Ipswich was settled in 1633 in an area the Native Americans called Agawam. The town was incorporated as Ipswich the following year.

Wreck of the Watch and Wait, August 24, 1635 - Many ships and lives were lost in the Great Colonial Hurricane, including 21 passengers who had set out from Ipswich on August 21, 1635 on a small bark named “Watch and Wait.” As they rounded Cape Ann they were suddenly met by the force of the winds. Reverend John Avery, his wife and six children and … Continue reading Wreck of the Watch and Wait, August 24, 1635
Captain John Smith New England “A Land of Promise,” April 1614 - In April of 1614, Captain John Smith of Virginia sailed near Ipswich, about which he recorded, “Here are many rising hills, and on their tops and descents are many corne fields and delightful groves… There is also Okes, Pines, Walnuts and other wood to make this place an excellent habitation, being a good and safe … Continue reading “A Land of Promise,” April 1614
The Great Dying--Native Americans in the early 17th Century The Great Dying 1616-1619, “By God’s visitation, a wonderful plague” - The arrival of 102 Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower at Plymouth in 1620 and the settlements by the Puritans in Boston, Salem and Ipswich a decade later were accompanied by the demise of the native population of North America. “Within these late years, there hath, by God’s visitation, reigned a wonderful plague, the utter destruction, devastation, … Continue reading The Great Dying 1616-1619, “By God’s visitation, a wonderful plague”
William Jeffreys’ Neck - This history of Jeffreys Neck is from the Agawam Manual and Directory by M.V.B. Perley, published in 1888. The business of fur-trading and fishing along the New England coast received a new impetus about the beginning of the seventeenth century. In 1604 Agawam was the center of Arcadia, so-called in the French patent of November 8, 1603. For a … Continue reading William Jeffreys’ Neck
The “Commonwealth” - An irony of the recent presidential election is the millions of people who felt abandoned by the government and left out in today’s economy, and yet chose as their presidential candidates two very wealthy people. This brought me to reflect on the word “commonwealth,” defined as a state or collection of states in which supreme authority is … Continue reading The “Commonwealth”
Mass Moments: Puritans Leave for Massachusetts - Featured image: The Pilgrim Fathers: Departure of a Puritan family for New England 1856 by Charles COPE On April 7, 1630, the last well-wishers stepped off the ship Arabella and returned to shore. More than a week after the vessel first set out, the winds were finally favorable. The ship weighed anchor and sailed for New … Continue reading Mass Moments: Puritans Leave for Massachusetts
John Winthrop’s journal of the ship Arbella’s voyage to America, March 29 – July 8, 1630 - On April 7, 1630, the  Arabella was a week out from its port in England, and the last well-wishers returned to shore. The winds were finally favorable, and the ship weighed anchor and sailed for New England, with Governor John Winthrop and approximately 300 English Puritans on board, leaving their homes in England to settle in a fledgling colony.
Agawam - Image: Ipswich Riverwalk Mural ,Sagamore Masconomet selling Agawam to John Winthrop At the time of the arrival of European colonists in the 1630′s, the Ipswich area was known as Agawam but the tribe had been decimated by what is now believed to have been a hepatitis plague. The population of the Agawam region stretching from … Continue reading Agawam
Who Were the Agawam Indians, Really? - (The following article is written by Mary Ellen Lepionka of Gloucester. Download the full PDF document View the references page It’s hard for people to change their stories—so embedded in deep time and official canon, so wedded to civic pride, expensive sometimes to modify—even when there is good reason to do so, such as a … Continue reading Who Were the Agawam Indians, Really?
