Flute Club in Salem MA

On a sunny day in Salem, I got to play some flute at the lighthouse at the end of Derby Wharf in Salem, Ma. Sooner than later people would sit nearby, take pictures, and zone out on the music. It was a good day at the Flute Club.

This wharf was made by America’s first millionaire who is still ranked as the 10th richest American if you go by the percentage of the wealth he had owned at the time. He made this mostly off of, pepper. Elias Hasket Derby Sr. also had a son who had dug three miles of tunnels in Salem to help people bypass customs. These tunnels made America’s first millionaire club.

Below are several people who joined me that day and the views we shared:Here is what the flute could of sounded like that day: Click Here.

Here is what the flute could of sounded like that day: Click Here.

A Little Background on Henry and the Treasures of the Templars

New Installment of Murder on the Common:
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This week we learn about Henry’s secret Templar Treasures, including the Holy Grail, he brought to Salem a 100 years before Columbus and the Oak Island myth. Then the dark history of the Winthrops who governed MA and CT that were followers of John Dee the Court Astrologer of Queen Elizabeth. Also, we meet Caroline Plummer (Plummer Home for Boys) and learn the origin of the vampires coming to Salem and the curse.

Come back every Tuesday for the latest installment of the Sinclair Narratives’ Murder on the Common featuring Henry Sinclair, everyone’s favorite immortal, and his reincarnated ragtag crew of third-generation Vikings.

Howqua as a Vampire

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Sailors and Tales from Salem MA

Chris Dowgin squeezing the head of a Dragon prow on a Viking longshipDid Viking sailors come to Salem? They have found Roman coins in Beverly and Manchester on the beaches either brought by Vikings or an earlier traveler. There are the tales of Lief Erikson’s brother Thorfin being murdered by Natives near Bass Rocks in Gloucester, the hotel there used to be named after him.

Then we have the stories of Prince Henry Sinclair sailing to Salem looking for Vinland and his knight Sir James Gunn who dies in Westford MA. Gunn is now known as the Westford Knight and his effigy still lies in Westford. The mascot for Salem State University is a Viking. On Baker’s Island, there is the Northman Rock.

Then we have Professor Eben Norton Horsford. Horsford was a Harvard professor who patented our current formula for Baking Powder. He believed Boston was Norumbega. To commemorate his beliefs he had the Lief Erikson statue erected in Boston and the Norumbega Tower built at the mouth of Stony Brook. Across from it was Norumbega Park. Most of it is now the Newton Marriott. Horsford also believed that the Dighton Rock in the Taunton River by Fall River had Viking runes on it. Now it is in Berkley, MA. The museum who owns the stone thinks it was Portuguese who were dropped to these shores by the Phoenicians who carved it. They might have been the guys who dropped the Roman coins… Longfellow was part of the original group to build the Lief Erikson Statue, on the Longfellow Bridge are Viking Ships.  In fact, many of the Transcendentalist believed they did.

Most of the sailors from Salem were scoundrels and smugglers who dug tunnels to avoid duties that went on to shape all the horrible parts of our government at its foundation, including a cession movement. Still, a few of them have some humorous stories that dance in and out of each other.

Jacob Crowninshield brought the Stoned Elephant to town. The privateer Fame was owned by many who decided to paint it pink… Just like the color of the Elephant, at times.

Captain West fought his wife and her brother Elias Hasket Derby Jr. (He extended the tunnels throughout the town in 1801) on Derby Wharf after their father left the wharf to West. Elizabeth Derby and Nathaniel West had the most infamous divorce in the nineteenth century.  Their mansion Oak Hill is where the North Shore Mall is now on Rt 128.

John Derby jumped ship first to tell England we started the Revolution and was the first to sail back to tell them it was over.

