Fred A. Gannon.

Old Salem scrap book (Volume 3) online

. (page 1 of 5)
Online LibraryFred A. GannonOld Salem scrap book (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 5)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

0^ .l!oL% ^ ^^

4 o

° ^-'^-. '^s






No. 9


Stories of Salem Eld


TLe Forecast Tkat Failed
TLe Story of St. Peter's Tower
' Saved By a Miracle "

Printed Ly NewcomL & Gauss Co.

in City Hall Square, Salem, Mass., for tke

Salem Books Co., M. F. McGratli, PresiJent


No. 9


Stories of Salem Elders

Tke Forecast Tkat Failed
TLe Story of St. Peter's T
'' Saved By a Miracle "


Printed Ly Newcomt & Gauss Co.

in City Hall Square, Salem, Mass., for tlie

Salem Books Co., M. F. McGratL, President

Old Salem Scrap Book

'Now and then The Salem Elders meet and speak
of changes of their times. Each recollects and re-
views and listen to stories told by members. Some
of these stories are re-told to be read by other elder
breathren, also senior sisters, who likewise remember
and reflect, and, now and then, one exclaims — ^'What

Old Salem Scrap Book


The Scribe laid aside his pipe, rose from his chair,
bowed to the elders and told his story thus —

"Prophecy faileth." So Solomon said. ISTear
3,000 years ago. So I say in my days of 1953. Sol-
omon, as you know, was "sl man of peace'' of ancient

I remember, as do you, as youths of Salem in 1901,
we listened to the city's bells ring out the old and
ring in the new century.

Some of us had parties merry, and then we went
on with the day's work in dreams of a new world as
foretold by prognosticators and politicians and edi-
tors and commentators.

A few years later some of us went to wars in
Europe, and next our sons fought in Korea. And we
got into terrible tangles with other nations, and be^
wilder ed and confused in our own affairs.

At the start of this century the old folks spoke of
the good old days they had seen, and said that the
like of them would not eome again, and youths,
charged with ambition high, talked of the wonders
they would see in the 50 years before them.

A few grandparents read the almanac that was
stringed from the wall by the kitchen stove, and they
thought upon such comments as these —

Old Salem Scrap Book

''We see the old century closing with wars in China
and in South Africa, and our own soldiers, earlier in
the Spanish American war, are now in the Philip-
pines, and a few veterans of the Civil War are
among us.

''Now how vast and terrible are our wars. Sci-
ence makes weapons which destroy more men and
make carnage infinitely more savage than ever was
war before.

"God grant that the start of 1901 shall be the be-
ginning of the end of war and the start of a new
peace and prosperity."

So you have my story of the forecast that failed.

The Patriarch thanked The Scribe for his review
of his 50- years, and added that later in the evening
members could, if they wished, speak their minds
about it.

Old Salem Scrap Book


Next The Warden told this story which he had
written as he contemplated changes in which he had
a part:

''Stop a moment and hear mv story," said the
tower to the stranger.

The stranger stopped, looked at the rugged mason-
ary, and the tower spoke to him, saying: —

''I am of stone made by nature in the creation of
this world.

''In the year of 1833 a few men, by their art and
by the labor of their hands, put together a few pieces
of stone to make me as a symbol of their faith.

"So I stand here today to speak to men and they
pass by, and to tell them of changes in thoughts and
works of men in the long courses of years.

"John and Samuel Brown came here from Eng-
land in 1629, and they were among my founders.

"Philip English came later. He gave the land on
which I stand. He was put in prison during the
dreadful delusion of witchcraft in 1692.

"So I say that I am a piece of history of nature
and of faith and of men who are of both nature and of

"I also am a piece of literature, the worded record
of thoughts and acts of men.

6 Old Salem Scrap Book

^^On the small stone by my wall you may read tHe
lines —

^Here lyes buried ye body of Jonathan Pue,
Esq., late surveyor of His Majesties' Customs.'

"Hawthorne, a later surveyor, American, told that
he found among Pue's papers the record of which he
wrote The Scarlet Letter, a book that many read and
think upon today.

"My name tells you that I preach the heroic gospel
of St. Peter.

"So I repeat that I am a piece of history of litera-
ture as well as of history of nature, men and faith.
I also am a piece of commerce.

