The Murder That Led to the Murder of Two Presidents

Revenge!

Joseph_White_House_Essex_St

Gardner Pingree House

128 Essex Street

Built in 1804-1805 for John Gardener Jr. by Samuel McIntire. Jeremiah Page provided bricks, David Robbins was the mason, Joseph Fogg the lumber, Epes Cogswell was housewright, and William Luscoomb III painter. Gardner had owned 6 ships. All but 2 had different captains and co-owners. He never captained any of his ships. The only economic venture he went on twice with anyone was with his relative Simon Gardener who had owned two ships with him and captained both. Next door was the site of the Captain Joseph Gardener home where the Plummer Hall now stands that houses the Essex Institute. The Captain was killed by Narragansets in 1675 at the Great Swamp Fight. At the Captain’s death his wife Anne inherited her father’s Emmanuel Downing’s house which is west of Plummer Hall and married Gov. Simon Bradstreet and lived there. This house was torn down in 1750 and Francis Peabody built his mansion. This book was written across the street from where the first American poet wrote her books, Anne Bradstreet.

Downing House Governor Bradstreet Mansion Salem MA where nn Bradstreet wrote her poetry

In 1811 John Gardner Jr. ran into financial problems and sold the house to Nathaniel West. Nathaniel West was a captain who owned many ships with Nehemiah Andrews, Crowninshields, Derbys, Benjamin Pickman, and Francis Boardman. Nathaniel West bought the John Turner mansion, next to the Peter Palfrey House to the right, opposite Central Street in 1833 and opened it as a tavern called “The Mansion house” in time for President Andrew Jackson’s visit. Later it would be called the “West Block”. Nathaniel West sold the Gardner-Pingree House three years later to Captain Joseph White. He was murdered in this house.

It’s raining, it’s pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed bumped his head,
and he couldn’t get up in the morning.”

Captain Joseph White who bought the “Come Along Patty” from Elias Haskett Derby with the Cabot brothers and renamed it the “Revenge” became the first privateer from Salem. He was in the slave trade. He had questionable feelings towards a young niece who lived with him. He hated the man whom she would marry and made a fortune which he was not going to give her any. In the winter of 1829-1830 Captain Joseph White was feeling ill and had his lawyer Joseph Waters draft him a new will. In 1830 someone snuck through the tunnel and murdered him. Not just once, but possibly on 3 separate occasions.

This murder would inspire Edgar Allen Poe’s to write the Tell Tale Heart. It is reminiscent of Agatha Christies’s Murder on the Oriental Express. The intrigue of the murder and the sudden death of Judge Parker might of led Parker Brothers to buy the U.S. rights to the 1949 Cluedo/Clue game because it reminded them of the strange tale that happened in this Salem house and the possible murder of their uncle the high Federalist Isaac Parker who was to hear the case! I wonder if it was a literature fan who moved the Crowninshield-Bentley House to the right from its old home in the Hawthorne Hotel’s parking lot. That house was in H.P. Lovecraft’s story The Thing on the Doorstep. Also Rev. Bentley wrote his memoirs of Salem in the Crowninshield- Bentley House.

Knapp Brothers with George Crowninshield
Captain Joseph White was not kind to his relations that had worked for him in his house. He only showed a special form of kindness to his young attractive grand niece. The announcement of her engagement to a captain that was just released from Joseph Jr. & Stephen White Co.’s employment just sent him into a furor. At 82 he has been abandoned by his grand niece for 3 years and is ill during a hard winter. His favorite nephew, Joseph “Jr.” White, has been dead for some years but his brother is still at the old captain’s side. Was Stephen jealous of the attention his uncle gave to his female cousin or the attention she deprived him? Did Stephen foster some hatred towards his uncle for favoring his dead brother over him? Did the old Captain plan a mercy killing that would gain him “Revenge” against two x-business partners who aggrieved him?

In 1827 Jospeh Knapp Jr., who’s father was a partner of Joseph White who lost his favorite ship the Revenge to the pirate Phillips, marries Mary Beckford who was having an affair with the wealthy grand uncle in hopes of producing an heir. This is the same year Stephen White loses his own wife.  At the end of the Embargo Act Richard Crowninshield insulted Joseph White publicly  after Napoleon captured 3 ships from Salem in Naples. Richard Crowninshield will loose his heir Richard Crowninshield Jr. by a rigged suicide while waiting arraignment for Captain White’s murder and so  Joseph Knapp will loose his two sons through the prosecution of Stephen White’s daughter’s father-in-law. All in the name of “Revenge”.

