STRANGE CONNECTIONS: JAMES TAYLOR, THE GAME CLUE, OPIUM, AND PRESIDENTIAL ASSASSINATION?

IT ALL STARTS WITH SALMONELLA AND A GOOD GAME OF CLUE

Around August 12th, 1849 in Meadville, Pennsylvania on a northern tour of the country President Zachary Taylor would suffer from typhoid for 3 days and recover. In April 1850 he would dine with William H. Prescott who he tried to convince to write a history of the Mexican-War. Out of spite, Prescott would write the Conquest of Mexico…about Cortez and his friends instead.

I wonder about Prescott. He had dined with Polk before he died. Polk had been sick afterward but survived. Prescott would be a great spy. He had access to John Quincy Adams, James Polk, Arthur Wellington, Prince Albert, and Zachary Taylor. Prince Albert would die of typhoid as well. Two years after Prescott’s death though. Taylor would become sick 3 months after meeting Prescott, I believe typhoid incubates for a week or two? Can it lay dormant longer? Zachary Taylor would be the second of the only two Whig candidates who were elected president, and the second to die early in their term of Typhoid. The first was William Harrison who died within a month of his inauguration and under 2 months of his son’s death.

Daniel Webster a character in Sub Rosa.

Daniel Webster. His son marries Stephen White’s daughter and his brother-in-law marries the other daughter. Webster prosecuted innocent men for Stephen White to get away with murdering his uncle. The two would go on to assassinate President Harrison.

Now Stephen White was the power behind Daniel Webster who was 1 of 3 of the most powerful senators in the country. Webster was the prosecutor in the Joseph White murder, the uncle of Stephen. Stephen got away with the murder and then engineered the assassination of William Harrison with Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. The Joseph White murder is the basis of the Parker Brother’s choice to purchase the American rights to the English game Cluedo and rename it Clue. What spur this? A grand uncle of the Parker Brothers was the judge in the murder case who dies the night before the trial started.

Now as Prescott was leaving Boston for Washington to dine with Taylor the famous Webster-Parkman trial was happening. Lemuel Shaw was the State Superior Court Justice on the case. He was the man Webster appointed to the position of Chief Justice after he possibly murdered Chief Justice Parker.  Parker previously presided over a hung jury libel case Webster brought against someone who claimed he was a traitor during the Hartford Convention. Since Shaw heard the case for Selman and Chase who were acquitted in the White murder previously he could not hear the murder case against the  Knapps. He was also married to a Knapp. So it proved a horrible choice for Webster to make. Also, the Knapp’s attorney was the same defense attorney from the libel case.

Parkman Webster Murder illustration

Now the suspect in the John Parkman murder was John White Webster. Daniel Webster was asked to prosecute the case. Did Daniel Webster refuse the case because of too many memories of the Captain Joseph White murder case in Salem? The suspect had White and Webster in his name. The judge, Lemuel Shaw, was his first choice for the White murder, after the Parker murder that was.

Parker. Parkman? It does sound eerily familiar. Was Webster hearing the tell-tale heart? Especially if he was sending his youthful friend to poison a president. Prescott’s father was another traitor during the Hartford Convention with Daniel Webster. This would be the first assassination after the mysterious death of Stephen White after an accidental poisoning,  second if you include Polk who had left office already. Stephen White was behind the assassination of Harrison with Webster and Clay.

Now Prescott had just spent time with Parkman’s son at the time of the murder. Also, Prescott’s aunt was married to John White Webster. Parkman and John White Webster were teachers at Harvard.

Parkman helped create the McLean Asylum which is now in Belmont, MA. He would also testify at the Abraham Prescott murder which tried using sleepwalker as a defense in the murder. He was testifying that insanity can be genetically passed along since Abraham Prescott close family were all nuts. It was Daniel Webster’s friend Rufus Choate who first successfully used sleepwalking as a defense in American history in 1846. Choate convinced a jury that the accused, Albert Tirrell, did not cut the throat of his lover, or, if he did so, he did it while sleepwalking, under the ‘ insanity of sleep’.

John White Webster had murdered Parkman and dismantled his corpse and tried burning him in Harvard’s incinerator.

Trivia. Lemuel Shaw’s daughter Elizabeth marries Herman Melville. He presided over Cobb Vs Cobb in which Brigham Young was having affair with Augusta Adams and Henry Adams wins a divorce. Brigham Young will be at Nathaniel Felt’s house in Salem when he hears news of Joseph Smith’s death. Felt was married to John Quincy Adam’s cousin. Shaw was married to Elizabeth Knapp who was the daughter of Josiah Knapp. George Parkman’s sister married Robert Gould Shaw, grandfather of 54th regiment Robert Gould Shaw (the general Matthew Broderick played in Glory). Also, Nathaniel Russell Sturgis was married to Susannah Parkman. Maybe they all bought to much opium from Sturgis.

