this.

HR 5389 authorized issuance of gold-backed $1 and $2 Federal Reserve notes to replace existing silver-backed Treasury $1 silver certificates and $2 greenbacks that never had any specie backing. William McMartin of the Federal Reserve backed this idea. He previously helped raise money for England during WWI. The silver that was backing roughly $2 billion in certificates could then be used in coinage over a period of approximately 15 years. Similar action on silver-backed $5 and $10 bills was taken in 1961 by an executive order. HR 5389 stopped the Treasury to buy newly mined domestic silver offered to it at 90-1/2 cents per ounce. It also removed a 50% tax on profits made on buying and selling silver; the Morgans and Rothschilds could now make a fortune on September 11th 1963. Another September 11th landmark in American finance history. By 1968 silver certificates could not be redeemed for silver.

Now look at these profits for the Treasury. $1 silver certificate gets .77 ounce silver dollar. An ounce of silver traded then for $1.29. Then .77 ounce is worth .9933 cents. So the Treasury gains .2967 cents.

In 1963 there was $2 billion worth of silver certificates. They purchase them with small coins and bills. There was warning that “The bald effect of the President’s proposal to repeal the Silver Act is to permit him to sell off and use as current revenue $2 billion of precious metals….” The truth was a lot worse…

Smaller coins than a silver dollar have on .72 of an ounce of silver. The treasury profits $100 million. Then they mint smaller coins at .72 of an ounce. $1.29 of silver certificates mints $1.39 in small coins. A $ .09 cent profit per certificate. On $2 billion silver certificate they gain $180 million plus the first $100 million for $280 million. Adjusted to today’s value it would equal $1,898,512,000 by CPI or $2,178,519,736.84 dependent on percentage of GDP. It reminds me of Superman 3 when Richard Pryor was making a fortune off collecting half cents.

The last time they tried this was when silver Coinage of 1794 and 1795 employed a 0.900 fine standard instead of the Spanish dollar 0.8924+ fine standard (371.25/416= 0.89242788461) as prescribed in the Mint Act of April 2, 1792 The most immediate effect of this practice was that depositors ended up paying an additional 2.5 grams of silver bullion (about 10% extra) for every dollar they received. When this became widely known, bullion deposits brought to the mint declined significantly in 1796 and 1797. In 1963 they never caught on…

By 1965 the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar was worth only 31% of what the dollar had been worth in 1913, the year the Federal Reserve System was created and CPI data began to be collected. Since 1963 the Federal Reserve note has depreciated 678.04%. This has made the worst hidden tax on the American public. Did the Federal Reserve buy the Treasury off in 1963? Has the Bank of England won the economic battle it has been playing since the Revolutionary War.Hamilton established The First National Bank of the United States and sold our wealth off to English investors who held over 70% of the shares in the bank. So who really won the Revolutionary War…

Silver certificates continued to be issued until late 1963, when the $1 Federal Reserve Note was released into circulation by President Kennedy. He gave authorization for the Federal Reserve System to issue notes in denominations of $1, so as to make possible the gradual withdrawal of silver certificates from circulation and the use of the silver thus released for coinage purposes. In an act he passed he removed the ability of the president to govern the printing of silver Treasury Notes.

Because the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 granted the right to issue silver certificates to the president, Kennedy issued Executive Order 11110 to delegate that authority to the Treasury Secretary during the transition. He also passed a condition for the Treasury to print $1 notes for a brief period till the new Federal Reserve $1 note could be issued. For several years, existing silver certificates could be redeemed for silver, but this practice was halted on June 24, 1968.

Many had said Kennedy was murdered because of that act. There is a misinterpretation of him trying to get rid of the Federal Reserve, when in fact he made them the de facto printer of all legal paper tender in the country. Plus he made the Treasury a fortune. $2,178,519,736.84 worth!

More on this tale and other stories about the truth of American banking and its roots in Salem, MA rea Sub Rosa by Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin. Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and your local independent book seller (Buy Local). Ask for it by name an have them order it if it is sold out!!

Thomas H. Perkins and the Tunnels of Salem

ImageThomas Perkins the founder of Mass. General Hospital, Perkins School for the Blind, the Perkins Library had a guilty conscious. He was a drug dealing slave trader. When Opium was outlawed in China he thought it was a good move. He felt the competition would shrink under fear of the law allowing him to almost create a monopoly on its sale. One of the other tricks Perkins did to keep his reputation untarnished, was to allow his nephews to run the company in name only. Some of these nephews Thomas Cushing and John Murray Forbes. The link between drugs, big business, and politics with Yale alumnus start from this pair. Even though we can not say Perkins was a bonesman, but we can say that their crypt is built on his property. Plus Sturgis Russell bought his drug empire and kept his nephews employed. Through Sturgis’ cousin William Russell Perkins’ property in New Haven, Connecticut would be bought by Skulls & Bones. Russell would build their infamous crypt on his property.

Some famous politicians who went to Yale sit on both sides of our political system. Alumnus include the Clintons, the Bushs, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfield, and John Forbes Kerry. Kerry is a descendant of Thomas H. Perkins. Perkins was not a member of Skulls and Bones but he was a member of the secret society called the Salem Marine Society which still has their club house on the roof of the Hawthorne Hotel. As you guessed, Perkins was on of the many using the tunnels of Salem.

Cool Places in America~ Jack Ass Flats and and Nuclear Rockets!

I thought my parents got a contract to develop some software for area 51. I was hoping to meet some aliens, not some idiot who would strap a rocket to his car and not keep it flush. Darwin Awards…

Area 25 is the site of the now decommissioned Nuclear Rocket Development Station (NRDS). It was built in support of Project Rover to test prototype nuclear rocket engines. Jackass Flats was proposed as a possible launch site for Project Orion, administered by General Atomics in the late 1950s.

Project Orion was a study of a spacecraft intended to be directly propelled by a series of explosions of atomic bombs behind the craft (nuclear pulse propulsion). Early versions of this vehicle were proposed to take off from the ground with significant associated nuclear fallout; later versions were presented for use only in space.

Well 4th of July was coming up when we visited. I figured if I rode by bike through the area I would not have to buy any glow sticks that year…


To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…