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."  In October 1685, Dunton sailed from England to visit New England, where he stayed … Continue reading A ramble in Ipswich, 1686

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