In April of 1614, Captain John Smith sailed near Ipswich and recorded, “Here are many rising hills, and on their tops and descents are many corne fields and delightful groves.” News of this pleasant land spread abroad. In 1633 Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop sent his son John Winthrop Jr. and “twelve good men” to found a settlement 30 miles north of Boston at Agawam, and Indian village. The town was founded a year later as Ipswich, and was one of the most important Massachusetts shire towns through the Colonial era.  The Supreme Court as well as the Probate Court held its sessions here.

Captain John Smith New England “A Land of Promise,” April 1614 - In April of 1614, Captain John Smith of Virginia sailed near Ipswich, about which he recorded, “Here are many rising hills, and on their tops and descents are many corne fields and delightful groves… There is also Okes, Pines, Walnuts and other wood to make this place an excellent habitation, being a good and safe … Continue reading “A Land of Promise,” April 1614
The Pilgrim, a movie by Ric Burns The Pilgrims: “not the Thanksgiving myth we think we know.” - The story of the Pilgrims – who they were, what drove them on – their searing first years in America and pivotal interactions with Native Americans – how they succeeded and how they failed – and how and why we have come to remember them as we do – is a tale far more harrowing … Continue reading The Pilgrims: “not the Thanksgiving myth we think we know.”
The “Commonwealth” - An irony of the recent presidential election is the millions of people who felt abandoned by the government and left out in today’s economy, and yet chose as their presidential candidates two very wealthy people. This brought me to reflect on the word “commonwealth,” defined as a state or collection of states in which supreme authority is … Continue reading The “Commonwealth”
The wolf in colonial America Killing wolves - One of the first laws instituted by the Massachusetts Bay Colony was a bounty on wolves, and in early Ipswich, a rather disconcerting aspect of entering the Meeting House was the site of wolf heads nailed to the door. Roger Williams, who fled the colony to establish Rhode Island, referred to the wolf as “a fierce, … Continue reading Killing wolves
Roads to Paradise - Paradise Road Thomas Franklin Waters wrote: “The early farm of Mr. Charles Day was on the ancient way, now called not inaptly Paradise Road, for it is a very beautiful road, winding through long stretches of woodland, where ferns and brakes grow luxuriantly, and every kind of wild flower finds congenial haunt in open glades or shaded nooks.” 
Mass Moments: Puritans Leave for Massachusetts - Featured image: The Pilgrim Fathers: Departure of a Puritan family for New England 1856 by Charles COPE On April 7, 1630, the last well-wishers stepped off the ship Arabella and returned to shore. More than a week after the vessel first set out, the winds were finally favorable. The ship weighed anchor and sailed for New … Continue reading Mass Moments: Puritans Leave for Massachusetts
Ipswich Old North Burying Ground - The Ipswich Historical Commission site features a comprehensive index of the Old North Burying Ground, including photos of the 1300 graves representing 1800 interments. The Old North Burying Ground Preservation Study was recently completed by Martha Lyon Landscape Architecture and Fannin-Lehner Preservation Consultants. Maps and indexes are based on the 1935 book Memento Mori produced by the Ipswich Historical Society. Old North Burying Ground … Continue reading Ipswich Old North Burying Ground
Ecclesiastical Ipswich by Agnes Edwards Ecclesiastical Ipswich - Featured image from the book “The Romantic Shore” by Agnes Edwards, 1915. In the preface she writes, Of all the thousands of miles of our inspiring coast-line, east and west, there is no part more rich in romance, more throbbing with legendary and historical associations than the North Shore of New England. Try to imagine … Continue reading Ecclesiastical Ipswich
John Winthrop’s journal of the ship Arbella’s voyage to America, March 29 – July 8, 1630 - On April 7, 1630, the  Arabella was a week out from its port in England, and the last well-wishers returned to shore. The winds were finally favorable, and the ship weighed anchor and sailed for New England, with Governor John Winthrop and approximately 300 English Puritans on board, leaving their homes in England to settle in a fledgling colony.
