In 1773, the selectmen ordered all houses where the disease had appeared to be closed, and dogs to be killed immediately. The fears of the inhabitants increased when permission was granted to build a smallpox hospital on Cat Island.
The fascinating history of stage and railroad travel was written in 1878 by Cyrus Mason Tracy in the "Standard History of Essex County."
On the cold icy morning of December 13, 1774, Paul Revere headed out on a 60 mile gallop from Boston along the Old Bay Road through Ipswich to warn the citizens of Portsmouth that British troops may be landing.
Dr. John Calef was among a handful of members of the Massachusetts Assembly who voted to retract the "Massachusetts Circular Letter" which was adopted in response to the 1767 Townshend Acts. Ipswich citizens' anger at Calef lingered as war with England approached.
John Adams visited Ipswich many times during his tenure as the Boston representative to the colonial legislature from 1770 to 1774.
Delegates from 67 towns arrived in Ipswich on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 1774 and began deliberations regarding a Constitution for Massachusetts. "Surely a state of nature is more excellent than that in which men are meanly submissive to the haughty will of an imperious tyrant."