"Philip English, who gave the land on which I
stand, was here called 'The First Great Merchant'
He owned many ships. He came from the Isle of
Jersey. Phillippe L'Anglaise was his baptismal

"John Bertram, who later came from the Isle of
Jersey, was called here 'The Last Great Merchant.'
He traded over the seven seas, and was my bene-

"I also am of music of hymn and of prayer the
most common and ancient expression of worship.

"My first organ, which was brought from England
in 1743, was the first organ in Salem.

Old Salem Scrap Book

'^Mj first bell, which was brought from England
in 1740, calls people to worship today.

"My first chimes rang out hymns of praise in 1885,
and rang out in joy and in hopes of peace as this
century started. But, as you know, wars and desola-
tions have fallen upon the-nation.

"^N'evertheless, I stand here today as a symbol of
faith and of hopes for peace among men ; and I speak
of the vastness of time, and of the omnipotence that
moves the stars through the skies and men along the

'^From my doors generations of youths have gone
forth, some as missionaries, some as defenders of the
nation against its foes, some of business and profes-
sion, and all to do the work of the day. Be as it may.

''Through them I speak to men near and far. To
you, a stranger, I've told my story. Take away with
you such remembrances of me as you may."




Droitwich Spa, England

Old Salem Scrap Book


While this story was with the printer this news
came from England —

In The Church of St. Peter in Droitwich Spa,
Edward Winslow was baptized in 1595. He sailed
on the Mayflower in 1620, and became governor >f
the Plymouth colony.

Edward Winslow, of Chicago, in 1952, flew to
England and joined in the dedication of a memorial
to Edward Winslow who was baptized in 1595 in
The Church of St. Peter.

So past and present joined, and St. Peter's church
stands in Salem today to speak of the past and to
point to the future.

10 Old Salem Scrap Book


l^ext, the Patriarcli asked I^eptune if he had his
story ready, and ISTeptune replied that he had written
the first part of it and would read it with the per-
mission of brother Elders.

And he read it thus : —

''Saved by a Miracle" is the title of my story.
John Battis, seaman, took his oath that he was saved
by a miracle, and so we have testimony of a man who
believed in a miracle, an experience beyond explana-
tion. I had my facts from George Granville Put-
nam, a faithful chronicler of marine records, and a
friend of John Battis and others of the sea who were
saved by the miracle. I'll tell you my story of it.

The brig Mexican sailed from Salem in 1832 to
trade with ports of South America, and she had
$20,000 in silver in her strong box, and no cargo.

The Mexican anchored in the harbor of Havana,
and Oapt. Butman, master, went ashore to get news
of trade, and a pirate captain, scanning ships in
Havana harbor, observed that the Mexican was riding
light and guessed that she carried cash for cargo.
Soon after the Mexican sailed, and out of the Car-
ribean sea, the look out reported a suspicious looking
sail on the horizon, and Capt. Butman went aloft
with his spy glass and came down in alarm.

Old Salem Scrap Book 11

After dark he changed the course of the Mexican
but next morning the pursuer sailed alongside and
soon pirates climbed over the rail of the Mexican and
with wicked pistols and cutlasses drove the captain
and crew below and fastened down the hatches over
them, and slashed the rigging.

The rascals took the $20,000 in silver, set fire to
the cook's galley, and returned to their ship leaving
the Mexican to its fate.

Capt. Butman knelt and prayed. Next he looked
through the window of his cabin at the fire in the
galley and at the wicked pirate sailing off.

In his eagerness to see he pressed against the win-
dow and it opened a little. The pirates had neglected
to fasten it.

Capt. Butman crawled through the window and
along deck under the rail and dashed water on the
fire, enough to keep it down, but not put it out for if
smoke stopped rising, the pirates would probably re-
turn and sink the ship.

!N'ight came, and the crew came on deck, put out
the fire, righted the wrecked rigging as much as they
could and Capt. Butman headed the Mexican for
the home port.

Clouds gathered and soon thunder crashed and
lightning flashed, and the winds blew strong, and the
ship sailed along with all the canvas she could carry.


Old Salem Scrap Book

Old Salem Scrap Book 13

The pirate chief suddenly ceased carousing in his
cabin as the thunder roared. A fear flashed in to his
mind that the Mexican was escaping, and he turned
his ship and searched for his victim with an intent
to sink her for certain. But he never found her.

The Mexican sailed safely into Salem harbor. The
captain and crew came ashore and told the story of
the adventure, and John Battis, of the crew, took his
oath that he was ''Saved by a Miracle."

