Salem, a city, port of entry, and one of the county-seats of Essex co., Mass., on Massachusetts Bay, 17 miles N.E. of Boston. With the exception of Plymouth, Salem is the oldest settlement in New England, and is noted for its many historical interests. Its first house was erected by Roger Conant in 1626, and two years later John Endicott founded the first permanent settlement. The framework of the first church, built in 1634, is still intact. The witchcraft delusion arose here in 1692, and 19 person were executed because of it. On Oct. 7, 1774, the Massachusetts House of Representatives with John Hancock in the chair met in Salem and declared the independence of that province. On Feb. 14, 1775, the British, in their search for war munitions, were foiled at the North Bridge and forced to withdraw. During the Revolutionary War over 150 privateers sailed from Salem and captured in all 445 English vessels. In 1785, the first vessel from the United States to India and China left this port. Pop. (1910) 43,697.
Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia