Captain Franklin D. Langsford sailed from Cape Ann in pursuit of swordfish. After harpooning one in Ipswich Bay, the fish turned and thrust its sword through the boat and the Captain. Not yet realizing that he was wounded, he seized the sword and exclaimed, “We got him anyway!”
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.
On the morning of July 8, 1856, two hundred women, three men and their supporters gathered in Rockport’s Dock Square and unfurled a banner with a black hatchet, determined to destroy all the alcohol in the town. The leaders of the mob was a 75-year-old seamstress named Hannah Jumper.
In the latter part of September, 1841, was a long, unbroken spell of uncomfortable weather, which culminated in a violent and cold storm of wind, snow and rain on the night of October 2, continuing four days.
Three gales of unequaled fury and destructiveness swept along our coast carrying desolation and death in their stormy pathway, and overwhelming many families in the deepest mourning.
From Gloucester and Cape Ann by S. G. W. Benjamin, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, September 1875
Rockport experienced one of the oddest invasions in U.S. history during the War of 1812 when the town’s fearless residents stopped the British with rocks and anything they could get their hands on.