“The pigs have liberty” - From the Ancient Records of the town of Ipswich, January 13, 1639 “Agreed that if any swine shall be taken within two miles of the towne, after the tenth day of April next, running, the owners of such swine shall forfeit five shillings a piece for every such swine, the one half to the towne, the other … Continue reading “The pigs have liberty”
An old pear tree grows in Danvers… -  A History of the Endecott Pear Tree by Richard B. Trask The 375-year-old Endecott Pear Tree in Danvers was planted under the direction of the first Massachusetts Governor, English Puritan John Endecott (c 1588-1665). Endecott sailed from England to the New World aboard the ship Abigail in 1628, landing at a small peninsula the native inhabitants called Naumkeag. Endecott established a permanent … Continue reading An old pear tree grows in Danvers…
Discovering Daniel Denison - Daniel Denison was born in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England in 1612, and came to America with his parents William Denison and Margaret Chandler on the ship “Lyon” in 1631. When Daniel Denison’s son John died unexpectedly, Denison left an autobiography for his grandchildren, which told about the journey to America and their heritage. “I thought meet to … Continue reading Discovering Daniel Denison
John Winthrop Jr. here and gone - John Winthrop the younger was the son of Massachusetts Bay Colony governor John Winthrop, and led the settlement of Agawam in 1633 (renamed Ipswich in 1634), accompanied by 11 men. During that first year they erected crude shelters and the next year brought their families to join them in the wilderness. The native population of … Continue reading John Winthrop Jr. here and gone
The Great Colonial Hurricane and the wreck of the Angel Gabriel, August 25, 1635 - Featured image: Pemaquid Point plaque commemorating the wreck of the Angel Gabriel On the last Wednesday of May, 1635, the Angel Gabriel, a 240 ton ship set out from England, bound for New England. The ship had been commissioned as the Starre for Sir Walter Raleigh’s last expedition to America in 1617. It was stout … Continue reading The Great Colonial Hurricane and the wreck of the Angel Gabriel, August 25, 1635
The Boardman House in Saugus - The Boardman House is at 7 Howard Street in Saugus, MA. Built in 1692 for the family of William Boardman, a joiner, Boardman House survives remarkably intact from its original construction. With the exception of minor structural stabilization and repairs, the house remains unaltered since the early eighteenth century, providing an exceptional opportunity to view seventeenth and eighteenth-century … Continue reading The Boardman House in Saugus
Anne Dudley Bradstreet, the colony’s first published poet - Anne Dudley Bradstreet and her husband Simon Bradstreet lived in Ipswich from 1634 – 1648 in a primitive home in what could only be considered a wilderness by one so refined as she. She took consolation in her writing, and it was during this time that she wrote a collection of poems published in London in 1650 … Continue reading Anne Dudley Bradstreet, the colony’s first published poet
Agawam - Image: Ipswich Riverwalk Mural ,Sagamore Masconomet selling Agawam to John Winthrop At the time of the arrival of European colonists in the 1630′s, the Ipswich area was known as Agawam but the tribe had been decimated by what is now believed to have been a hepatitis plague. The population of the Agawam region stretching from … Continue reading Agawam
Castle Neck and the dunes - Crane Beach and all of Castle Neck are protected by the Trustees of Reservations. Warm winter days are the perfect time to hike the miles of dune trail, accessible from the Crane Beach parking lot. My loop usually begins at the green trail entrance on the far right side of the Crane Beach parking lot, first … Continue reading Castle Neck and the dunes
Along the Old Bay Road - In November 1639, the General Court in Boston ordered that the first official road be laid out from Boston to Portsmouth. Bay Road was to be constructed by each town along the way and milestones carved in stone were installed to indicate distances. Some (but not all) of the road is also known now as Historic … Continue reading Along the Old Bay Road