That's the first chapter of my story. The second,
and last, chapter will be of the title of "The Hand of
Fate," and will tell of the strange sequence of events
which led to the capture of the pirates by ships of the
English navy and the delivery of them to the collector
of customs of the port of Salem for trial in the fed-
eral courts of justice.

I knew, and so did some of you, Capt. Thomas
Fuller, who, as a youth, sailed on the Mexican and
was slashed by a pirate and later identified the villian
in court.

Capt. Fuller here lived until 1906 and to 93 years.
It's strange is it not, that some of us knew men
who were captured by pirates, and, as John Battis,
seaman, took his oath, were ''Saved by a Miracle."

The Patriarch said he remembered Capt. Fuller
as a sturdy old seaman, and was told that he was the

14 Old Salem Scrap Book

last survivor of the piracy, whicli was the last major
piracy in American maritime annals.

He thanked Neptune for his story and trusted that
the second chapter of it v^ould soon be ready to read.

After some pleasant conversation about the stories
of the evening, The Patriarch remarked — ''We live
in the present, look at the past, and ask of the v^hys
and wherefore,'' and then the members said good
night one to another and went home.

As they walked along The Patriarch said to his
neighbor — ''How is it that the world is in the tur-
moil that it now is ?" and the neighbor replied — "Of
that I am in the darkness of ignorance."

Old Salem Scrap Book 15


The Skipper walked to his home by the shore and
as he walked he looked at

The light house on Baker's Island — the beaoon on
iNangus head —

The electric lamp on the street corner and the
candle light in his window.

And he said to himself —

The light on the island has gnided sailors since the
start of the nation.

So does the light of the north star as old as the
world. The beacon on Naugus head guides fliers
in the skies.

The electric lamp on the street guided me through
the darkness.

And the light of the candle in the ancestral candle
stick welcomes me home.

Light is all about us, to guide us and to tell us of
the changes of years. But how little do we see and
understand ?

16 Old Salem Scrap Book


The Scribe walked home alone, thinking of the
stories that he had heard, and, home again he picked
up ^'The Third Header" which his grandfather read
in school, opened it at random and read this fable
of the acorn and the pumpkin —

Eobert sat under the oak tree. He looked up into
its branches and wondered why little acorns on great
oaks grow.

He looked at the farmer's field and wondered whj
big pumpkins grow on long and slender vines.

He looked up again at the oak and down came
an acorn and hit him on the nose. He said —

^'Nature knows best. If a big pumpkin from a
tree had fallen and hit me on the nose I would be in

The Scribe closed the reader, saying to himself —
^'So is the fables of the acorn and the pumpkin. An
apple fell on J^ewton's head, and started him to think
of gravitation, its laws, powers and uses. Some fu-
ture day, maybe, we will move ahead by gravity
power, as does a ship by wind power. Indeed I walk
by the power of gravity.



No. 10

RED A. Gannon

se Square in Salem

y NewcouiD & Gauss Co.
square, Salem, Mass., for tLe
1o., M. F. McGratk, President


No. 10

By Fred A. Gannon

Town House Square in Salem

Printed by NewcomL & Gauss Co.

in City Hall Square, Salera, Mass., for tne

Salem Books Co., M. F. McGratk, President

To Town House Square elders walk and there
stand and watch the world go by.

They also get the news of the day, a custom of
generations of old Salem, also of earlier cities, towns
and villages.

In ancient Babylon and Ninevah elders walked
to their squares, got the news of the day and talked
of changes of their years.

The flow of news, as daily told, is from Adam to
you, — and so on as men may think, speak and
write tomorrow and tomorrow and so on to the last
word of the last man on this spinning sphere.

Hawthorne walked in to Town House Square,
drank water from the pump, looked up and ex-
claimed —

"N'oon by the clock in yon church steeple.''

He walked home, and with his quill pen, wrote
the news the pump told to him.

Children in school today read what the pump
said to the poet. So do elders in their homes. And
each think upon the story that the pump told to

Roger Conant, first settler (1626) walked to Town
House Square, drank from its spring and asked the
Indians for the news of the day. But he wrote no

Old Salem Scrap Book

story of what the Indians told him to be read today.

His son, the first white child born in Salem, was
baptized in the water of the spring by Rev. Francis
Higginson who wrote a record of the Baptism in the
books of the First church which stood in Town House
square. Xow a regiment of Conants are of America.