Stephen White rounds up the Committee of Vigilance which had no police or detective involved in its formation, but 27 scoundrels who were offered a $2,700 reward in the capture of the murderers.  April 27th the Knapp brothers have their carriage attacked heading back to Cherry Farm. In 1827 Joseph Knapp Jr. looses his mother,  marries Joseph White’s grand niece and lover, and Stephen White looses his wife. It has been 3 years since when the old man is murdered. Three months after the murder the high Federalist Isaac Parker who sits as the head of the MA Superior Court dies after saying three days prior he was never in better health and he has never missed a day on the bench in his whole career.  Daniel Webster then offers the Superior Court position to Stephen White’s brother-in-law Joseph Story who turns down the offer to remain on the Supreme Court bench in D.C. The man he does offer it to next takes the position, but can’t hear the case since he acquitted two men in the murder previously. Daniel Webster opposition in the case is an attorney who had won a case against him for libel in the past. With all of this funny business the Knapp brothers will be tried twice for the same crime and hanged.

William Henry Harrison

This cabal that was formed with the Joseph White murder goes on and protects the murder victim’s investments in the Second Bank of the United States. Daniel Webster and Joseph Story will become directors in the Second Bank of the United States. Story will defend the bank in the Supreme Court.  Democrat Joseph Story would turn on Andrew Jackson in 1836 after he does not renew the charter for the Second Bank of the United States. Afterward there will be an assassination attempt against Jackson because of the bank. Daniel Webster will help Stephen White, head of the Ma National Republican Party that transforms into the Whig Party, elect William Harrison president after Webster fails to be elected. They chose Harrison explicitly so they could control him and create the Third Bank of the United States. Daniel Webster writes Harrison an inaugural address to only be rebuked as he writes the longest one in American history. Harrison expels Webster’s cohort Henry Clay from the White House and refuses to create the Third Bank of the United States.  Embolden by the murder they got away in Salem; Story, White, and Webster assassinate Harrison by typhoid poisoning one month into office. Mysteriously Stephen White dies 3 days later.  Harrison’s successor Tyler will also refuse to establish the bank.

President Taylor Murdered?

Later Daniel Webster , after the deaths of Stephen White and Joseph Story, on the verge of the Civil War will assassinate President Taylor 16 months into office by Typhoid once more. President Polk who also was against the Third Bank of the United States would die 3 months after leaving office and 13 months before Taylor of typhoid. These three men would add to the ranks of political assassination which would include Alexander the Great. It becomes public that foreign investors hire Daniel Webster to leave his wealthy law practice to become Secretary of State for his successor Millard Fillmore in hopes of the creation of the Third Bank of the United States or the Fiscal Bank which in time becomes the Federal Reserve under Wilson. These investors could of been owners of shares in the Second Bank of the United States after Jackson did not renew the charter. One reason Jackson removed the federal finances from the bank because 70% of the shares in the bank were owned by English bankers who bought a majority of them from George Peabody, the namesake of Peabody MA.  Today most of the shares in the Federal Reserve are held by foreign investors.

The trees in front of this house and the home being named Gardenor-Pingree was inspired by Louisa Dupont-Crowninshield. For the love of her husband and his relationship to the murdered Richard Crowninshield Jr., who was implicated in the murder of Joseph White, she donated to the Peabody Essex Museum large funds to erase the memory of the murder that happened here. A museum that was bailed out by George Peabody who was selling shares in the Second Bank of the United States.

The tunnels connect the White/Story compound to the old man’s mansion. The old man bankrolled Joseph Jr. & Stephen White Co. and the construction of his nephews houses with the tunnels attached to them. I have been in the White brothers homes and seen the sealed up entrances to the tunnels and I have friends who have played in the tunnels attached to Judge Story’s House. I have been in the tunnels under the old Sacon Jewelry Building. It leads me to strongly believe that this house with exterior chimneys, the tunnel marked on an old city engineers map leaving the Armory, it was built by Samuel McIntire, plus manhole covers reading “Sewer”, “Drain”, and “S” which mark converted tunnels for public utilities in front of the property lead me to believe this house is connected to the tunnels in town.