A Nostalgic Glance at Harvard’s Early History - *From it’s earliest days, the people of Ipswich made frequent contributions to Harvard College. William Hubbard of Ipswich, the son of the Rev.William Hubbard, in his twenty-first year, ‘was one of that remarkable group of nine young men whom Harvard College sent forth in 1642, as the first specimens of high culture achieved in the woods of … Continue reading A Nostalgic Glance at Harvard’s Early History
Gold Coast negro slaves for sale Names of the Ipswich slaves - In 1638, a ship returned to Salem from the West Indies after a seven-month voyage. Its cargo included cotton, tobacco and, as far as we know, the first African slaves to be imported into Massachusetts. In 1641 the Massachusetts Bay Colony adopted a code of laws that made slavery legal. It would remain so for the … Continue reading Names of the Ipswich slaves
A photographic and chronological history of the Ipswich Schools - Featured image: Manning School, and the first Winthrop School on the left. Photo by George Dexter, circa 1900. Excerpts from The History of the Ipswich Public Schools, an excellent article written in 2008 by William E. Waitt, Jr, who served as teacher and principal in the Ipswich Public Schools for 36 years; and A History of the Ipswich … Continue reading A photographic and chronological history of the Ipswich Schools
Ipswich woodcut,1838 attributed to S. E. Brown. Ipswich town meeting - Featured image: Ipswich woodcut, 1838 attributed to S. E. Brown. Thomas Franklin Waters recorded the early history of Town Meeting in his book, Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The first Ipswich public official appointed was the Clerk, Robert Lord, chosen in February 1643-4, “from this time forward to be present at every general meeting of the … Continue reading Ipswich town meeting
A brief history of Castle Hill and the Crane Estate - Castle Hill on the Crane Estate from Above Summit on Vimeo. The land on Castle Hill, Castle Neck and Crane Beach all belongs to the Trustees of Reservations, but historically the three areas were not always owned by the same family, and passed through a chain of ownership by the Symonds-Eppes, Bennett, Patch-Lakeman, Burnham-Brown, and … Continue reading A brief history of Castle Hill and the Crane Estate
Dogtown, its history and legends - Dogtown is an area in central Gloucester of about five square miles, or 3600 acres, stretching from the Riverdale section of the city, north of Route 128, into Rockport, and including the Goose Cove and the Babson Reservoirs. Development is banned in this protected municipal watershed.
Early Ipswich, “A paradise for politicians” - Thomas Franklin Water gave us in Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony a history of the early formation of the government of the Town of Ipswich.
Drunkards, liars, a hog, a dog, a witch, “disorderly persons” and the innkeeper - As the young boys who arrived with the first settlers of Ipswich approached adulthood in the mid-17th Century, they developed a fondness for hard liquor and rowdiness, which frequently landed them in court. The words of accusers, witnesses and defendants in the Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County provide a bizarre but most entertaining narrative. Mark Quilter: drunkard, temperamental, and … Continue reading Drunkards, liars, a hog, a dog, a witch, “disorderly persons” and the innkeeper
History of Gloucester, MA - The History of the town and city of Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts was written by James Pringle in 1892 and is online at Archive.org.
The proof was in the Kettle - Mark Quilter made his living as a cow-keeper in the common land on the north side of town and seemed to always be in trouble. He was called before the court in 1647 and reprimanded for “sleeping in the barn” rather than watching the cows during his evening shift. He had a reputation in Ipswich for … Continue reading The proof was in the Kettle
Troubles with Sheep - A surge in livestock in 1640 contributed to some unexpected difficulties. That year, the General Court in an effort to establish the self-reliance of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, ordered that towns promote the growing of flax, hemp, wool, the spinning and weaving of these fibers, the raising of livestock,  and that no sheep or mutton should be exported. In … Continue reading Troubles with Sheep
