Colonial Salem, MA. - Part 2
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska

Early Salem Shipbuilding and Fishing:

The abundant forests provided lumber for shipbuilding. Colonial shipyards were established in Boston, Salem, Dorchester, Gloucester, and Portsmouth. Rich fishing grounds stretched north to Newfoundland (cod, mackerel, halibut, etc). Whaling was another important industry. Whale oils were used for lighting, lubrications, and perfumes. By 1641, more than 300,000 codfish were hauled into Massachusetts, and readied for shipment across the Atlantic. Later on, Salem would be a major fishing port and shipbuilding center. One citizen who profited from this was Phillippe L'Anglois:

Salem Witches:

Most all my relatives left Salem before the Witch Trials began in 1692, and moved to Connecticut and New York. Most of those tried as witches were found innocent before 1692. Though ninety-three "witches" were prosecuted, only sixteen were executed, until 1692. Eighty percent (80%) of those accused were women. It was not an easy matter to prove someone was a witch.

For more about the Witch trials see these pages:

A Brief History of Witchcraft
The Salem Witch Trials
The Perkins Family

However, the New England Puritans seemed more worried about witches than other American colonists. Virginia had only nine such cases, and they only convicted one suspect. That suspect was whipped and banished from the colony. New England seemed to continue the trials that were held in England and Scotland, but by 1650, these practices had stopped in the "Motherland."

Phillippe L'Anglois:

Phillippe L'Anglois was a French Huguenot from the Isle of Jersey. Little is known of his early life before Salem. The French called the port of St. Malo "La Cite Corsaire," but the English called it a "nest of wasps." St. Malo was a walled town rich with the profits of privateering in the 17th century. St Malo's economy was based on trade and fishing. Shallow reefs lined the bay leading to the island of granite on the Emerald coast of Brittany. The ancient citadel, the Cathedral of St. Vincent is easily seen from the sea. St. Vincent was founded by Welsh monks in the 12th century. Most French corsairs emerged as early as the 9th century. This was when they were fighting against the Vikings. Most French corsairs were descendants of fathers, uncles, and grandfather's that were also corsairs. The subject of this study is Phillippe L'Anglois

Phillippe changed his name to Philip English. By 1660, he was the master of his own ship. He came to Salem sometime in the 1670s, as a merchant. The English/L'Anglois Family owned 21 vessels, a wharf, and 14 buildings in Salem by 1692. They had a three-story mansion on Essex Street with pojected porches. To say the family was prospering would be an understatement. On March 1692, Philip was appointed Salem's selectman. On April 1692, fate intervened and Philip's wife, Mary [nee Hollingsman] was accused of witchcraft and arrested. She was kept in a chamber of their public house for six (6) weeks while waiting for her trial. Then Philip was accused, and examined by the court, on May 31, 1692! He and his wife, Mary Hollingworth, managed to escape, with the help of their friends, and went to New York. Their friends were John Moody, Governor Phips, and Governor Fletcher. It is thought that the powerful people that surrounded Philip English most likely had interest in his privateering and trade, and that was the reason he was not hanged as a witch. William Hollingsworth, Mary's father, had his own prominent shipping legacy and his family had holdings in Salem, Massachusetts. Mary French was a member of Salem's First Church and took communion beginning in 1681. They remained in New York until the end of the witchcraft hysteria, then returned home to their business. Philip died in 1736. Philip had been one of the citizens that spoke out against Rev. Noyes for murdering John Proctor and Rebecca Nurse.

Philip English made numerous trips to the West Indies, to St Malo, then back to Boston harbor. St Malo was a pirate port in N.W. France. Philip made numerous trips to the West Indies and to St. Malo, then back to Boston harbor. He went to Spain, and French wine country, England, and back to Malo.

