In 1626, Roger Conant led a group from Cape Ann to this site, called Naumkeag by the Native Americans. Salem's early history was darkened by the witchcraft trials of 1692, in which Samuel Sewall was a judge many of the victims came from the part of Salem that now is Danvers . Massachusetts exonerated all those accused in the trials in 1711. From colonial days through the clipper ship era, Salem was world famous as a port and a wealthy center for the China trade. It was a privateering base in the American Revolution and in the War of 1812. Shipping declined after the War of 1812, and the city turned to manufacturing. Hawthorne was overseer of the port from 1846 to 1849.
See history by J. D. Phillips (1937, repr. 1969) E. E. Elliot, The Devil & the Mathers (1989) L. W. Carlson, A Fever in Salem (1999) M. B. Norton, In the Devil's Snare (2002).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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