Salem, MA

Back

City, Seat of justice, together with Ipswich and Newburyport, of Essex Co, MA, 14 miles northeast of Boston, and 454 miles from Washington.  The tongue of land on which it is situated, is nearly surrounded by water, and comprises the oldest and most irregular part of the town.  Two bridges over each inlet of the sea connect this with the more modern parts.  The position of the city is low, and its harbor shallow; but here, as elsewhere, obstacles seem to have stimulated rather than prevent effort.  Next to Plymouth and Weymouth, Salem is the oldest town in Massachusetts, and from an early period it has been distinguished for the extent of its maritime operations.  Its ships and sailors were active in the Revolution, and since that period it has celebrated for its East India trade.  At present, through other towns more favorably situated have outstripped it in commerce and population, its vessels are as numerous as ever, and visit every quarter of the globe.  Several millions of dollars in capital are invested in the manufacture of machinery, useful and precious metals, &c.  In the centre of the city is a park, or "Common" of about nine acres.  The streets are not very regular, but some of the houses are Handsome.  The most noted public buildings are the Athenaeum, East India museum, city hall, courthouse, hospital, customhouse, jail and about 20 churches of various denominations.

The population in 1790 was 7,921; in 1800 was 9,457; in 1810 was 12,613; in 1820 was 12,721; in 1830 was 13,886, in 1840 was 15,082 and in 1850 was 20,264