The 300 ton ship Mary Ann was contructed in 1641 in the Port of Salem. While in 1642, Boston launched the 160 ton Trial. The majority of the ships built in the colonies were still English-owned, but captains held titles to approximately 420 vessels that ranged from 30-250 tons. Once they were commissioned to their own ships, they would be able to keep all the profits of their labors. It is thought that the powerful people that surrounded Philip English most likely had interest in his privateering and trade, and that was the reason he was not hanged as a witch.

*****

The Quakers:

It seems incongruent that the English Puritans would immigrate to the New World to escape religious persecution and turn around and do the same thing to the Quakers. The phrase "Quakers" was first used by George Fox (1624-1691), their founder, who bade his followers to "tremble at the word of the Lord." Their name was originally "Society of Friends." George Fox married Margaret Fell, a widow.

Among crimes deserving of hanging was the offense of being a practicing member of the Society of Friends. The Quakers were known for their pacifity. However, in 1656, they were denounced by the Massachusetts General Court as a "cursed sect." Rev. John Norton was the pastor at Boston's first Church. He started a compaign against the Quakers and wished to have them all banned under penalty of death. He was quoted as saying: " I would carry fire in one hand and fagots [kindling wood] in the other to burn all the Quakers in the world." ..... "Hang them or else." What is surprising about this is that Quakers and Puritans had much in common. Neither thought that sacraments and formal prayers were necessary. However Quakers spoke of the "inner light" rather than obedience to scripture and law.

Mary Barrett married William Dyer in St Martins-in-the-Fields, in London, on October 27, 1633. William Dyer was a millener in the New Exchange. Dyer was a Purtian member of the Fishmonger's Company. They emigrated to Massachusetts on December 13, 1635. Mary Dyer was a comely old matron who took Anne {nee Marbury} Hutchinson's (1590-1643) and the "Antinomians" side against the Puritans in 1635. Rumors told of a stillborn, "monsterous" child being born with the help of midwife Jane Hawkins and another woman thought to be a witch. Apparently, Mary's child was born on October 17, 1637, with many birth defects, and any such occurence of this nature could only be the work of the Devil. John Winthrop exhumed her child, who was buried in secrecy. This was against the law, and an investigate ensued. Mary left Massachusetts with Anne Hutchinson on March 22, 1638, and lived quietly in Rhode Island for almost twenty years.

On 1652, William and Mary Dyer; Roger Williams, and John Clarke went on a mission to England, and this is where Mary first became a follower of George Fox. John Endecott targeted the Quakers around 1655, and people who sided with them were not tolerated. Endecott was not known for his humor, tact, or tolerance.

On August 9, 1656, the Speedwell was searched for Quakers. There were four men and four women taken to Boston Court by order of John Endecott.

In 1657, Mary Dyer traveled to Boston and was arrested. They told her husband to keep her away from Massachusetts. Then she went to Boston in 1659 and was arrested a second time, and banished. She was told that the next time would be her death.

On October 27, 1659, Mary Dyer was taken to the gallows on Boston Commons and watched Quakers William Robinson and Marmaduke Stephenson be hanged. This was her last warning. On June 1, 1660, Mary Dyer was hanged from the neck until dead. He final words were: "I have been in paradise several days and now I am about to enter eternal happiness." After Mary's neck snapped there was total silence. Mary Dyer was then to gain martyrdom, and in 1959, a statue was erected in Boston to bear witness to her death. Another memorial is in Founder's Park in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. William and Mary had eight (8) children. Their son, Samuel Dyer (1635-1678), married Anne Hutchinson, the granddaughter of Anne [Marbury] Hutchinson.

Mary [Barrett] Dyer

John Endecott died, in Boston, on March 15, 1665.

Roger Williams, in contrast, was an apostle of religious tolerence, and he refused to persecute the Quakers. Williams established the first Baptist Church in America, in 1639.

Salem had its share of town gossips and grudges were made based on the division between Salem Village (now Danvers) and the seaport of Salem Town.

The Puritan Revolution:

Anxiety began to spread over a new war with the Indians and many prominent people were then accused, not just the poor and women. New Englanders, at this time, were not happy with the restoration of the Stuarts to the throne. The Puritan revolution began in 1640 and ended in 1642, and at the same time, the English Civil War began. Parliament revolts against Charles I (1600-1649), King of Great Britian and Ireland. Then in 1648 a second Civil War is crushed by Parliment. Oliver Cromwell's politics were negative but his role as commander was beyond reproach. The Puritans only represented one part of the Protestant movement in England, but they were politically powerful and articulate. They believed in the all powerful presence of God, in all aspects of life. They did not believe in the divine rights of kings to restrict their subjects in the way they had in the past. Oliver Cromwell and John Lilliburne, a radical Puritan writer, were basically in agreement from 1640-1660. The absolute monarchy was strongly defeated, and by 1660 the House of Commons was permanently established and the doctrines of the Catholic Church were rejected and royal perogatives were ending, even though the Stuart dynasty tried to revive it.

In 1659, Christmas is banned:

"Whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forebearing of labor, feating, or in any other way shall pay for every such offense five shillings, as a fine to the county.". Christmas was banned because of the pagan celebration of "Yule." The idea of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ got thrown out with the bathwater, so to speak. Sanctions against Christmas celebrations were lifted in 1681, as second generation Puritans began to assume political control. Second generation Puritans were not as strict as their fathers and mothers in matters of religious observances.

The monarchy was put back into power in 1660 and Charles II (1630-1685), King of Scotland and England, is restored to the thrones of England and Scotland. This restoration halted the revolutionary regime led by the English Puritans. American members were left powerless. In 1683, an English correspondant told Cotton Mather that he had often heard of New England, but never thought much about it.

More problems occur in the Motherland [England] when London is destroyed by fire, in 1666. Then in 1688-1689, a Revolution in England deposes Roman Catholic King James VII (1633-1701) of Scotland and England[II].

Sermons then cataloged the suffering and sins of New England: there were earthquakes, Indian wars, fires, hurricanes, and these problems were thought to be their punishment for their lack of piety. The eighteen (18) years of civil strife during the "Puritan Revolution" actually helped the New England merchants to expand their maritime dealings, and by 1660, when the king was restored to the throne, they had their own fishing fleets and a comfortable grip on trade with southern Europe and the West Indies.

New England built more churches and had more schools than the other British colonies. New Englanders were healthier and long-lived. They were nevertheless intolerant for dissention and suspected witches.

New England's Wilderness:

Henry Bartholomew loved his pond, woods, and surrounds and thought them to be beautiful and serene. However, William Bradford (1590-1656), of Plymouth thought of the landscape as "a desolute wilderness full of wild beasts and wild men." They saw the Native American Indians as pagans who were too lazy to conquer and transcend nature. The Puritans saw nature as too seductive and evil. There was fear, fear of their people "going native" and fear of them leaving the fold. Church leaders and missionaries sought to end this by changing the land and by converting the natives to Christianity. Soon things in Massachusetts began to resemble England. They brought in their own livestock and killed all the native wild animals, especially the wolves and bears because they killed their cattle. Mother Nature was then put into an unbalance. No more was the survival of the fittest or God's food chain in place. Eventually cougars, panthers, lynx, wolverines, wolves, bears, moose, deer, beaver, and turkey were exterminated leaving an emasculated countryside in the East. The colonist began to creat their own environmental crisis. The English wanted to control the wild forests, wild animals, and the Native American Indians. They cut down forests and made land bare for farming. Often the wood, the types the English did not know, was burned rather than used for housing. The British had the idea that everything they had was the best in the world. They were extremely intolerant. This extented to their later colonies in Burma and Thailand where they would toss aside Jade presents. They thought it an inferior stone. Well, now-a-days Jade is more valauble than most other precious or semi-precious stones. However, this is yet another subject, which I will discuss in the future.

Many trees were already gone forever in England, so you think they would have known better? Native trees included oaks, firs, plum. tulip trees, chestnuts, hickories, hemlocks, [white pine, red, black, and white] beech, yellow birch, maples, sprice, and balsam fir.

