Library of Congress Tunnel
Bulfinch Tunnels. This is part of the tunnel system between the Adams and Jefferson buildings of the Library of Congress that is at least 4 levels deep. Charles Bullfinch gave a tour of Boston’s and Salem’s underground through their tunnels to President James Monroe and was hired to dig Washington D.C.’s tunnels.
Find out more in Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa.
Would That Be a Bad Thing?
As we know in Salem, politics and corruption made our seaport the richest in the nation. This advancement did not come legally. Otherwise there would be no need to dig 3 miles of tunnels. This was the foundation of our government. George Washington slept in the Joshua Ward House and might of walked to his birthday party through a tunnel to the Mechanic Hall. He might of even praised the Salem local businessmen for their ingenuity for avoiding paying duties or taxes to the British.
Now John Quincy Adams also walked through these tunnels for years before he was president. Did he do anything while sworn in to stop these gentlemen from paying their share of the infrastructure they relied on more than anyone else? Did they pay one cent for the roads that were built to move their cargo into the interior of the nation?
What about James Monroe when he toured Salem? His Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield put him up in his house and traveled through the tunnels to be entertained in the homes of Senator Nathaniel Silsbee and the founder’s of J.P. Morgan & Chase, George Peabody, home. No!
Then on the local level, all the mayors were part of the smuggling including Silsbee’s son. The head of Customs, Joseph Hiller, was part of it too along with the weigher and gauger and the captain in charge of the revenue cutter. Benjamin Crowninshield was also the Customs Agent for Marblehead.
On the state level Joseph Story and Stephen White were in the state congress along with many of the other smugglers in town. The members of the Salem Commons Improvement Fund were entrenched in all levels of government.
So I ask, if our world ended would it be a bad thing?
The universe hates vacuums. Once our world ends, another would just take its place. If corruption, greed, and secrecy was so integral to our world; would you want to remain living in it if a better world was offered to you? No, so lets stop. Let them thrive and strive as we leave to somewhere better. The good news is, you do not have to leave your town to do it. Its a state of mind. The old world tips their hand with every dollar they spend to convince you to act in such a way that profits them. If we were not so powerful, they would not spend a dime to influence how we thought. They would just force us to do it. In that statement lies the true strength in the people. So let the world fall.