George Crowninshield Jr. (His father’s house is where the Custom House is. When they built the Custom House, not only did they leave the basement intact with the tunnels attached to it, they added a few more) built Cleopatra’s Barge. There was talk this ship helped Napoleon escape from his island prison. Who knows, there is a rumor that Napoleon visited his brother Joseph at Bordenton NJ at Point Breeze.

Joseph Napoleon’s mansion had several tunnels leading to the Delaware River. His park attached to his estate is the basis for Central Park designed by Olmsted. Olmsted is famous in Boston for the Emerald Necklace. He also designed Forest River Park and planted some trees in the Common. Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster visited Point Breeze, I wonder if they compared the Tunnels in Salem that run around the Common to his. All these men were always walking through Salem’s tunnels.

Captain West is connected to the Bonaparte’s as well. The other side of the family. Before Joseph Bonaparte became king of Naples and Spain, his brother Lucien resided there who was openly against Napoleon. Captain West after the Embargo Act was lifted sailed to Naples. The Embargo Act was created by Jefferson to prevent American sailors and ships from being stolen during the Napoleonic Wars by the French and English. When it was lifted, West sailed his ship Minerva to Naples and was captured by Admiral Marat in Napoleon’s navy. He was set free if he would sail Lucien Bonaparte to Malta, but they were captured by the English and they were all made heroes once they sailed to Liverpool.

Three other ships Marat captured were owned by Joseph White, Joseph Knapp Sr., and Richard Crowninshield Sr. This would lead to the murder that influenced the game Clue and Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart. Knapp and Crowninshield, who were Democrats, realized their folly and Jefferson’s wisdom and insulted White who was a Federalist. Add to this Knapp’s wife gave birth to a son named Joseph after he lost White’s baby, the ship Revenge. Mrs. White died leaving Joseph without an heir. In his own death, White had his revenge against his business partners by having their sons hanged for his own murder after having his nephew hire a man named Palmer to murder him. The nephew created the Whig party with Daniel Webster and Henry Clay of the Great Triumphant. Stephen White was behind John Quincy Adams failed election against Andrew Jackson.

The Federalists hated Jefferson and his Embargo Act so much they refused to fight the War of 1812. Most of New England refused to fight the war. Salem did build one ship for the war, but it fought in the Pacific instead of the Atlantic where the war was going on. Admiral Porter attacked whaling ships, had a genocide or two on Polynesian islands, and got caught during a civil war in Chile headed by an Irish man. In fact, Timothy Pickering from Salem and his Essex Junto lead the cession movement that ended at the Hartford Convention. Members of the convention went to Washington afterward to tell them about them siding with the British, but Andrew Jackson defeated the army that defeated Napoleon at Waterloo and John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay had signed the peace Treaty in Ghent before they arrived with their demands. During the war, the Federalist group East India Marine Society (Founders of the Peabody Essex Museum) debated if they should visit the corpse of Admiral Lawrence who was killed in the war. Lawrence was from the same town Joseph Bonaparte lived in NJ.

Elias Hasket Derby Jr. lost his share of the 36th largest estate in American history in 2 years which prompted him to extend the tunnels in town and be paid for by all of the future smugglers. He ends his carrier as a sheep farmer after having a failed voyage to Europe which ended well as Napoleon’s forces headed by his brother Joseph scared 2,000 sheep around his feet on a mountain in Spain. So thanks to the man who built underground tunnels, America did not have to have scratchy underwear anymore since merino wool was a lot smoother.

Aaron Burr worked with Timothy Pickering in his cession plots, as did Hamilton. Some say Hamilton’s falling out with the Essex Junto led to their duel. Burr jumped ship from the group and decided to become the king of western America, but was caught by Jefferson. Cleopatra’s Barge? She was sold to the King of Hawaii. When asked how open the King was to religion one said,

“If you want to know how Religion stands at the Islands I can tell you — All sects are tolerated but the King worships the Barge.”

So that is a few tales of the sailors from Salem. More tales like this can be found in the books Sub Rosa, Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City, and Murder on the Common.