Clue
The purchase of the English game Cluedo by William Parker’s sons would be inspired by the murder of Isaac Parker.

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!

William Parker House and How to Raise Money For a Famous Game Company

Monopoly Built by Smuggling

Parker Brothers' House Salem MA

William B. Parker House

33 Pleasant Street

William B. Parker built his home kitty corner of Parker Court in 1851. Parker Court has a tunnel running from Winter street to the Isaac Smith House on the corner of Pleasant and Bridge Streets. William Parker also owned large tracts of land on March Street and lots composing of Beacon (East Watson Street then) and Barton Streets. He will own the Hawkes House for a short period too. The E.W. Abbot House which will be described next was once his property as well which is connected to the tunnels.

William Parker was the father of the Parker Brothers, George and Charles, who started the toy company in the Franklin Building. William had owned ships with Joseph Jr. White, John Andrews, and Benjamin Felt. He also was brought into a libel case in 1830 accusing Col. Upham as a Federalist smuggler during the Embargo Act (Report of Timothy Upham vs. Hill and Barton of New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette). Hill and Barton also accused Upham of being a corrupt Collector of Customs in Portsmouth. The whole time Upham declared himself as much a Democratic-Republican as Crowninshield was. Remember the tunnels under George Crowninshield Sr. house which became the Customs House in Salem…

When I first searched this basement in the first version of this book the deceased owner’s son had the basement filled with large furniture after his mother’s death. Then I returned during his estate sale and the basement was cleared out. Then I found the tunnel entrance had led under the granite stairs in the front of the house. This sealed entrance also had the usual raised cold sill. Later I heard a utility worker who was in front of the house he had seen the original iron door that sealed the tunnel. So it makes you wonder where the fortune started from that set up the Parker Brothers toy company?

Clue Monopoly Parker Brothers Smuggling Tunnel Salem Ma

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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!

Cook-Kimball House on Pleasant Street: Tunnels and Bomb Shelters in Salem MA

Bomb Shelter

Cook-Kimball House Salem MA with Tunnels

Cook-Kimball House

14 Pickman Street

Built circa. 1807-1808 for Robert Cook Jr. who was a local painter. His father Robert Cook married Elizabeth Liscomb. He was a fisherman & mariner. They had 6 children; Elizabeth, Robert Jr., Benjamin, John Morong, and Martha. He married Hannah Gowan in 1800. Robert Cook Junior’s son John Morang Cook was also a painter. Robert Cook Jr. has the wooden house to the right also built in 1813. Samuel Field McIntire builds both of them. The first home remained in the hands of Robert’s heirs till 1839 when Captain James S. Kimball bought it.

In the basement they converted a section of the tunnel into a bomb shelter and the tunnel leaving the original structure under the addition is now flooded. Also the Mack Industrial School for Girls and the David Lord House next door are made out of brick. This brick would be needed to fork the tunnel up Collins Street to Barton Street where the tunnels continue through the backyards on the old Captain William B. Parker lots.

Cook Kimball House Tunnel 2

Cook Kimball House Tunnel 3

Cook Kimball House Tunnel 5

Cook Kimball House Tunnel 6

Cook Kimball House Tunnel 7

Cook Kimball House Tunnel 8

Cook Kimball House Tunnel 34

Cook Kimball House Tunnel Fish Bowl 2

Cook Kimball House Tunnel Fish Bowl

Cook Kimball House Tunnel

 

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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!