An old pear tree grows in Danvers… -  A History of the Endecott Pear Tree by Richard B. Trask The 375-year-old Endecott Pear Tree in Danvers was planted under the direction of the first Massachusetts Governor, English Puritan John Endecott (c 1588-1665). Endecott sailed from England to the New World aboard the ship Abigail in 1628, landing at a small peninsula the native inhabitants called Naumkeag. Endecott established a permanent … Continue reading An old pear tree grows in Danvers…
The First Winters in Ipswich - Featured image: painting by George Henry Boughton Nearly half of the original 102 passengers on the Mayflower did not survive the first winter after arriving in Plymouth in December 1622. Only four of the original thirteen women lived to celebrate the “First Thanksgiving” the following November. Two hundred of the Boston colonists succumbed in the … Continue reading The First Winters in Ipswich
The early homes of the Shatswells - The oldest section of the Tuttle – Lord – Shatswell house at 88 High Street in Ipswich is said to have been built before 1690 as the home of John Shatswell, who came to join the Ipswich settlement in 1633 with his wife and four children. He was granted this piece of land and built his original small dwelling near the existing one, and … Continue reading The early homes of the Shatswells
Homes of the Lords - Featured image: The Thomas Lord house on High Street in Ipswich dates to 1658. Robert Lord arrived with the first settlers of Ipswich in late 1634 or early 1635, probably from Sudbury, Suffolk, England, where he was born in 1603. Soon after his arrival, Robert Lord was appointed Ipswich Town Clerk and Clerk of the Court of … Continue reading Homes of the Lords
Ecclesiastical Ipswich by Agnes Edwards Ecclesiastical Ipswich - Featured image from the book “The Romantic Shore” by Agnes Edwards, 1915. In the preface she writes, Of all the thousands of miles of our inspiring coast-line, east and west, there is no part more rich in romance, more throbbing with legendary and historical associations than the North Shore of New England. Try to imagine … Continue reading Ecclesiastical Ipswich
Daniel Denison - Daniel Denison was born in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England in 1612, and came to America with his parents William Denison and Margaret Chandler on the ship “Lyon” in 1631. When Daniel Denison’s son John died unexpectedly, Denison left an autobiography for his grandchildren, which told about the journey to America and their heritage. “I thought meet to … Continue reading Daniel Denison
John Winthrop Jr. here and gone - John Winthrop the younger was the son of Massachusetts Bay Colony governor John Winthrop, and led the settlement of Agawam in 1633 (renamed Ipswich in 1634), accompanied by 11 men. During that first year they erected crude shelters and the next year brought their families to join them in the wilderness. The native population of … Continue reading John Winthrop Jr. here and gone
Anne Dudley Bradstreet, the colony’s first published poet - Anne Dudley Bradstreet and her husband Simon Bradstreet lived in Ipswich from 1634 – 1648 in a primitive home in what could only be considered a wilderness by one so refined as she. She took consolation in her writing, and it was during this time that she wrote a collection of poems published in London in 1650 … Continue reading Anne Dudley Bradstreet, the colony’s first published poet
Martha Winthrop’s grave - The Ipswich Chronicle ran this story in the year 2000. Burial site of first settler may be revealed  A recent letter to the Zoning Board may hold some clues to the location of the gravesite of Mrs. John Winthrop and her child who may have been buried on what is now private property in the … Continue reading Martha Winthrop’s grave
Marblehead is carved out of Salem Mass Marblehead is established, May 6, 1635 - A story at Mass Moments In May 1635 the General Court ordered “that there shall be a plantation at Marble Head” and gave the inhabitants the right to do whatever they pleased with the land, even though it was part of Salem. The move was meant to punish Salem for allowing Roger Williams to express his “dangerous opinions.” … Continue reading Marblehead is established, May 6, 1635
A Ramble in Linebrook - Excerpts from A PEN-RAMBLE IN LINEBROOK by M. V. B. PERLEY This is ancient territory. There were vested rights, upon the southeast, as early as 1635. Before 1653 Ipswich-Linebrook was all improved. The earliest settlers were Batchelder, Foster, Sherwiii, Howe, Perley, Fowler, Davis, Grant, Burnham, Cooper, Burpee, Tenney, Pingree, Kimball, Chapman, Dodge, Jewett, Dresser, etc. … Continue reading A Ramble in Linebrook