Murder on the Common is the newest from Salem House Press. The tale of how everyone’s favorite immortal solves the murder of the most notorious case in the nineteenth century. The first novel of the Sinclair Narratives published in Arkham: Tales from the Flipside.

By the way, Blackbeard’s skull is in Salem, even though he never came here during his life…

Salem Tunnel Report~ Benjamin Webb House

Have a Drink on Me and a Powder for the Morning…

Benjamin Webb Jr. was a tavern keeper and Apothecary. He had an apothecary on Herbert and Essex Streets. His tavern was on the site of the Salem Five Bank on Essex Street. When William Gray bought the property, he tore down the tavern and it opened in a new location where the Bowker Block is now used as the Peabody Essex Museum’s offices on the corner of Liberty and Essex Streets. His son Jonathan continued the tavern in the new location. It was originally called the King’s Arm and after the Revolutionary War, it became the Sun Tavern. It was in this tavern that Richard Crowninshield Sr. insulted Joseph White upon their mutual loss of 3 ship in Naples at the removal of the Embargo Act he favored; this would cost his son his life in an elaborate murder plot implicating his son Richard in the murder of Joseph White for revenge of this insult. Richard Crowninshield Jr. was found hanging in his cell from a low window with his knees almost touching the ground, the jailers slit his throat to see if he was alive, and he died from exsanguination. This murder is the murder behind the Parker Brothers Clue.

His home here was at 98-100 Bridge Street. Later he would own the Sage-Webb-Wilkins House across from Daniels Street at 52 Essex Street. Both homes are connected to tunnels.

He was a member of the Salem Common Improvement Fund which disguised the tunnel project behind a large public work. They filled in 5 ponds and a river in the Common to hide tunnel dirt. He also was an incorporator with many of subscribers in the Merchant Bank and the Salem Savings Bank. John Hodges, also a subscriber, shared many ships with him and George Hodges marries his daughter Elizabeth. George Hodges was surveyor of the port of Salem from 1809 to 1817. The Custom House where he worked also has tunnels leading from it. The Hodges were the founders of the East India Marine Society who founded the Peabody Essex Museum. Every location the museum was in was connected to the tunnels as well.

Benjamin was a fireman who drove the engine Reliance which was housed at the corner of Hardy and Derby Streets.  His grandfather John Bray and his uncle Daniel Bray were also subscribers. The father was a shoemaker with his shop on Hardy opposite Essex Street. Bray was a consultant to the Salem Savings Bank.

Benjamin was connected in many ways…

Take a look at the tunnels:

You can see the Basement entrance from outside. At the time when the house was built, they had no use for an external entrance. These come later by taking the roof off the tunnel and putting a staircase to block the tunnel from entering the house. The idea was to use a hole in the foundation that exists already. You can see the long hall leading from that entrance which was part of the tunnel. The tunnel might have actually turned to the right across the back of the house also.

There was another entrance through the floor of what could have later been used as a place to store coal. The house was built prior to coal furnaces. In fact, only smugglers had full basement in Salem. You only needed a full basement after boilers were made. Also, later furnaces would utilize spots the tunnel was connected to. You can see the difference in brick between this spot and the rest of the foundation.

Keep coming back to find more tunnels in Salem and how this all shaped American history!

Also, read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and Sub Rosa to get all the dirt that is under the streets of Salem available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com; and in Salem at Remeber Salem, Jolie Tea, The Witch House, and Artemesia Botanicals.

Salem Tunnel Report~Thomas Brown House

Still, need to look this gentleman up, but I got to go into the basement and open the trapdoor and take a flexible camera and look at the roof of this tunnel. There were metal strapping holding up the brick floor in the roof of the tunnel. Further in there where mysterious gears; More to come later.