A short history of Ipswich dog laws - 1644 The following is transcribed from the Ipswich Town Meeting, May 11, 1644: “It is ordered that all doggs for the space of three weeks after the publishing hereof shall have one legg tyed up, and if such a dogg shall break loose and be found doing any harm, the owner of the dogg shall pay … Continue reading A short history of Ipswich dog laws
Gathering Salt Marsh Hay - Salt marsh hay is still gathered on the North Shore today. Eva Jackman writes, “My husband’s family has been harvesting salt hay on the same Newbury land as in 1643. He cuts salt hay and helps with the stacks on Rte 1. When greenheads get really bad he resorts to burying himself in the hay to … Continue reading Gathering Salt Marsh Hay
The Life of Daniel Hovey - At the foot of Hovey Street on Water Street along the Ipswich River is a plaque dedicated to the memory of Daniel Hovey, placed there by his descendants. The original wharf on the river in Ipswich was Hovey’s Wharf at this approximate location. Daniel Hovey was born in 1618 in Waltham Abbey, Essex Co., England. He … Continue reading The Life of Daniel Hovey
 
John Brown’s Farm (aka Pony Express) - The 128-acre Pony Express Farm is bordered by Chebacco, Essex and Candlewood Roads. The property includes a large polo field, open fields, woods, trails and wetlands along the western bank of the Castle Neck River. A proposal to purchase a portion of the property by the Town of Ipswich as part of the Open Space Program for youth playing … Continue reading John Brown’s Farm (aka Pony Express)
Mass Moments: Quakers Outlawed, December 3, 1658 - On December 3, 1658, Plymouth Court ordered that any boat carrying Quakers to Sandwich be seized to prevent the religious heretics from landing. A year earlier, Quakers in Sandwich had established the first Friends’ Meeting in the New World. Magistrates in both Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies were alarmed by Quaker teachings that individuals could … Continue reading Mass Moments: Quakers Outlawed, December 3, 1658
The sad story of Alexander Knight - The Alexander Knight House next to the Whipple House on South Green is a re-creation of an early, English-style timber frame house from 1657 as described in Ipswich town records. This exhibit was built with traditional tools, materials and construction methods of the First Period, complete with a stone foundation, timber frame, wattle and daub chimney, … Continue reading The sad story of Alexander Knight
The “wearing of long hair” - The wearing of long hair was a burning theme of address in the Puritan pulpit.
The Bones of Masconomet - Masconomet was the sagamore (chief) of the Agawam tribe of the Algonquian native Americans when the first Puritan colonists arrived in Ipswich in 1633. He had survived the pandemic which killed 90% of the local native population in the early 1600′s. Masconomet ruled all the tribal land from Cape Ann to the Merrimack River, which … Continue reading The Bones of Masconomet
Legend of Heartbreak Hill, Ipswich MA The Legend of Heartbreak Hill - When the lands of Ipswich were apportioned among the settlers, the summit of Heartbreak Hill was designated as a planting lot because the Indians had cleared it for corn. Perhaps some settler was “heartbroken” to receive such an inaccessible and rocky field. The 1832 Ipswich map gives the name “Hardbrick,” and perhaps the name evolved from “Hardbrick,” which referred to the hill’s abundance of clay … Continue reading The Legend of Heartbreak Hill
Thomas Dennis, legendary Ipswich joiner - In 1937, Irving P. Lyon published a series of six articles about Thomas Dennis, joiner of Ipswich, analyzing numerous articles of furniture and family documents. The furniture of Thomas Dennis took on the status of historic treasure, and over time more pieces were attributed to him than he could have produced in his lifetime. In 1960, … Continue reading Thomas Dennis, legendary Ipswich joiner
Mehitable Braybrooke burned down the house, but which one? - From Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony: “From the Lakeman place to the corner of the Road to Jeffries’ Neck, there were two original lots, John Sanders, next to the Lakeman place, and then John Perkins, the elder, but Perkins bought of Sanders, his lot, an acre and three rods, in 1639. John Perkins, “Taller” … Continue reading Mehitable Braybrooke burned down the house, but which one?