Superior Court Associate Justice Joseph Story in Salem MA

Salem Judge Defends the Second Bank of the United States

 Joseph Story House Salem MA

Joseph Story House

26 Winter Street

This house was built in 1811 for Joseph Story. His sisters married the White brothers. The year in which Elias Hasket Derby Jr. begins his plan to build a new series of tunnels in town, Joseph Story in 1801 was admitted to the bar in Salem. At the time he was the only Jeffersonian Democratic- Republican in Essex County to be admitted. He would rise to be the head of the bar in Essex County. Because of his alignment with Jefferson the firm George Crowninshield & Sons Co. had retained him. In 1805 he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives alongside his brother-in-law Stephen White. This year his wife Mary F.L. Oliver and his father would die. Joseph Story made a power move when in April 1807 Congressman Jacob Crowninshield spat up blood while speaking in Congress and soon died. Story was the Crowninshield family lawyer. Benjamin Crowninshield was tapped to replace his brother but Story took his seat in 1808 with the help of the White brothers and his new marriage to Judge William Wetmore’s daughter Sarah Waldo Wetmore. She would give him 7 children. Story now felt that his power in Washington and the White’s power in Salem could dethrone the Crowninshields that he had worked for. Story lobbied for Jefferson’s downfall after the Embargo Act and became the Federalist favorite Democratic-Republican. He only sat in Congress for a year. Now power in Salem was truly now in the hands of the White family and Story’s. They would start the Friday Evening Club which brought together 10 members who were friends and family to discuss affairs of banks, insurance companies, and the local Democratic-Republican Party. In 1811 Story became the Speaker in the Massachusetts House of Representative.

Joseph Story Statue

In 1811 Joseph Story, who was head of the Essex Bar in Massachusetts, was appointed to the Supreme Court at 32. He is still the youngest to ever be appointed. His main course in the Supreme Court was to protect the property rights of the minority of the rich man in the country. He was a hero of Alexander Hamilton’s and John Marshall’s conservative Republicanism. In his life he wrote many books concerning his opinion on the Constitution.  It has been said that Joseph Story was more influential on how we perceive the Constitution today than even Judge Marshal. After the War of 1812 Stephen White and Judge Story pushed forward for Salem to install new sidewalk curbs, plant trees, pave roads, and create schools. In 1819 he led the pursuit to denounce the slave trade. In 1841 he presided over the case of the escaped slaves who mutinied on the Amistad. He also was a Whig in the 1820’ and 1830’s. He fought against Jacksonian Democrats as a conservative Republican.  He was a staunch supporter of the Second Bank of the United States in which he was a director of in Philadelphia and Boston. This was the main reason he would be against Jackson who would veto the charter of the Second Bank of the United States in 1836. In many cases in the Supreme Court Story would rule in favor of the bank. His associate in the Supreme Court Daniel Webster was also a director of the Boston Branch of the Second Bank of the United States. Daniel Webster was also tied to Stephen White though the marriage of his brother-in-law to Stephen White’s daughter and his son’s marriage to the other daughter.  Stephen White was the man behind the curtain who controlled Story and Webster and their role in the election of William Harrison and his future murder. In 1829 Story moved to Cambridge to become Harvard’s first Dane Professor of Law.

In 1830 the uncle of his brother-in-laws was murdered. He would accuse his brother-in-law Stephen White of murder. Two blackmail letters came to Salem, the first accusing Stephen White which Story believed. The second only appeared afterward.

Joseph White Murder Salem MA

Captain Joseph White who was on his death bed for months before the murder was bludgeoned and then stabbed 13 times. The blow by the club killed him. The first autopsy attested to this.  Then someone came back to stab him with two different daggers for a total of 13 stab wounds to make the murder more ghastly and shocking. None of which produced any blood splatters or stains on the walls or sheets for Captain White would of been dead for some time by then. Joseph White had heavily invested in the Second Bank of the United States in which Stephen White now inherited.

Judge Isaac Parker Salem MA

After the mysterious death of the high Federalist Isaac Parker who had said 3 days before he died that he never missed a day at the bench in all of his years and he never felt better, Daniel Webster propositioned Story to be the head of  Massachusetts Superior Court to hear the murder. Since the murder was a capital offense the Superior Court Justice was to hear the case.  Daniel Webster was hoping this would become Story. Story refused to give up his position in Washington.

In 1845 Joseph Story dies in Cambridge.

I have not been in these tunnels of yet.  Since I have seen that both of the White brother’s house and Stephen White’s other brother-in-law Stephen Foster were connected I would conclude their brother-in-law and partner’s home would be connected as well. But, I have one friend who grew up in this home and several others who had played with him tell me how they ran through the tunnel that leads from this house.