Workmen dug a tunnel for the railroad under the
Square in 1838 and the Old Town pump ran dry of
both water and words, and soon after was taken away
and chopped up to make a fire to warm a house.
What a treasure of history it now would be had it
been saved.

A mill stone, with an H upon it, now marks the
site of The Pump that told news to Hawthorne.

Over the stone people plod, and ride in autos —
some glance up and see planes darting through the
skies above, perhaps on voyages to IsTewfoundland and
Ireland in a day.

The stone tells to minds that listen — 'T once
ground corn for people to eat. The power of the tide
turned me."

William Penn Hussey gave the mill stone with
the H upon it, saying that the H would do for Haw-
thorne and other heirs of Adam.

A historian spoke of the stone as a memorial to
the Quakers who once were whipped through Town
House square.

Old Salem Sceap Book

Hawthorne, in his age, wandered if Americans
would come to Salem to see The Old Town Pump
that told him a story. He did not dream that
thousands would come each year to see The Custom
House, the House of Seven Gables and the Haw-
thorne Memorial Statue.

Rev. Hugh Peters built a house on Town House
square. He walled up the spring nearby to keep
its water clean 300 years ago. The spring, may be,
50,000 years old.

Later he preached a sermon on the shore of the
lake in Wenham — and on Christmas Day of 1868
water from AVenham lake was pumped in to Salem
and people cheered as firemen played streams of
water from Wenham pumped through miles of pipe
by '^Giant Steam.''

John Endicott built a house near Town House
square and before it set a sun dial from London.

By the shadow of the sun the dial told the hour.
It was the first time reporter of the sort in America.

Xow people in the square glance at the chrono-
meter in the window of Daniel Low's store or at the
clock electrical on the home of The Salem Savings

Old Salem Scrap Book

So from sun dial to electric clock Old Father
Time had walked through Town House square. And
he keeps plodding along.

Colonial dames told time by the sun as its rajs
fell on the sill of the kitchen window on the south
side of the house.

'Now the watch on the wrist and the radio signal
tell the hour.

Each moment past goes, present comes, and next
future — and so endless change as elders stand in
Town House square and watch the world go by.

Moses Farmer walked through Town House square
on his way to Peabody Museum where he got news
of the day by the new Morse telegraph which he

Later, and in 1859, Farmer lighted a room in his
home with an electric lamp that he made, and it
was the "first incandescent light in all the land.''

Now Town House square is lighted by "Giant
Generator'' on Salem Harbor Shores and Sylvania
and Hytron factories make apparatus for transmit-
ting news of the dav throus'h the air and around the

Richard Derby, seaman and merchant, set up a
printing press in a building on Town House square

Old Salem Scrap Book

and on the press The Essex Gazette was printed
(1768) to speak for liberty and independence.

'Now newspapers, reporting news of the world, are
vended by the thousands each day in Town House

So .a change in the flow of news through Town
House square from 1768 to the present day.

Col. Timothy Pickering posted The Minute Men
about Town House square! In 1774, they halted
the King's soldiers who marched in to Salem to dis-
perse the General Court which had moved down from
Boston and met in Salem's Town House to plan for
the war for independence.

John Hancock asked the Court to elect delegates
to a convention of the colonies to plan for liberty and
independence. That was a cradle of the Congress
of the United States.

Gen. Gage sent a messenger from Boston with an
order to the Court to adjourn. The door was locked
against him, and he read the order to citizens gath-
ered in Town House square.

Washington rode on horse back in to Town House
square in 1789. William Nor they, of the selectmen,
said to him — ''Friend Washington, we welcome
thee to Salem."

Old Salem Sceap Book

"A tnicke liowse" was built in Town House square
and in it first settlers traded witJi the Indians, swap-
ping tools for furs to be sent to England.

In the Xorthev block, on the corner of Town
House square, the Webber store now sells goods to
Salem folks.

The Merchants J^ational bank, once in the block,
cashed checks for customers, and the telephone ofiice
transmitted news of the dsij to subscribers.

So for 300 years trade and news have flowed
through Town House square in Salem.

Thoreau walked through Town House square to
the wharves of Derby street and looked at the vast
ocean and ships sailing home from far ports.

