“A priceless reservoir of early American history”
Ipswich, Massachusetts was founded in 1634, and is America’s best-preserved Puritan town. Opposition by the people and leaders of Ipswich to a tax imposed in 1687 is commemorated in the seal of the town of Ipswich, with the motto, “The Birthplace of American Independence 1687.”
The Free Press is not the Enemy - We hold it therefore our duty and safety whilst we are about the further establishing of this Government to collect and express all such freedoms as for present we foresee may concern us, and our posterity after us, And to ratify them with our solemn consent."
Nathaniel Ward, pastor of Ipswich, in The Massachusetts Body of Liberties (1641)
Birthplace of American Independence - Resistance by the citizens 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."
Ipswich in the 17th Century - Ipswich was settled in 1633 in an area the Native Americans called Agawam. The Town resisted the King in 1684 and its leaders were jailed. The Town experienced the pain of the Salem Witch Trials. Ipswich in the 18th Century - The Town devoted manpower and resources to the French and Indian Wars & the War for Independence. The town sank into economic decline and the Hamlet became the Town of Hamilton. Ipswich in the 19th Century - Chebacco Parish becomes the Town of Essex. The Eastern Railway and Ipswich Mills bring a resurgence of prosperity and the population doubles. After two downtown fires in 1894 the town builds a water system. Ipswich in the 20th Century - In 1903 the Electric Light System was built. Workers went on strike at Ipswich Hosiery Mills in 1913. The town suffered through the Great Depression and two World Wars. The Old North and South Churches were destroyed by fires in 1965 and 1975.
Recent Posts - Posts on the Historic Ipswich site by town historian Gordon Harris, with frequent guest articles. Old North Burying Ground - The Old North Burying Ground in Ipswich, Massachusetts was established in 1634 and is one of the oldest cemeteries in North America.