The Native Americans were skilled horticulturalists well before the arrival of the English, and yet the English thought they knew better. The Native Americans supplemented their crops with meat from the hunting of many of the animals that the British were killing. The Indians grew maize (corn), squash, pumpkins, and beans. These crops were grown close together. The English segregated their crops. How wrong they were! The Native American Indian's yield was much higher and they used less land to accomplish this feat. I know since I also grew my gardens "Indian-style." Squanto, a Narragansett, showed the first colonists how to grow maize (corn) and other crops and quite literally saved them from starvation. Later the colonists would turn on Squanto and his people.

The squash and pumpkins were grown to discourage weeds and they prevented the soil from drying out because of the large shading leaves. Pumpkins and squash were grown around the corn to keep the corn's roots from drying out and eroding away. The beans were grown up poles or even on the corn. The beans drew the nitrogen out of the air and brought it into the soil through their roots. This was a good idea since corn tends to deplete nitrogen from the soil. This stabilized the nitrogen. The beans offered protein and an amino acid called lysine which released the corn's protein when combined together in a meal. Even today's health store tout the benefits of lysine.

Native fruit included: persimmons, plums, cherries, currants, sumac, elderberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and gooseberries. Many saw this New World as a veritable "Garden of Eden." But like I said, before city dwellers were unsure in this wilderness.

The hardwood trees of America not only provided wood but they produced nuts, a meat substitute. Nuts could be stored for when the hunting was not good. Hickory, walnuts, acorns, walnuts, hazel buts, and chestnuts were plentiful. Native women were in charge of the crops, while the men built and maintained shelters and hunted. The Pilgrim men did the crops while women keep the home, spun yarn, made butter, etc.

Roger Williams stated that it was a strange truth that a man could find more free entertainment and refreshing life among the so-called barbarians than among the Christians. Indians had more leisure time than Pilgrims and enjoyed playing games with their children. This was seen with resentment by the colonists.

In 1636, John Endecott led an bloody expedition against the Pequot Indians that provoked a war. The Pequot Wars of 1636-1675 made the colonists even more hardened against the Native American Indians. Endecott was deputy governor in 1641-1644, in 1650, and in 1654. He was governor six times from 1644-1665. Even though the Pequots helped the colonists attack the Narragensetts, since they were warring tribes. This lack of untity between the tribes made them weak. They should have been united. As the years progressed more and more Indian land was stolen or "bought" from the Indians for a few trinkets. The Native American Indian did not understand the concept of owing land. Land to them was there for all to use. Nature was not for sale. The Indians respected nature's power.

Ipwich, Massachusetts:

Ipswich, Massachusetts was the home of William Bartholomew, my ancestor, and was one of the oldest towns in the United States. Ipswich was founded in 1633, and is located 28 miles north of Boston. The area includes marshes, dunes, beaches, uplands, forests, fields, and farmlands. Ipswich was the first lacing-making town in the Americas, and was also famous for its clams. Ipswich is the home of America's first woman poet, Anne Bradstreet (nee Dudley), in the 1630's and 1640's. Her husband, Rev, Simon Bradstreet (1603-1697), was the secretary of Massachusett Bay Colony and later was the governor of Massachsuetts. Anne was thought to have been born in Northampton, England. The Bradstreets emigrated to New England with the Winthrops.

*****

SOURCES:

Koch, H.W. History of Warfare. New York: Gallery Books, 1991.

Lyon, Ron and Jenny Paschall. Beyond Belief: Bizarre Facts and Incredible Stories From All Over the World. New York: Villard Books, 1993.

Maddocks, Melvin and the editors of Time-Life Books. The Atlantic Crossing [as part of the "Seafarers Series"]. Alexandria, VA.: Time-Life Books.

Peloubet, editor, F.N. & M.A. The Dictionary of the Bible was originally written by William Smith, L.L.D.


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