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Content Session Material
Primary Sources
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Salem in the World, the World in Salem: Salem in the Early Republic and the East Indies
Primary Sources

Primary Sources from Partner Collections
| Architecture | Objects | Maps | Documents

Primary Sources from Local Archives and Collections

Additional Primary Sources Used in Content and Follow-up Sessions

Selected and annotated by SALEM in History staff


Primary Sources from Partner Collections

Architecture

  Crowninshield-Bentley House, photographs of exterior and parlor. Peabody Essex Museum Collection, Salem, MA. Photos by Abaigeal Duda
  Gardner-Pingree House, photographs of exterior and parlor. Peabody Essex Museum Collection, Salem, MA. Photos by Abaigeal Duda

  Wharf and Warehouse. Salem Maritime National Historic Site, National Park Service. Photographs by Abaigeal Duda.


Objects

 

Blaeu, Willem Janzoom (1571-1638)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1647
Amsterdam
Paper, leather, ink, watercolor
Peabody Essex Museum, 1032.3 12632 1647


 

George Ropes (1788-1819)
Crowninshield's Wharf, 1806
Oil on canvas
Gift of Nathaniel Silsbee
Peabody Essex Museum, M3459

 

 

Certificate. Salem Marine Society Certificate for John B. Knight, 31 Jan 1839. Peabody Essex Museum Collection, Salem, MA.


 

Derby Wharf, 1910
Phillip Little (1857-1942)
Salem, MA
Photograph
Peabody Essex Museum

 

 

A Relic of History, Old Derby Wharf, Salem, ca. 1915
Phillip Little (1857-1942)
Salem, MA
Oil on canvas
Gift of Phillip Little
Peabody Essex Museum, 107515


 


Maps

 

“Derby Wharf Area & Surroundings,” taken from G.M. Hopkins, Atlas, City of Salem, Plates 10 and 11. Additions by C.W. Snell, based on photographs. Traced by H.R.G. 15 November 1937.

 

 

A Plan of the Estate, Late Elias H. Derby-Esquire – On the South Side of Derby Street, Gideon Foster surveyor, additions by C.S. Snell, Map No. 2; 25 February 1805.

 


Documents

  Carnes, Jonathan. Invoice of cargo on first voyage of the ship Rajah. Peele Family Papers, 1753-1810. Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum. Transcription by Elizabeth Casler.*

The Salem Maritime National Historic Site, National Park Service was the first Salem pepper-trade specific boat. Its name refers to the term used for men who presided over the harbors and who negotiated trade in the Sumatra. Invoice discusses captain’s decisions in carrying and negotiating pepper cargo and deceptions to thwart possible pirate attacks.
 

Jonathan Peele, Ebenzer Beckford, Willard Peele, Salem, to Jonathan Carnes, 3 November, 1795. Peele Family Papers, 1753-1810. Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum. Transcription by Elizabeth Casler.*

Letter to captain of Rajah from owners, with instructions on trade and voyage.

When in October of 1799 a ship called the Rajah, owned by a small group of Salem merchants and captained by Jonathan Carnes, sailed into the port, she certainly did not introduce pepper to Salem.  As residents of the second largest seaport in the United States, wealthy Salemites were already well accustomed to the taste of pepper.  Of course, it was only the wealthy who could afford such a luxury, since pepper always arrived in small batches from the Sumatran coast.  The Rajah made a stir in town, not because of the novelty of the pepper, but for its quantity.  She was the first ship to return to the United States from Sumatra with a full cargo of pepper.  Despite predictions of heavy losses to her owners due to a glutted market, the Rajah’s pepper sold for a seven hundred percent profit.

 

 

 

Lincoln, Levi R. and Samuel Eveleth. Tariff: On Rates of Duties, Payable from and After the 3d of March, 1833…. Boston: Samuel Condon, 1832. Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

 

 

Snell, Charles W. Historic Structure Report Derby Wharf and Warehouses Together with Data on the Physical History of the Ezekiel Hersey Derby and John Prince Wharf Lots, Lots A and B, Historical Data. Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Massachusetts. (Selections)

 

 

“Trade Goods in Public Stores Exhibit” Salem Maritime, National Park Service, 1 July 2004. Salem Maritime National Park Service Library, Salem, MA.

 


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Primary Sources from Local Archives and Collections

--none listed at this time --

 


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Additional Primary Sources Used in Content and Follow-up Sessions


  Chinese Coin and Prosperity Symbol in Chinese Porcelains: Chinese Dining Scene from Tingqua: Paintings from his Studio, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1976, 25.
 

Lui Hai with his string of coins from Eberhard, Wolfram, A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and Thought, Routledge, London, 1986, 166.

The Chinese coin symbol, a lozenge shape within a square, appears in both of these images. It can be broadly interpreted as a symbol of good fortune, or more specifically, a wish for prosperity. This symbol was also used in many homes in Salem (see the Andrew Safford house lights, on this page).

 

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*Thank you to Elizabeth Casler, 2005 SIH summer intern for her research and contributions to this topic.