Above you can see the basement entrance converted from an old tunnel. These entrances were not historical and just utilized the entrance the tunnel used instead of poking a new hole in the foundation. For years I have been looking at elaborate sump holes in basements that were all brick lined and finished, this is the first one that proved there were tunnel entrances. You seen pictures of that as well above

For now check out Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City which is in its third edition! Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and your local booksellers. In Salem, it is available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, The Witch House, and Artemesia Botanaicals.

I am Henry Clay

I was one of the three most powerful senators, but you don’t remember me

I first came to Salem to advise a rope maker on the advantages of hemp. Once in town I met John Quincy Adams and became his Secretary of State. Before that we settled the Treaty of Ghent ending the War of 1812 that was created in response for the First Bank of the United States loosing its charter which gave 70% of our treasury to the English. I also met Daniel Webster who was one of the Triumphant of senators with me. We plotted and got away with assassinating 3 presidents trying to make the third national bank after Jackson ended the Second National Bank of the United States in 1836 for giving 70% of our treasury to the English.

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. Also to learn more stories like this first hand, book a tour with the Salem Smugglers’ Tour!

Salem House Press
http://www.salemhousepress.com

Good Harbor Beach: Inspiration for a New Story

More Treasures of Rt # 127

Good Harbor Beach Gloucester MA

So what does an illustrator see when he comes across this; a home owned by a recluse ship captain who meet two kids that he introduces to a fat whale he got addicted to Mexican food. A whale whose belly is so big now it drags on the ground and when he farts at the end of the story he creates the tidal river you see in the photo above. Yes, inspiration and what results can be a little warped…

I admit that.

So this is Good Harbor Beach. It is just off of Rt # 127 in Gloucester. It is my favorite wrong turn. See Rt # 127 takes a hard left here without a stop sign, I used to always miss the turn and end up on the beach. Now I purposely miss the turn.

Besides the cool house, the beach is amazing because of this tidal river and how far out the beach goes during low tide. Also the next beach north, Long Beach, the tide runs right to left like a stone skipping as the surf breaks.

So go check them out one day; for now just check out these photos:

Check out my other illustrated books at Salem House Press.

Cheers,
Chris

The Game Clue and Salem MA

I Never Missed a Day on the Bench Till..

Isaac Parker painting

I was the Chief Justice of Massachusetts and one of the original High Federalist. I died 3 days after I said I never felt better and never missed a day on the bench. I was to preside over the murder case that inspired the American version of Clue by Parker Brothers. The murder happened 3 months earlier in 1830 and 3 days after Daniel Webster supposedly came to Salem to prosecute the case. Previously I was the judge accusing him of been a traitor in the 1812 War. The Parker Brothers were the grandson of my cousin William Parker.

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. Also to learn more stories like this first hand, book a tour with the Salem Smugglers’ Tour!

Salem House Press
http://www.salemhousepress.com

SUPERIOR COURT JUSTICE JOSEPH STORY

THE GREAT INTERPRETER OF THE CONSTITUTION…

Joseph Story Smuggler in Salem MA

The man who shaped the Constitution, Associate Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story. Brother-in-law to Stephen White. He is the most responsible for the interpretation of the Constitution we follow.

This man has created the interpretations of the U.S. Constitution we still follow today. Along with his brother-in-law Stephen White who controlled him, they defended the Second Bank of the United States from all comers until President Jackson did not renew the bank’s charter. In 1811 Joseph Story, Stephen White, Joseph “Jr.” White, Joseph White, Senator Nathaniel Silsbee, Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield, and opium dealer Thomas Perkins all received new mansions from agents of Baring Brothers Bank to restore a new national bank after the First National Bank of the United States lost its charter for being controlled by the Bank of England.

After the War of 1812, to settle America’s war debts the Second Bank of the United States was chartered which ended up being controlled by the Bank of England. All of these men became directors in the Second Bank of the United States. Many of their houses are on the Salem Common and are connected together by tunnels. I made my fortune from the tunnels attached to my house!

To find out more book a tour on the Salem Smugglers’ Tour of the historic Salem Common.
More Than Witches!