Sturgis was in the employment of Thomas Perkins’ opium empire which made his Forbes nephews a fortune and the drug empire was later sold to the Russells, the family who founded the Skull & Bones.

McLean Asylum later would house Ray Charles, James Taylor, and John Nash. Ray Charles and James Taylor would be addicts of a form of opium…

I bet you had no clue…

For more information on tunnels in Salem and how the city shaped American history read Sub Rosa and Salem Secret Underground: The HIstory of the Tunnels in the City. Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and anywhere books are sold! Also eBooks available atwww.salemhousepress.com. Also, take the Salem Smugglers’ Tour when in Salem MA to learn this all first hand from the author.
Sub Rosa Book CoverSSU2

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THE PHILIPS SCHOOL AND HOCUS POCUS

BARBECUE WITCH ANYONE…

This was the location of the school in Hocus Pocus. In 1992 on the 300 year anniversary of the Witchcraft Hysteria Elie Wiesel dedicated the memorial and Disney filmed Hocus Pocus. In this building in the film, the three witches are burned in the incinerator. While filming, Disney did not think the Common had enough leaves and colors so they shipped massive dump trucks to the park. Today the steeple is missing on the building, along with most of the steeples in Salem. Also, my neighbor, Miss Fitzgerald was one of the original teachers in the school who died not too long ago at 99 years old. After knowing her for 15 years I realized she was retired longer than I was alive.

I hear this building is still open to the tunnels, now just to get in…

To hear more stories about the Salem Common book a tour on the Salem Smugglers’ Tour of the Historic Common today!

http://www.salemtunneltour.com
More Than Witches!!!

TOUR UNDER ROMANTIC VICTORIAN LAMPS IN SALEM

THE SALEM SMUGGLERS’ TOUR; MORE THAN WITCHES…

Chris Dowgin tour guide of Salem Smugglers' Tour.

Your guide and Author Chris Dowgin.

Tours leaving Thursday through Monday at 3pm and 8pm under Victorian gas lamps in the historic Salem Commons. Learn how one small park could have such an impact on American history and your lives’ today!  Book Your Tickets Today!
http://www.salemtunneltour.com
More Than Witches!!!

First Congregation Church in Country, Witchcraft Hysteria, Oliver Cromwell, and Tunnels

Welcome to the Salem Tunnel Report. Every Monday we will post new and old tunnel finds along with those who built them. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits of the smuggling that happened in these tunnels; sometimes for the good, but more often not.

Daniel Low Building
231 Essex Street

This was the site of the First Church in Salem and the Old State House. The State House sat on the corner of Washington, Short, and Essex Streets. The Church sat in from here. The church was founded in 1629 and has become the first church regularly organized in the country. Their second building being a one room church was built in 1634. The building was expanded in 1639 and it was last used in 1670. In 1673 the building was moved to Boston Street. Now it is behind Plummer Hall on Essex Street.

Francis Peabody found it behind a tannery on Boston Street and had it moved to its present location. At one time it was used as an tavern and then later a horse stable. So it is safe to say the first church in the country was full of horse shit.

In 1670 they built the third building for worship. In 1718 they built a 4th church on this spot. This is also the location where the first use of a ballot was made in the country.

They were Protestants. Rev. Francis Higginson was the first Teacher and Rev. Samuel Skelton the first minister. In 1634 the church’s third minister was Roger Williams. He lasted 2 years before he was exiled for believing the Native Americans should be compensated for the land the Colonialists stole. So he founded Providence Rhode Island and created the first Baptist church in America.

In 1636 Rev. Hugh Peter took over. In 1641 he left for England and became Oliver Cromwell’s personal Chaplain. What a mistake, Cromwell was an ass. In 1660 Peters was charged with regicide for the first suggestion and assisting in the Execution of Charles I. He was beheaded after being drawn and quartered.

The next Rev. was George Downing who returned to England and became a soldier. Downing Street in London was his property and now the prime minister lives on that road.

Then Rev. John Higginson, Rev. Francis Higginson’s son, presided though the Witchcraft Trials in 1692. His junior minister Noyes was ignoble. It was him who really fanned the flames of the witch hysteria. One of the accused witches told Noyes, “May God give you blood to drink.” In 1717 Noyes choked on his own blood and died.