Also Story’s neighbor Richard Gardener’s (17 Winter Street on the corner of Pickman Street) brother John had built the home that Captain White was murdered in. The Gardener brothers were Commons Improvement subscribers too..

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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!

The Salem Commons and the Tunnels of the City

Secrets of the Commons

Old Map of Salem Common

The Commons had a creek that ran into the ocean. It started where the basketball court is and ran parallel to Washington Square East and turned and ran down what is now Forrester Street towards the Ocean. Land on the north side of Forrester was also land held in common to the town. The creek had five ponds in total attached to it. There was Flag pond that formed after heavy rains to the southeast; then opposite Southwick’s School House was Southwick Pond; opposite Captain Mason’s was Mason’s Pond; then to the east of that was Cheever’s Pond across from Cheever’s tannery; and one near the school house by Forrester Street was Lang’s Pond. Also it had included several hills and hillocks. This area was used to graze unfenced livestock, gather berries, cut flags and hoops. Ducks, horses, cattle, geese, hens, and stray pigs ran free in the Commons. It had several names including “pen”, “Town Swamp”, “Training Field”, “Washington Square”, and “Salem Common”.Previous to 1714 there were disputes between cottagers and commoners who had rights to the swamp. The Rev. John Higginson had a house on thenorth of the Commons and Col. Nathaniel Higginson had a house where the Hawthorne Hotel is now. In 1714 the Commons was voted to be forever a training field for the use of Salem’s militia in front of Higginson’s house.

In 1772 an almshouse was built on the northeast corner on Washington Square South. Also there were a powder house, engine house, and a tavern owned by Beadle. This street was home to the Phillips School House and the Southwick School House.

Winter Street Tunnel Hole Salem MA

On Washington Square East there was the Captain Francis Boardman house built in 1782. The land was owned by John Hodges. Next was the house of Joseph Vincent with his rope walk in the rear running to the Cove and next north of that a two story house owned and occupied by Thomas Briggs. Then an old building which had been occupied by Benjamin Brown as a bake house. Briggs street was not then opened. It was first a Court extending about two thirds the length of the street. Briggs’s Rope Walk commenced at the place now occupied by Hon. Nathaniel Silsbee’s house (Knights of Columbus) and extended to the Cove. Andrew street was not opened till after the Common was leveled. The field extending from north of Briggs’s Rope Walk (to the north of the house which was owned by William B. Vincent which was built in 1799) was owned by Col. William Browne who bought it from Capt. Joseph Gardner who was slain in the battle with the Narragansets in 1675. Col. William Browne will have all of his property in Salem confiscated after fleeing to Canada during the Revolutionary War, including what would become Derby Square. Elias Hasket Derby’s wife was a relation so she inherited most of his property. Vincent’s grandson Jonathan A. Vincent carried on the tanning and currying business there until it was sold in 1791 to another William Browne and his son who continued the tannery until they opened Andrew Street and sold it off as house lots. The Full-Spychalski Funeral Home stands where Dr. Hardy Phippen house was and earlier to that it was Benjamin Ives tan yard and bark house. This site was also the ropewalk owned by Joseph Vincent which stretch to Collins Cove as well. In 1785 a school was built on the commons. In 1788 the Beverly Bridge was opened and Pleasant Street was extended from the commons to meet Bridge Street. Also after the opening of the bridge Winter Street and Bath Street (Forrester Street) was created. Hay scales were erected on Winter Street in 1789 in front of a pond next to Robert Upton’s house half way up the road. On Washington Square North was the Samuel Cheever house who had a tannery in the rear. Then there was James Wright’s bakery. On the corner of Oliver was Mr. Austin’s brass founder shop. After that was Jeremiah Shepard’s grocery store, behind that runs an alley to Rev. John Higginson’s mansion. Next was Jonathan Mason’s shop (the mason William Roberts lived in this home after it was moved to Federal Street) followed by Frederick Coom’s Bakery, The Collins house, Tutle’s Rope Walk, Henry Williams on Williams Street, Thaddeus Gwinn ropewalk, Nehemiah Adams cabinet maker, and the East Church (Witch Museum). On Hawthorne Blvd. was a school house and the Gardner-Pingree Mansion.