The Narragansett Indians welcomed Roger Williams Mass Moments: Roger Williams Banished - In 1635, Puritan minister Roger Williams was found guilty of spreading “newe & dangerous opinions” and banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Before leaving England in 1630, Williams had seen heretics whipped, imprisoned, and burned at the stake. He called for religious freedom, a serious threat to the social order, and avoided arrest only by … Continue reading Mass Moments: Roger Williams Banished
The Great Colonial Hurricane and the wreck of the Angel Gabriel, August 25, 1635 - Featured image: Pemaquid Point plaque commemorating the wreck of the Angel Gabriel On the last Wednesday of May, 1635, the Angel Gabriel, a 240 ton ship set out from England, bound for New England. The ship had been commissioned as the Starre for Sir Walter Raleigh’s last expedition to America in 1617. It was stout … Continue reading The Great Colonial Hurricane and the wreck of the Angel Gabriel, August 25, 1635
Ipswich Civil War veterans Ipswich at war - Featured image: Civil War veterans at the Choate Bridge Some American wars in which Ipswich citizens have fought 1634: Settlement and the early military annals 1636-1638 Pequot War 1675 -1676 King Philip’s War 1689-1697 War of William and Mary (King William’s War) 1690 Battle of Quebec 1702-1713 Queen Anne’s War (War of Spanish Succession) 1744-1748 King … Continue reading Ipswich at war
The wolf in colonial America Killing wolves - One of the first laws instituted by the Massachusetts Bay Colony was a bounty on wolves, and in early Ipswich, a rather disconcerting aspect of entering the Meeting House was the site of wolf heads nailed to the door. Roger Williams, who fled the colony to establish Rhode Island, referred to the wolf as “a fierce, … Continue reading Killing wolves
Puritans drinking Strong drink - It is said that the Pilgrims loaded more beer than water onto the Mayflower for their trip to the New World, and they began brewing immediately upon arrival. Our Ipswich forefathers consumed malt beer and other alcoholic drink, but the production and sale was carefully guarded. A colony statute in 1637 read: “Every town shall present a man to be allowed to sell wine … Continue reading Strong drink
The Life of Daniel Hovey - At the foot of Hovey Street on Water Street along the Ipswich River is a plaque dedicated to the memory of Daniel Hovey, placed there by his descendants. The original wharf on the river in Ipswich was Hovey’s Wharf at this approximate location. Daniel Hovey was born in 1618 in Waltham Abbey, Essex Co., England. He … Continue reading The Life of Daniel Hovey
Moses Jewett house, 307 High St. Homes of the Jewetts - Deacon Maximilian Jewett was born in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, baptized Oct. 4th, 1607. He with his wife Ann, and his brother Joseph sailed from Hull, England in 1638 in the ship John, with a colony under the leadership of Rev. Ezekiel Rogers. They arrived at Boston about the first of December, 1638, … Continue reading Homes of the Jewetts
1639: “The pigs have liberty” - From the Ancient Records of the town of Ipswich, January 13, 1639 “Agreed that if any swine shall be taken within two miles of the towne, after the tenth day of April next, running, the owners of such swine shall forfeit five shillings a piece for every such swine, the one half to the towne, the other … Continue reading 1639: “The pigs have liberty”
Along the Old Bay Road - In November 1639, the General Court in Boston ordered that the first official road be laid out from Boston to Portsmouth. Bay Road was to be constructed by each town along the way and milestones carved in stone were installed to indicate distances. Some (but not all) of the road is also known now as Historic … Continue reading Along the Old Bay Road
Sea Serpent, Cape Ann MA The Cape Ann Sea Serpent - The earliest recorded sighting of a Sea Serpent in North American waters was at Cape Ann in 1639: “They told me of a sea serpent or snake, that lay coiled up like a cable upon a rock at Cape Ann; a boat passed by with two English on board and two Indians. They would have shot … Continue reading The Cape Ann Sea Serpent
Gold Coast negro slaves for sale Names of the Ipswich slaves - In 1638, a ship returned to Salem from the West Indies after a seven-month voyage. Its cargo included cotton, tobacco and, as far as we know, the first African slaves to be imported into Massachusetts. In 1641 the Massachusetts Bay Colony adopted a code of laws that made slavery legal. It would remain so for the … Continue reading Names of the Ipswich slaves
A photographic and chronological history of the Ipswich Schools - Featured image: Manning School, and the first Winthrop School on the left. Photo by George Dexter, circa 1900. Excerpts from The History of the Ipswich Public Schools, an excellent article written in 2008 by William E. Waitt, Jr, who served as teacher and principal in the Ipswich Public Schools for 36 years; and A History of the Ipswich … Continue reading A photographic and chronological history of the Ipswich Schools
