All The King’s Horses… And All The King’s Men

They marched across a bridge at Salem —and then marched right back again

Lexington and Concord may argue for another hundred years about where the shot heard round the world was actually fired, but to the town of Salem, over on the Massachusetts coast, the question will remain largely academic. The point of the discussion, after all, is where the War of Independence began, and Salem has her own claims to the honor. It was at Salem’s North River Bridge, two months before the clashes at Lexington and Concord, that British troops first met armed American resistance—and retreated.Read more »

The Young Devils And Dan’l Webster

When four aristocratic blackquards were jailed for a brutal murder, justice seemed triumphant. But these were no ordinary criminals, and justice needed eloquent help

Salem, Massachusetts, in the 1830’s, was a city of some 14,000. Merchants and sailors, shopkeepers and ship chandlers, owners and bankers and insurers, doctors and lawyers lived in its red brick and white wood houses. Neighbor and trader with more of the rest of the world than any other port of the United States, Salem in the spring of 1830 was pressing its prime. In Samuel Eliot Morison’s neat phrase, “the movement from wharf to waterfall” was beginning.