He returned to Concord and wrote of this marvel
that one man, in a little counting room in Salem,
carried on commerce with merchants of Africa, India,
China and the South Sea Isles.

Through Town House square Col. Leslie marched
the King's soldiers. They come to seize the cannon
that the patriots were fixing for the war of the Revo-

On a cannon Dr. Bentley rode through Town
House square, and on to Marblehead to save the
Constitution from British war ships. He first dis-

missed his congregation in the old East church, ex-
claiming "God save the Constitution."

Old Salem Scrap Book 9

Through Town House square the Salem Zouaves
marched as they answered Lincoln's call for volun-
teers to save tvhe nation.

Through Town House square soldiers marched on
their way to the World Wars in France, also the war
in Cuba, also Korea.

Later, and to the beat of the muffled drum through
the Square moved the cassion cortege of soldiers who
were slain in the wars to maintain liberty and right-

Lafayette rode in to Town House Square. Citizens
cheered him as a friend of America and as a soldier
of liberty.

Later sons of Salem, some of French ancestry,
went to France and fought for liberty.

A memorial to them now stands in Lafayette park
a few steps from Town House Square.

Soldiers, going ashore in France, said —

^'Lafayette, here we come."

The Salem Artillery was led in France by Col.
Frank S. Perkins who earlier walked through Tovm
House square to his desk in the Salem Savings bank.

Jean Missud, who came from France, led The
Salem Cadet band through Town House Square to
the music of "Onward Christian Soldiers."

10 Old Salem Scrap Book

Dr. Holjoke and friends met in Mother Pratt's
tavern in Town House square and there formed The
Philosophical Library which is now The Salem

Benjamin Thompson walked from the Appelton
house, which is now The Red Cross house, and joined
Dr. Holjoke and friends in the tavern in Town
House Square.

Thompson became Count Rumford, a pioneer in
modern science. He gave money to Harvard college
to be used for applying science to the art of living.

Nathaniel Bowditch walked through Town House
square on his way to borrow books from The Philo-
sophical library.

His mathematics, as in 'The Xavigator," now
chart course of ships and planes to ports of the world.

Bowditch had his time from the sun clock which
had told day and night and the hour and minute for
millions of years.

To Town House square the forefathers walked to
worship in the First church, built in 1629.

Through Town House square President and Mrs.
Coolidge rode in an auto to worship in the Taber-
nacle church.

Old Salem Sceap Book 11

E'ow and then drivers speed autos through Town
House square and the traffic officer halts them, and
to court summons them,

A jail was built 300 years ago in Town House
square, and in it doers of evil were locked up.

Sin and crime came over with the forefathers as
did virtue. Jails are bigger, are they not? And
crime more intricate?

By the jail stood pillory, stocks and whipping
posts. 'Now, in their place are parking meters for
shoppers who in autos come to Town House square.

Men and women, of 1692, testified in court that
they saw Satan getting witches to sign an agreement
with him to act as his agents in deluding good peo-
ple to ruin the community.

The witchcraft martyrs of 1692 were tried in a
court house facing Town House square.

Hugh Peters asked for a school, also a college, so
that ''learning may not be buried in the graves of
the ancestors.''

A school house was built in Town House square
and a college in Cambridge. The way to the school,
early called School House lane, is now Washington

Through Town House square boys and girls now
walk to free public schools as did their fathers and
mothers, also their grandparents.

12 Old Salem Sceap Book

Teachers also walk through Town House Square
and so do ministers, judges, lawyers, artists, doctors,
policemen and letter carriers, all of the ne\vs of
changes of days, weeks and years.

Across Town House square Willis Ropes walked,
and he said to the man standing on the corner —

"Hawthorne wrote of 'The Madness in Main
St.," and he did not have to dodge among darting

P. T. Barnum's '^Greatest Show on Earth" paraded
its wonders through Town House square. The cir-
cus had an origin when an elephant was brought
from India by Capt. Crowninshield in 1796. The
first elephant in America. He brought it so that
children could see the great creature.

Buffalo Bill rode at the head of his Wild West
show through Town House square.

The man on the comer said — ''The Indians were
here when Roger Conant came in 1626. The first

Tom Thumb and his wnfe rode in a little pony
cart through Town House square. They visited
Charles H. Foster, "The Salem Seer" who traveled
in Europe also Australia, demonstrating his extra-

1 3 4 5

Online LibraryFred A. GannonOld Salem scrap book (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 5)