Drunkards, liars, a hog, a dog, a witch, “disorderly persons” and the innkeeper - As the young boys who arrived with the first settlers of Ipswich approached adulthood in the mid-17th Century, they developed a fondness for hard liquor and rowdiness, which frequently landed them in court. The words of accusers, witnesses and defendants in the Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County provide a bizarre but most entertaining narrative. Mark Quilter: drunkard, temperamental, and … Continue reading Drunkards, liars, a hog, a dog, a witch, “disorderly persons” and the innkeeper
Troubles with Sheep - A surge in livestock in 1640 contributed to some unexpected difficulties. That year, the General Court in an effort to establish the self-reliance of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, ordered that towns promote the growing of flax, hemp, wool, the spinning and weaving of these fibers, the raising of livestock,  and that no sheep or mutton should be exported. In … Continue reading Troubles with Sheep
Abraham Knowlton, “Workman of rare skill” - By Ipswich Historical Commission chairman John Fiske: Ipswich is home to two groundbreaking masterworks of early eighteenth century America, a paneled wall and a pulpit. Both were made by Abraham Knowlton (1699- 1751), a woodworker who is less well known than he deserves to be. William Knowlton, born in England in 1615, was the first of the family to settle … Continue reading Abraham Knowlton, “Workman of rare skill”
A Nostalgic Glance at Harvard’s Early History - *From it’s earliest days, the people of Ipswich made frequent contributions to Harvard College. William Hubbard of Ipswich, the son of the Rev.William Hubbard, in his twenty-first year, ‘was one of that remarkable group of nine young men whom Harvard College sent forth in 1642, as the first specimens of high culture achieved in the woods of … Continue reading A Nostalgic Glance at Harvard’s Early History
A short history of Ipswich dog laws - 1644 The following is transcribed from the Ipswich Town Meeting, May 11, 1644: “It is ordered that all doggs for the space of three weeks after the publishing hereof shall have one legg tyed up, and if such a dogg shall break loose and be found doing any harm, the owner of the dogg shall pay … Continue reading A short history of Ipswich dog laws
Nathaniel Ward: The Simple Cobbler of Agawam in America - Nathaniel Ward (1578–October 1652) was a clergyman born in Haverhill, Suffolk, England. Known for his caustic temperament he was a key player in the Puritan movement. Reprimanded by the Bishop of London for his activism and fervent espousal of theocratic polities, Ward emigrated to Massachusetts in 1634. Already in his 60’s, he served for two years … Continue reading Nathaniel Ward: The Simple Cobbler of Agawam in America
The proof was in the Kettle - Mark Quilter made his living as a cow-keeper in the common land on the north side of town and seemed to always be in trouble. He was called before the court in 1647 and reprimanded for “sleeping in the barn” rather than watching the cows during his evening shift. He had a reputation in Ipswich for … Continue reading The proof was in the Kettle
Legend of Heartbreak Hill, Ipswich MA The Legend of Heartbreak Hill - When the lands of Ipswich were apportioned among the settlers, the summit of Heartbreak Hill was designated as a planting lot because the Indians had cleared it for corn. Perhaps some settler was “heartbroken” to receive such an inaccessible and rocky field. The 1832 Ipswich map gives the name “Hardbrick,” and perhaps the name evolved from “Hardbrick,” which referred to the hill’s abundance of clay … Continue reading The Legend of Heartbreak Hill
The sad story of Alexander Knight - The Alexander Knight House next to the Whipple House on South Green is a re-creation of an early, English-style timber frame house from 1657 as described in Ipswich town records. This exhibit was built with traditional tools, materials and construction methods of the First Period, complete with a stone foundation, timber frame, wattle and daub chimney, … Continue reading The sad story of Alexander Knight
Mass Moments: Quakers Outlawed, December 3, 1658 - On December 3, 1658, Plymouth Court ordered that any boat carrying Quakers to Sandwich be seized to prevent the religious heretics from landing. A year earlier, Quakers in Sandwich had established the first Friends’ Meeting in the New World. Magistrates in both Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies were alarmed by Quaker teachings that individuals could … Continue reading Mass Moments: Quakers Outlawed, December 3, 1658
