Historic homes and scenic landscapes
Ipswich, Massachusetts was founded in 1634 in an area the Native Americans called “Agawam” and is known as America’s best-preserved Puritan town. There are more remaining First Period houses (1625 through 1725) in Ipswich than any other town in the country, and the historic neighborhoods of Meeting House Green, High Street, the East End, and the South Green offer well-preserved streetscapes of 17th to 19th-century residences.
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.”
View the Ipswich calendar of events
George Washington’s Farewell Address - "The alternating domination of one faction over another... will gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual who turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty."
President Washington visits Ipswich, October 30, 1789 - On October 30, 1789, Washington passed through Ipswich on his ten-day tour of Massachusetts. Adoring crowds greeted the President at Swasey’s Tavern (still standing at the corner of Popular and County Streets) where he stopped for food and drink. President Monroe’s brief visit to Ipswich - "This morning about nine o'clock the President of the United States, Monroe, passed through Ipswich. He was attended by a large concourse of people; they paid him all the honor possible." John Adams’ letters from Ipswich - John Adams visited Ipswich many times during his tenure as the Boston representative to the colonial legislature from 1770 to 1774. Alexander Hamilton: “The Ultimate Object” - "The truth unquestionably is, that the only path to a subversion of the republican system of the Country is, by flattering the prejudices of the people, and exciting their jealousies and apprehensions, to throw affairs into confusion, and bring on civil commotion." 19th Century political toasts - Baptist minister "Citizen Pottle" gave a toast, "To the Venerable Town of Ipswich. May it be purged of all old Toryism and mock Federalism." As the other ministers were indeed Federalists, his toasts aroused suspicion that the whole celebration was a spirited demonstration of Baptist enthusiasm. 1854: Anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party sweeps Massachusetts elections - Prejudice disguised as patriotism repeats itself in American politics. In 1854, the "Know Nothing" American Party formed in opposition to Irish immigration and carried local elections in New England communities. They swept the state of Massachusetts in the fall 1854 elections but were defeated two years later. “To the Inhabitants of the Town of Ipswich,” from Thomas Jefferson - The Embargo Act of 1807 put New England ports at a standstill and its towns into a depression. The Ipswich Town Meeting petitioned the President to relieve "the people of this once prosperous country from their present embarrassed and distressed condition." The town found Jefferson's answer "Not Satisfactory."