The church split into the North Church and The First Church in 1772. Rev. Asa Dunbar presided over the First Church. He was Henry David Thoreau’s paternal grandfather. Rev. Barnard who was the minister of the North Church negotiated with General Leslie to retreat from Salem in 1775. Leslie’s Retreat was the first conflict in the Revolutionary War before the Battle on the Green. Canons that day were smuggled out of Salem to Lexington.

The church later became the First Congregational Society of Salem in 1824.
In 1826 the current building was built. The first floor was used for retail and the second floor for religious ceremonies. By 1874 a major remodeling was done. The towers were added and the building extended on Higginson Square. At that time John P. Peabody sold dry and fancy goods while Daniel Low had his jewelry store on the Essex Street Side. The National Exchange Bank had entrances on Washington Street. In 1923 Daniel Low and Company acquired the property in the year the First Church merged with the North Church further down on Essex Street. Daniel Low was also an aid to Grand Marshall of the Essex Lodge.

There is one tunnel exiting the building that leads up Washington toward the train station. It is rumored this went to the Lyceum passing entrances to the city hall and the Kinsman Block. Then leading toward Riley Plaza is a tunnel entrance at the back of a vault leading to the second Asiatic Bank location (The Ledger Restaurant currently). Also Daniel Low fixed up the tunnel leading across Higginson Sq. into his warehouse that sits to the right of Old Town Hall (old Goddess Treasure Chest location).

Low poured a concrete floor in the tunnel to prevent the state from having access to the graves of several runaway slaves. Daniel Low was the jeweler who invented souvenir spoons and he also sold KKK belt buckles, money clips, and lighters.

His warehouse has a storefront below street level. The tunnel enters the back of this building and goes up a staircase to a door on Higginson Square. If you pass the staircase it turns right into the submerged store front.

The past owner of this shop also owns the condo in the Pickman-Derby Block where the tunnel was turned into a wine cellar. Her basement door exhibits how they can remove the ceiling of the tunnel to expose a cellar door. Few other examples of this can be seen in the McIntire District. Previous to this location her store was in the Downing Block which is also connected.

The roof of the tunnel to his warehouse has brick arches under the flat granite top every 3 feet supported on thick metal straps running across the width of the tunnel. When the Essex Lodge was built in 1918, the previous tunnels under the old Derby Mansion site would be refitted in the same manner. Recently I got to tour Low’s house on Essex Street and Botts Court and saw the tunnel coming out of his house too.

I actually was filmed in this tunnel with Robert Irvine for his new show that premiered this month on the Travel Channel called Kitchen Expeditions. Check it out, for that is another story!

Many secrets in Salem!

For more read info Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press. Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, The Witch House, Jolie Tea, and Amazon.com.

Ghosts, the First Phone Call, Dante’s Inferno, and Tunnels

Welcome to the Salem Tunnel Report. Every Monday we will post new and old tunnel finds along with those who built them. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits of the smuggling that happened in these tunnels; sometimes for the good, but more often not.

Lyceum
43 Church Street

Joshua Holbrook borrowed a concept from the Mechanics Institutes he had encountered in England and created the Lyceum movement. In 1828 Holbrook started the first lyceum in Milbury, Massachusetts. Soon 100 others sprinkled throughout New England. By 1834, the number of lyceums in America had grown to 3,000.

The Salem Lyceum started in January 1830 when Captain Joseph White was dying from a sickness he could not shake. The mission of the Salem Lyceum was the “mutual education and rational entertainment” for both its membership and the general public through a biannual course of lectures, debates, and dramatic readings. The new hall could accommodate 700 patrons in amphitheater-style seating and was decorated with images of Cicero, Demosthenes and other great orators of the classical period. Lectures were held on Tuesday evenings. Admission was $1 for men and 75 cents for women, who had to be “introduced” by a male to gain entrance.

Over the next 60 years there were over 1,000 lectures. John Quincy Adams delivered a lecture on politics, Agassiz on geology, and Alexander Graham Bell made his first public demonstration of the telephone here. Well sort of…he was a hit at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition first.

Bell had invented the phone on the property that the Salem YMCA now is on Essex Street. In 1873 Thomas Sanders hired Bell to teach his deaf son George in his mother’s house at 292 Essex Street. The house was torn down in 1898. Bell was teaching to the deaf in Boston and working on the phone in a laboratory in Boston. He would take the last train home to Salem and continued to work on his invention in the attic and basement of the Sander’s house. On February 12, 1877 he had his expo at the Lyceum. Thomas Sanders became one of his first investors in his telephone company which became The Bell Telephone Company. The Ma Bells of America. Later it became Atlantic Telephone & Telegraph company. Sanders was their Treasurer.