Puritans torturing quakers Persecution of Quakers by the Puritans - The Rev. John Norton was born at Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England, where he was ordained. He joined the Puritan movement, and sailed in 1634 to New England, arriving Plymouth. In 1638 at the age of 38, he was called to become the “teacher” for the congregation in recently-settled Ipswich. In 1652 Norton left Ipswich and later … Continue reading Persecution of Quakers by the Puritans
The Bones of Masconomet - Masconomet was the sagamore (chief) of the Agawam tribe of the Algonquian native Americans when the first Puritan colonists arrived in Ipswich in 1633. He had survived the pandemic which killed 90% of the local native population in the early 1600′s. Masconomet ruled all the tribal land from Cape Ann to the Merrimack River, which … Continue reading The Bones of Masconomet
Little Neck, Ipswich MA Little Neck, a photographic history - In 1639, two wealthy brothers William and Robert Paine (aka Payne) procured a grant of land in the town of Ipswich from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In about 1649 Robert offered to “erect an edifice for the purpose of a grammar school, provided the town or any particular inhabitant of the town would devote, set … Continue reading Little Neck, a photographic history
Life in the Ipswich jails - The first Essex County gaol (jail) was erected in Ipswich across from the Meeting House in 1652. The Court paid the keeper 5 shillings per prisoner and ordered that each prisoner should additionally pay the keeper before they be released for “their food and attendance.” Those who were unable to pay for their food were allowed only … Continue reading Life in the Ipswich jails
The first jailbreak in the Colony, March 30, 1662 - In 1652, the Boston jail was the only prison in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and it was ordered that a new one be built in Ipswich.
Thomas Dennis, legendary Ipswich joiner - In 1937, Irving P. Lyon published a series of six articles about Thomas Dennis, joiner of Ipswich, analyzing numerous articles of furniture and family documents. The furniture of Thomas Dennis took on the status of historic treasure, and over time more pieces were attributed to him than he could have produced in his lifetime. In 1960, … Continue reading Thomas Dennis, legendary Ipswich joiner
“Wording it over the sheep” and behaving badly - Samuel Hunt came to Ipswich after arriving with his Puritan parents in New England at the age of four in 1636. Samuel Hunt was made a”Freeman”, May 3, 1654, in Concord, at the age of about twenty-three, which allowed him the right of suffrage and to hold office. Upon receiving an inheritance from his uncle Robert … Continue reading “Wording it over the sheep” and behaving badly
Harry Maine house, Ipswich MA The ghost of Harry Maine - Featured image: Harry Maine house by Arthur Wesley Dow Harry Maine — you have heard the tale; He lived there in Ipswich Town; He blasphemed God, so they put him down With an iron shovel, at Ipswich Bar; They chained him there for a thousand years, As the sea rolls up to shovel it back … Continue reading The ghost of Harry Maine
“Dalliance and too much familiarity” - William Row v. John Leigh, Mar. 28, 1673 Writ: William Row v. John Leigh; for insinuating dalliance and too much familiarity with his wife, drawing away her affections from her husband, to the great detriment both in his estate and the comfort of his life. From the Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, … Continue reading “Dalliance and too much familiarity”
The Brookfield Massacre, August 2, 1675 - This is the story of William Prichard, John Ayres, John Warner and Daniel Hovey and their families, who left Ipswich to establish the doomed plantation at Brookfield, Massachusetts. In May 1660, a group of colonists moved from Ipswich to the Indian town Quaboag in Western Massachusetts, which they renamed Brookfield. Indian attacks known as “King … Continue reading The Brookfield Massacre, August 2, 1675
The Trouble with Mugg - King Phillips War spread into a series of battles in Maine known as the Eastern War. On October 12, 1676 about 100 Indian warriors made an assault on an English settlement at Black Point near Portland, Maine and took a number of captives. A couple of weeks later an Arosagunticook chief named Mugg Hegon visited General … Continue reading The Trouble with Mugg
Chebacco women build a meetinghouse The women of Chebacco build a Meeting House, March 21, 1679 - In 17th Century New England,  the church was the center of government. Chebacco was the section of Ipswich that is now Essex, and its inhabitants were expected to make the ten-mile round trip every Sabbath, Lecture Day, Training Day or Town Meeting day to the Meeting House in Ipswich. Chebacco residents petitioned the town of … Continue reading The women of Chebacco build a Meeting House, March 21, 1679