Salem Cadets

Other facts of the Commons. In 1769 custom agents Thomas Row and Robert Wood were tarred and feather on a Liberty Tree for informing on the Salem privateers to the Crown. Salem never liked paying duties… Then in 1801 Elias Hasket Derby Jr. commanded the Second Corp. of Cadets to fill in the ponds and grade the Commons. The Commons was leveled by the Spring of 1802. Derby had raised a subscription of $2,500 to do so and planted rows of poplars and surrounded it with a whitewashed oak fence. The poplars came from the nursery owned by Joseph Franks on what is now Winter Street.

The bills was:
ESTIMATE OF THE COMMITTEE
1,5000 feet of lumber for railing and posts at $10 per hundred is
$156.00
Labor on the above one man 60 days at 9s
$90.00
Ditto one man for digging post holes Ac 60 days at 6s
$60.00
Poplar trees 10 feet apart at 1s apiece
$100.00
Expenses for Drink
$20.00
1 lb of paint will paint 3 square yard twice over 3s 1733 square ft.
577 lb White Lead is equal to 5 ewt at $13 per ewt
$65.00
10 Galls boiled Oil at 8s per GaM
$14.00
20 days work for painting at 6s par day
$20.00
For Leveling say
$1,000.00
For Gravel Walk say
$1,000.00
Stone Gutter
$100.00
Total:$2,625.00

They received a loan from Benjamin A. Gray that 159 subscribers to the Commons improvement* paid back. Some gave twice when funds fell short. The biggest contributors were William Gray, Elias Hasket Derby Jr., George Crowninshield & Sons Co., and Joseph Peabody. Now out of this list we have two subscribers who were block and pump makers, two who owned hardware stores, two were auctioneers to fence the goods, a carpenter who opens up a coffee shop in Boston afterwards, several people working for the Customs Agency (Bartholomew Putnam Surveyor of Port, Henry Tibbets Inspector of Customs, C. Cleveland Deputy Collector, Elijah Haskell Inspector of Customs, James Cheever Officer in the Customs House, Benjamin Crowninshield Collector of Marblehead, Penn Townsend Revenue Agent, Henry Prince’s son captained a Revenue Cutter, Joseph Hiller Customs Collector), 3 presidents of insurance companies, 4 store owners, 5 distillers smuggling molasses again, 4 tavern keeps, 4 politicians, 2 judges, 3 dry good store owners, 2 hardware store owners, 2 ropewalk owners, 4 grocers, 4 in local government, 2 butchers, 2 die at sea, 1 murdered, 2 Clerks of Courts, several Masons, several merchants and captains, several relatives of Hodges, Derby, Peabody, and Crowninshield.So you have a group of captains and merchants who need to smuggle goods pass a series of bribed Customs employees and politicians. Then convince a group of merchants to construct new homes to attach to the tunnels on the Commons to move money and goods through. These tunnels will need to be pumped out of water so carpenters, muscle provided by the several militias, and masons could create them utilizing hardware and rope from other subscribers. These tunnels will smuggle goods into several stores to sell dry goods and food, molasses to the distillers to make spirits, flour and spices to the bakers, liquor for the taverns to sell, auctioneers to sell your big ticket items, and banks to hide your money away tax free. In 1802 the selectmen changed its name to Washington Square. 1803 a bath house was placed on Bath Street (Forrester Street). In 1817 the popular trees gave place to elms and a new wooden fence was put in.

Car Accident on the Salem Common

In 1850 the iron fence was installed at the cost of $7,000 by Messrs. Denio, Cheney and Co. of Boston. After these improvements in 1801 Derby started getting his accomplices to build 2 brick Federal Style mansions set apart from each other the distance between the Derby House on Essex Street and the Hodges House on Orange Street. The industrial and agricultural appearance of the Commons became opulent. These house were to be used to run the tunnels through town to the jail, courts, each others homes, banks, and the businesses downtown. There is even rumors that the tunnels lead under the Commons. There is a square iron cover over a cement shaft in front of the Knights of Columbus and a round manhole cover in front of the 1926 Gazebo. Who knows…

Commons_Trapdoor_2

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!