“Wording it over the sheep” and behaving badly - Samuel Hunt came to Ipswich after arriving with his Puritan parents in New England at the age of four in 1636. Samuel Hunt was made a”Freeman”, May 3, 1654, in Concord, at the age of about twenty-three, which allowed him the right of suffrage and to hold office. Upon receiving an inheritance from his uncle Robert … Continue reading “Wording it over the sheep” and behaving badly
Puritans torturing quakers Persecution of Quakers by the Puritans - The Rev. John Norton was born at Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England, where he was ordained. He joined the Puritan movement, and sailed in 1634 to New England, arriving Plymouth. In 1638 at the age of 38, he was called to become the “teacher” for the congregation in recently-settled Ipswich. In 1652 Norton left Ipswich and later … Continue reading Persecution of Quakers by the Puritans
Great Neck, a photographic history - (Text adapted from the History of Great Neck, published in 1984 by Doris Wilson) Before the settlement of Ipswich was begun in 1633 by John Winthrop, William Jeffrey, who had come over in 1623, had purchased from the Indians a title to the glacial drumlin which bears his name. Thomas Franklin Waters wrote: “The first … Continue reading Great Neck, a photographic history
Little Neck, Ipswich MA Little Neck, a photographic history - In 1639, two wealthy brothers William and Robert Paine (aka Payne) procured a grant of land in the town of Ipswich from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Ten years later William Paine. In about 1649 Robert offered to “erect an edifice for the purpose of a grammar school, provided the town or any particular inhabitant of … Continue reading Little Neck, a photographic history
“Wording it over the sheep” - Samuel Hunt came to Ipswich after arriving with his Puritan parents in New England at the age of four in 1636. For 200 years what we call Great Cove downstream from the County Street Bridge was known as “Hunt’s Cove”. Samuel often had words with his neighbor John Lee Sr. over the handling of cattle … Continue reading “Wording it over the sheep”
Life in the Ipswich jails - The first Essex County gaol (jail) was erected in Ipswich across from the Meeting House in 1652. The Court paid the keeper 5 shillings per prisoner and ordered that each prisoner should additionally pay the keeper before they be released for “their food and attendance.” Those who were unable to pay for their food were allowed only … Continue reading Life in the Ipswich jails
“Dalliance and too much familiarity” - William Row v. John Leigh, Mar. 28, 1673 Writ: William Row v. John Leigh; for insinuating dalliance and too much familiarity with his wife, drawing away her affections from her husband, to the great detriment both in his estate and the comfort of his life. From the Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, … Continue reading “Dalliance and too much familiarity”
Marked by a Witch - Originally posted on streetsofsalem:
I have featured maps on this blog many times: maps allegorical, anthropomorphic, and antique, maps featuring octopuses, spiders, relationships and myriad places and perspectives. An ongoing exhibition of pictorial maps at the University of Southern Maine’s Osher Map Library has inspired me to examine this particular cartographical creation yet again–along with…
The Brookfield Massacre, August 2, 1675 - This is the story of William Prichard, John Ayres, John Warner and Daniel Hovey and their families, who left Ipswich to establish the doomed plantation at Brookfield, Massachusetts. In May 1660, a group of colonists moved from Ipswich to the Indian town Quaboag in Western Massachusetts, which they renamed Brookfield. Indian attacks known as “King … Continue reading The Brookfield Massacre, August 2, 1675
Chebacco women build a meetinghouse The women of Chebacco build a Meeting House, March 21, 1679 - In 17th Century New England,  the church was the center of government. Chebacco was the section of Ipswich that is now Essex, and its inhabitants were expected to make the ten-mile round trip every Sabbath, Lecture Day, Training Day or Town Meeting day to the Meeting House in Ipswich. Chebacco residents petitioned the town of … Continue reading The women of Chebacco build a Meeting House, March 21, 1679
The tragic story of Rebecca Rawson, 1679 -   The following is from a story told in 1921 by Rev. Glenn Tilley Morse, President of the Historical Society of Old Newbury and Newburyport. Edward Rawson arrived in Newbury in 1637. When he was only twenty-three years old he was chosen town clerk, notary public, and registrar for the town of Newbury. He was … Continue reading The tragic story of Rebecca Rawson, 1679
Harry Maine house, Ipswich MA The ghost of Harry Maine - Featured image: Harry Maine house by Arthur Wesley Dow Harry Maine — you have heard the tale; He lived there in Ipswich Town; He blasphemed God, so they put him down With an iron shovel, at Ipswich Bar; They chained him there for a thousand years, As the sea rolls up to shovel it back … Continue reading The ghost of Harry Maine
The Trouble with Mugg - King Phillips War spread into a series of battles in Maine known as the Eastern War. On October 12, 1676 about 100 Indian warriors made an assault on an English settlement at Black Point near Portland, Maine and took a number of captives. A couple of weeks later an Arosagunticook chief named Mugg Hegon visited General … Continue reading The Trouble with Mugg
James Nailer, Quaker, persecuted by Puritans. The Town is Full! - from Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Vol. I: 1633-1700 published in 1905 by Thomas Franklin Waters THE BODY POLITIC The political privileges of those early years of the seventeenth century, when Ipswich was a frontier town, were few. In a community so thoroughly religious, one would expect to find perfect brotherliness. But Religion was itself narrow. Our … Continue reading The Town is Full!