The tragic story of Rebecca Rawson, 1679 -   The following is from a story told in 1921 by Rev. Glenn Tilley Morse, President of the Historical Society of Old Newbury and Newburyport. Edward Rawson arrived in Newbury in 1637. When he was only twenty-three years old he was chosen town clerk, notary public, and registrar for the town of Newbury. He was … Continue reading The tragic story of Rebecca Rawson, 1679
The Witchcraft Trial of Elizabeth Morse of Newbury, 1680 - Elizabeth Morse of Newbury was accused and found guilty of being a witch. She was initially sentenced to be hanged, but the execution was never carried out and, after spending a year in the Boston jail, Elizabeth Morse was sent home to live with her husband on the condition that she was forbidden to travel … Continue reading The Witchcraft Trial of Elizabeth Morse of Newbury, 1680
The Legend of Goody Cole, 1680 - In Myths and Legends of our Own Time, Charles M. Skinner wrote the following story, based on two poems by John Greenleaf Whittier. Goodwife Eunice Cole, of Hampton, Massachusetts, was so “vehemently suspected to be a witch” that she was arrested in 1680 for the third time and was thrown into the Ipswich jail with a chain … Continue reading The Legend of Goody Cole, 1680
The Spectre Ship of Salem - Cotton Mather related the tale of a doomed ship called “Noah’s Dove” which left Salem during the late 17th century for England. Among the passengers were “a young man and a passing beautiful girl pale and sorrowful, whom no one knew and who held communion with no one.” Many people in Salem supposed them to be demons … Continue reading The Spectre Ship of Salem
Sarah Goodhue’s advance directive, July 14, 1681 - Sarah Whipple Goodhue was born in 1641, the daughter of John and Susanna Whipple and married Joseph Goodhue of Ipswich, with whom she had 10 children. Suspecting that she might die giving birth, she left a note to her husband on July 14, 1681 that read: “Dear husband, if by sudden death I am taken … Continue reading Sarah Goodhue’s advance directive, July 14, 1681
The Boy Who Couldn’t Remember - Lionel Chute became the first Ipswich schoolmaster in 1636, but the first Ipswich grammar school was not constructed until 1653. It faced what was known then as the School House Green, now the South Green. Ezekiel Cheever was the schoolmaster there, followed in 1660 by Schoolmaster Andrews. Thomas Franklin Waters recorded the following story in  … Continue reading The Boy Who Couldn’t Remember
Mason’s Claim - The spring of 1683 brought an issue of great concern for the residents of Ipswich. If an ancient claim was confirmed in Boston court, every land title would be worthless and a landed medieval system known as “quit-rents” could be grafted upon New England. In 1622, Capt. John Mason had obtained title to all land … Continue reading Mason’s Claim
The Rev. John Wise of Ipswich - The concepts of freedom about which Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence came from the pulpit and pen of the Rev. John Wise of Ipswich, Massachusetts. “The first human subject and original of civil power is the people…and when they are free, they may set up what species of government they please. The end of all good … Continue reading The Rev. John Wise of Ipswich
A ramble in Ipswich, 1686 - Thomas Franklin Waters wrote that in 1686, Mr. and Mrs. Stewart who lived in the ancient Caleb Lord house on High Street (no longer standing), “were favored with a visit from  the book-seller John Dunton, who came to Ipswich in the course of his saddle-bag peregrinations.” 
Ipswich Massachusetts: Birthplace of American Independence - The legendary and heroic opposition by the people 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.” This act of resistance has been called ‘the foundation of American Democracy,’ and was the beginning of a … Continue reading Ipswich Massachusetts: Birthplace of American Independence
The defiant Samuel Appleton - The Ipswich Post Office Mural portrays Reverend John Wise and Major Samuel Appleton gathered with other Ipswich men in 1687 in opposition to taxes imposed by Sir Edmund Andros. On April 18, 1689 leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony reclaimed control of the government from the crown-appointed governor, Sir Edmund Andros. Major Samuel Appleton of Ipswich … Continue reading The defiant Samuel Appleton
James Nailer, Quaker, persecuted by Puritans. The Town is Full! - from Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Vol. I: 1633-1700 published in 1905 by Thomas Franklin Waters THE BODY POLITIC The political privileges of those early years of the seventeenth century, when Ipswich was a frontier town, were few. In a community so thoroughly religious, one would expect to find perfect brotherliness. But Religion was itself narrow. Our … Continue reading The Town is Full!
