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Discovered by Europeans in 1692; the first who are known to have set foot in the county were Edward Harlie and Nicholas Hobson, who landed at Ipswich in 1611. The earliest settlers were the Cape Ann colonists, led by Roger Conant, in 1624. Endicott's colony arrived September 6, 1628. On May10, 1643, eight towns Salem, Lynn, Wenham, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, Gloucester, and Andover were set apart and incorporated as Essex County.
Indian disturbances affected the inhabitants
but little until the breaking out of King Philip's War; in which
brave soldiers and good leaders from Essex County distinguished
themselves at various points. Theirs were the troops so mercilessly
slaughtered at "Bloody Brook," in Deerfield, a body of ninety
picked, well-disciplined, courageous soldiers known as "the Flower
of Essex," under Captain Lothrop, where they were surprised by a
large body of Philip's savage warriors.
The history of this county is disfigured by the woeful delusion of witchcraft which raged here in the latter part of the 17th century; and which, originating in that part of Salem which is now included in Danvers, extended to neighboring towns, until not less than 20 persons had actually been executed, while 8 more had been condemned, 150 were in prison awaiting trial, and 200 others had been accused. It is acknowledged that most of those who suffered and many others of the accused were persons of excellent character. In consequence of the trials and the expenses, the rapacious confiscations, and the universal alarm, business was utterly prostrated, and hundreds impoverished. Long years of toil and sorrow elapsed before the county recovered fully from this terrible blow. During the Revolution, Essex County effectively sustained her part on the side of freedom and nationality. A Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts 1890
|Census||Church Histories/ Records|
|County/Court Records||Death Records|
|Family Bibles/Stories||Historical Landmarks|
Census: 1850 Mortality for Newburyport; Hamilton, Rockport, Wenham;
Church: Church News-Newburyport 1774, Quarterly Conference 1917
Court: Estates 1796, Made a Break for Liberty,
Disasters: Fire at Goodwin house; Violent Gale
Land: Leighton Land, That City Wants, is Valued at $10,000
News: Abandoned Her Babe, Theatrical Topics, Maggie Cline Recovering, Thomas R. Lord most successful farmer; Florence Hills guest of Mary Ryan; Andrew J. Leighton, Andrew J. Leighton Has Been on Job Team a Half Century, Racing at the Rink, A Dishonest Salesman, Planing Mill destroyed by Fire, List of Letters 1835, 1838;
Notices: Married 30 Years - Coffin; RICE-MANELL, LINCOLN-WAGNER, Manthorn Wedding Anniversary, BAILEY-SPENCER
Obits: George H. Leighton, Zachariah Atwood, Sarah Gage, Samuel Webster, Hazel B. Jaques, Mary Leighton, Edward Knight, Isaiah B. Russell, David Parker, Ezekiel Todd, Harriet Bailey, Mary Barker, Hannah Adams, Samuel H. Tarr, Mary Elizabeth Chapman, Ruth Johnson, E.W. Choate, Mrs. Scribner,
Probate/Wills: Caroline C. Leighton, Marie R.E. Booth,
Schools: Rockingham Academy-Female Department,
Ships/Mariners: Newport 1774, Marine List; Important and True; Confirmation, Ship News 1796;
Societies: Agawam Lodge, Natural History Club,
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