The Witchcraft Trial of Elizabeth Morse of Newbury, 1680 - Elizabeth Morse of Newbury was accused and found guilty of being a witch. She was initially sentenced to be hanged, but the execution was never carried out and, after spending a year in the Boston jail, Elizabeth Morse was sent home to live with her husband on the condition that she was forbidden to travel … Continue reading The Witchcraft Trial of Elizabeth Morse of Newbury, 1680
The Legend of Goody Cole, 1680 - In Myths and Legends of our Own Time, Charles M. Skinner wrote the following story, based on two poems by John Greenleaf Whittier. Goodwife Eunice Cole, of Hampton, Massachusetts, was so “vehemently suspected to be a witch” that she was arrested in 1680 for the third time and was thrown into the Ipswich jail with a chain … Continue reading The Legend of Goody Cole, 1680
Ipswich Massachusetts: Birthplace of American Independence - The legendary and heroic opposition by the people and leaders of Ipswich to a tax imposed by the Crown in 1687 is commemorated in the seal of the town of Ipswich, which bears the motto, “The Birthplace of American Independence 1687.” This act of resistance has been called ‘the foundation of American Democracy,’ and was the beginning of a … Continue reading Ipswich Massachusetts: Birthplace of American Independence
A ramble in Ipswich, 1686 - Thomas Franklin Waters wrote that in 1686, Mr. and Mrs. Stewart who lived in the ancient Caleb Lord house on High Street (no longer standing), “were favored with a visit from  the book-seller John Dunton, who came to Ipswich in the course of his saddle-bag peregrinations.” 
The Spectre Ship of Salem - Cotton Mather related the tale of a doomed ship called “Noah’s Dove” which left Salem during the late 17th century for England. Among the passengers were “a young man and a passing beautiful girl pale and sorrowful, whom no one knew and who held communion with no one.” Many people in Salem supposed them to be demons … Continue reading The Spectre Ship of Salem
Mason’s Claim - The spring of 1683 brought an issue of great concern for the residents of Ipswich. If an ancient claim was confirmed in Boston court, every land title would be worthless and a landed medieval system known as “quit-rents” could be grafted upon New England. In 1622, Capt. John Mason had obtained title to all land … Continue reading Mason’s Claim
The defiant Samuel Appleton - The Ipswich Post Office Mural portrays Reverend John Wise and Major Samuel Appleton gathered with other Ipswich men in 1687 in opposition to taxes imposed by Sir Edmund Andros. On April 18, 1689 leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony reclaimed control of the government from the crown-appointed governor, Sir Edmund Andros. Major Samuel Appleton of Ipswich … Continue reading The defiant Samuel Appleton
The Boy Who Couldn’t Remember - Lionel Chute became the first Ipswich schoolmaster in 1636, but the first Ipswich grammar school was not constructed until 1653. It faced what was known then as the School House Green, now the South Green. Ezekiel Cheever was the schoolmaster there, followed in 1660 by Schoolmaster Andrews. Thomas Franklin Waters recorded the following story in  … Continue reading The Boy Who Couldn’t Remember
The Rev. John Wise of Ipswich - The concepts of freedom about which Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence came from the pulpit and pen of the Rev. John Wise of Ipswich, Massachusetts. “The first human subject and original of civil power is the people…and when they are free, they may set up what species of government they please. The end of all good … Continue reading The Rev. John Wise of Ipswich
The Curse of Salem: A Hocus Pocus - “The spiral that we saw in Salem is the same one that spurred the Red Scare, and the same one that causes paranoia in parts of our society today. Perhaps the innocent women and men may find their revenge after all – a purpose in history, more than just a mockery to promote tourism.” A … Continue reading The Curse of Salem: A Hocus Pocus
John Hale, a Modest Inquiry into Witchcraft. “We walked in the clouds and could not see our way” - In 1690, the governor of Massachusetts, William Phips asked the 54-year-old pastor Rev. John Hale of Beverly to accompany the campaign against the French in Quebec as chaplain, and Hale willingly agreed. Hale returned home in 1690, but a crisis soon erupted that would test his convictions. It was January, 1692, that the witch hysteria began in Salem. Hale was … Continue reading “We walked in the clouds and could not see our way”
The witchcraft accusations against Sarah Buckley and Mary Witheridge - Sarah Buckley was brought from England to Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony as a child with her parents. She joined the Ipswich church around 1650, and married a local yeoman, William Buckley. The couple moved to the Marblehead area of Salem where they acquired a home, and Sarah transferred her church membership to Salem. In … Continue reading The witchcraft accusations against Sarah Buckley and Mary Witheridge
Candlewood Rd., Ipswich Ma Candlewood and Fellows Road, the story of an Ancient Neighborhood - “Why and when the name was given is largely a matter of conjecture. Pastor Higginson of Salem wrote to friends in England of the primitive way in which the earliest settlers often lighted their houses by burning thin strips of the pitch pine trees. The suggestion is natural that this fine farming country was originally … Continue reading Candlewood and Fellows Road, the story of an Ancient Neighborhood
South Main Street, then and now - In March 1692 several Ipswich persons petitioned “to have liberty granted them to build shops upon ye bank by ye river side,” at what is now South Main Street. The Selectmen laid out this stretch of land in twenty-three small lots and granted them “to as many individuals with the conditions that they not encumber … Continue reading South Main Street, then and now
Rachel Clinton arrested for witchcraft, May 28, 1692 - Everything about Rachel Clinton’s life went wrong, and in her old age she became a  beggar and a ward of the town of Ipswich, She was an easy target for the witchcraft hysteria that spread from Salem throughout Essex County, and on May 28, 1692, Rachel Clinton was arrested, and was kept in the Ipswich or Salem jail, shackled with iron … Continue reading Rachel Clinton arrested for witchcraft, May 28, 1692
Ipswich and the Salem witchcraft trials - In his book Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Thomas Franklin Waters wrote about Ipswich involvement in the Salem witch trials: The evidence was of the usual absurd character; Sarah Good had been confined in Ipswich jail. Joseph Herrick, the Constable of Salem, testified that she had been committed to his charge to carry to … Continue reading Ipswich and the Salem witchcraft trials
Four-year-old Dorothy Good is jailed for witchcraft, March 24, 1692 - Sarah Poole’s husband died in 1682 leaving her in debt. Sarah then married William Good, but creditors seized their Salem home, and by 1692, Sarah Good and her husband were homeless beggars. Sarah had long been a melancholy and somewhat confrontational woman, and was accused of witchcraft on February 25, 1692 by the girls Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Parris. … Continue reading Four-year-old Dorothy Good is jailed for witchcraft, March 24, 1692
The Amazing Story of Hannah Duston, March 14, 1697 - Hannah Duston of Haverhill was born in Ipswich on High Street in 1657 while her mother was visiting her relatives the Shatswells. In 1879, a bronze statue of Hannah Duston was created by Calvin Weeks in Haverhill in Grand Army Park, honoring her escape from Abanaki captors.  The following are excerpts from an article by H.D. Kilgore in 1940. … Continue reading The Amazing Story of Hannah Duston, March 14, 1697
The Spectre Leaguers, 1692 - This story of apparitions was told by so many sources that it suggests that the colony was suffering from mass insanity. The following was written by Thomas Franklin Waters. In the midst of witchcraft accusations in 1692, a new and unique outburst of Satanic rage revealed itself. Gloucester was invaded by a spectral company of Indians … Continue reading The Spectre Leaguers, 1692