The witchcraft accusations against Sarah Buckley and Mary Witheridge - Sarah Buckley was brought from England to Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony as a child with her parents. She joined the Ipswich church around 1650, and married a local yeoman, William Buckley. The couple moved to the Marblehead area of Salem where they acquired a home, and Sarah transferred her church membership to Salem. In … Continue reading The witchcraft accusations against Sarah Buckley and Mary Witheridge
South Main Street, then and now - In March 1692 several Ipswich persons petitioned “to have liberty granted them to build shops upon ye bank by ye river side,” at what is now South Main Street. The Selectmen laid out this stretch of land in twenty-three small lots and granted them “to as many individuals with the conditions that they not encumber … Continue reading South Main Street, then and now
Rachel Clinton arrested for witchcraft, May 28, 1692 - Everything about Rachel Clinton’s life went wrong, and in her old age she became a  beggar and a ward of the town of Ipswich, She was an easy target for the witchcraft hysteria that spread from Salem throughout Essex County, and on May 28, 1692, Rachel Clinton was arrested, and was kept in the Ipswich or Salem jail, shackled with iron … Continue reading Rachel Clinton arrested for witchcraft, May 28, 1692
Ipswich and the Salem witchcraft trials - In his book Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Thomas Franklin Waters wrote about Ipswich involvement in the Salem witch trials: The evidence was of the usual absurd character; Sarah Good had been confined in Ipswich jail. Joseph Herrick, the Constable of Salem, testified that she had been committed to his charge to carry to … Continue reading Ipswich and the Salem witchcraft trials
Four-year-old Dorothy Good is jailed for witchcraft, March 24, 1692 - Sarah Poole’s husband died in 1682 leaving her in debt. Sarah then married William Good, but creditors seized their Salem home, and by 1692, Sarah Good and her husband were homeless beggars. Sarah had long been a melancholy and somewhat confrontational woman, and was accused of witchcraft on February 25, 1692 by the girls Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Parris. … Continue reading Four-year-old Dorothy Good is jailed for witchcraft, March 24, 1692
The Spectre Leaguers, 1692 - This story of apparitions was told by so many sources that it suggests that the colony was suffering from mass insanity. The following was written by Thomas Franklin Waters. In the midst of witchcraft accusations in 1692, a new and unique outburst of Satanic rage revealed itself. Gloucester was invaded by a spectral company of Indians … Continue reading The Spectre Leaguers, 1692
The Witchcraft Trial of Elizabeth Howe - Featured image: Examination of a Witch, by T. H. Matteson, 1853 The 1996 movie “The Crucible” is based on Arthur Miller’s award-winning 1953 play about the Salem Witch Trials. It was filmed on Choate Island, part of the Crane estate in Ipswich and Essex. The story and movie are based on accusations against John and Elizabeth Proctor of Salem … Continue reading The Witchcraft Trial of Elizabeth Howe
John Hale, a Modest Inquiry into Witchcraft. “We walked in the clouds and could not see our way” - In 1690, the governor of Massachusetts, William Phips asked the 54-year-old pastor Rev. John Hale of Beverly to accompany the campaign against the French in Quebec as chaplain, and Hale willingly agreed. Hale returned home in 1690, but a crisis soon erupted that would test his convictions. It was January, 1692, that the witch hysteria began in Salem. Hale was … Continue reading “We walked in the clouds and could not see our way”
The Amazing Story of Hannah Duston, March 14, 1697 - Hannah Duston of Haverhill was born in Ipswich on High Street in 1657 while her mother was visiting her relatives the Shatswells. In 1879, a bronze statue of Hannah Duston was created by Calvin Weeks in Haverhill in Grand Army Park, honoring her escape from Abanaki captors.  The following are excerpts from an article by H.D. Kilgore in 1940. … Continue reading The Amazing Story of Hannah Duston, March 14, 1697