Daniel’s House Tunnels in Salem MA

Daniel's House Salem MA

Daniel’s House

1 Daniel’s Street

Stephen Daniel’s a shipwright built this house in 1667. In
1756 his great-grandson Samuel Silsbee, carpenter, added on
to the house. In the 1800’s the house was divided between
the Russells, Hodges, and Reeds. The tunnel is in the back
left corner and the front right corner. The back right corner
you can see a change in the brick and a modern door is put in
leading to the side of the house on Essex Street. In front of the
portal leading out of the basement is a hole in the floor with
the characteristic sewer pipe leading up through it. The tunnel
entrance on the right is now a stone staircase leading into the
other side of the house.

Stairs in Daniel's House in Salem MA
Stairs on a house this age are not historical and are usually converted tunnel entrances.
Daniels House Sealed Tunnel in Salem MA
You can see the new cinder block sealing up the tunnel entrance to the house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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.

Sewers, Utilities, and Tunnels

Well I came across these old photos I took a few years ago when they were working on Bridge Street. No thanks to an angry little Napoleon yelling at me from the hole.  Here is part of the tunnel on Bridge Street now running electrical cables by Coffee Time.

Bridge_Street_Tunnels Tunnels turned into sewers on Bridge Street Salem, MA. Tunnels turned into sewers on Bridge Street Salem, MA. Bridge_St_Tunnel_1 Tunnels turned into sewers on Bridge Street Salem, MA. Tunnels turned into sewers on Bridge Street Salem, MA. Tunnels turned into sewers on Bridge Street Salem, MA. Tunnels turned into sewers on Bridge Street Salem, MA.

After the 50’s the tunnels started getting turned into conduits. Many were used for the sewers. Why dig a new hole? A friend of mine had pictures of the sewers on Bridge Street, but I can’t find my copies. In the pictures below is a tunnel entrance in the old Naumkeag Savings building on Essex Street. Below the rug is where the sewer lines enter the building.  Why did a new hole?

DSCN0255 DSCN0260

My friend Steve Dibble was the City Engineer.  He told me on an old sewer map it showed a tunnel in front of the armory that was marked off for transporting black powder from the South River. When I went to see the map, that was the page missing from the map book. Plus I am still waiting for the Assistant Building Inspector to let me see the photos and the video of the tunnel coming out of town hall. I guess that is why some one created the Freedom of Information Act…

For more about the  tunnels read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City .

Then book a tour on the Salem Smugglers’ Tour to learn more about the tunnels in town.

Tunnels Connected to Salem’s City Hall Hushed Up!

Secrets in City Hall Are Still Slow in Being Revealed~

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Tunnels coming out of City Hall on both sides! Pictures are slow coming forward. Many mayors of Salem were involved in smuggling.

Tunnels were also connected to the Old Town Hall, and the Town House that sat in the middle of Washington Street. The train tunnel that led to the secret train station went under the original Town House on Washington Street.

Josiah Orne who owned the property before City Hall was built was one of the smugglers in town who  had his basement connected. City Hall was built on his original foundation with the tunnels already attached.

Town Hall in Town Hall Square Salem, MA
Town Hall in the square was connected to the tunnels by the 4 fireplace arches in the basement below these chimneys.

List of Salem Mayors who were connected:

Stephen Webb
Stephen Phillips
Nathaniel Silsbee Jr.

Read more in Salem Secret Underground which is for sale at the Harry Potter Store and Wicked Good Books on Essex Street and Crafter’s Market on Pickering Wharf.

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Tunnels in England

My friend Gavin Chappell sent me these photos from the UK.

Gavin says, “In the UK, where I live, there are stories of smugglers’ tunnels in Wallasey (just over the river from Liverpool), some of which exist for certain, others of which may be no more than rumours. There are eye witness accounts from the 19th century of tunnels extending as far as a mile, but most of them seems to have been blocked up. I have been in some and spoken to people who have been in others but most of them are inaccessible, and a lot of people refuse to believe they exist at all!”

Oh here at the Salem Tunnel Tour, we know better. In fact the people who built the tunnels in Salem where only second or third generation from England. They brought the skill from across the pond

Enjoy the pictures!

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Brought to you by the Salem Tunnel Tour, the best Salem walking tour!

www.salemtunneltour.com