What was the conversation that happened with that first phone call of any distance:

Bell~ “Mr. Watson, will you speak to the audience?”
Watson~ “Ladies and gentlemen. It gives me great pleasure to be able to address you this evening, although I am in Boston, and you in Salem!”

Thomas A. Watson was at Exeter Place in Boston with musicians, reporters, and artists. Watson and band sang Auld Lang Syne and Yankee Doodle Dandy (a song the Regulars sang as they attacked the North Bridge in Salem) to Bell in Salem with everyone hearing them. This won Bell a 2nd appearance on Feb. 23rd in front of an audience of 500 people netting him $8,500 which was the first money the phone ever made.

Bell was not the only inventor in Salem. Tesla had created a generating facility for Pequot Mills/Naumkeag Steam Cotton Co. in Salem, Moses Farmer created the light bulb purchased by Thomas Edison and was the first to light his home by electricity in the world, Joseph Dixon created a crucible that could withstand high heat for minting coins for the U.S. Mint and the #2 pencil, Charles Grafton Page worked in the patent office in D.C. and created a magnet that could lift a 1,000 pounds, and Louis Packard was making electric cars in the 1800’s. In fact half of the room on electricity in the Smithsonian Institute houses inventions from Lynn, Salem, and Swampscott.

The Lyceum was the destination that people like Agassiz, Thoreau, and Longfellow would walk through the tunnels from Col. George Peabody’s home on the common to give a lecture or try a out a reading before they published a work. Oliver Wendell Holmes had a lecture on “Lyceums and Lyceum Lectures;” and abolitionist Frederick Douglass gave one on “Assassination and its Lessons” shortly after President Lincoln’s murder. The man who got away with the assassinations of three presidents, two in office and one three months after, Daniel Webster was paid the most. He received $100, for his lecture on “The History of the Constitution of the United States”.

Ralph Waldo Emerson gave the most lectures at the Lyceum for a total of 30. Emerson, whose maternal granduncle Jonathan Waldo was the man who refitted the old hill fort and chose to rename it Fort Pickering in 1801.

As Derby was getting money from Common Improvement Fund subscribers, Waldo just got paid by the War Department. After fighting with them for two years since 1799 for the funds necessary he will refit the fort with strong brick arches. Does the old hill fort have tunnels leading to Richard Derby’s wharf that Elias Hasket Derby Sr. was looking to refit before his death in 1799?

James Russell Lowell, also gave a lecture on “Dante’s Inferno”. He was working with Holmes and Longfellow on a translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy at Harvard. The book The Dante Club goes over the history of that undertaking within a murder mystery where people are being murdered by various punishments found in Dante’s work.

That hill fort, the man it was named after, Timothy Pickering. He was Washington’s Aide to Camp, his Secretary of State, and Secretary of State for John Adams. Pickering after leaving Washington was the head of the Essex Junto. An organization whose sole purpose was giving New England back to the British. He had worked with John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Aaron Burr in this process that culminated in the Hartford Convention in 1814 that Daniel Webster participated in that threatened cession and siding with the British in the War of 1812. Little did they know the peace treaty was signed in Ghent, Belgium before they left Salem for Hartford…

In 1898, the Salem Lyceum voted to dissolve and give the records and remaining monies to the Essex Institute. The money became the “Salem Lyceum Fund” to be used to maintain a course of lectures.

In fact the Salem Boy’s Fraternity purchased the building next from the Lyceum that was owned by then by the Essex Institute. This was the boy’s second location in town after moving out of the Downing Building and they were the second and last tenants of this old wooden building; for they created their own inferno in it.

The modern brick building built on the location houses Turner’s Seafood. During the reconstruction of the Lyceum/43 Church restaurant to Turner’s the construction crew were disturbed by the “Flushing Ghost”. An entity would enter the women’s room who kept flushing the toilet. After much aggravation, the construction team decided to dismantle the plumbing since they were moving the bathroom anyway; the ghost then proceeded to the men’s room. Pictures of girl materializing out of the floorboards on the second floor also have been taken. Why is she cut in half by the picture? Because she remembers the original floor of the wooden building and not the current one.

Elsie also haunts the ladies room in Murphy’s. Up to the second floor in the back the foundation of the building supports the Old Burying Point. They say two coffins fell through the wall in the building. Since then Elsie has been rattling stall doors aggravating those women preoccupied with nature’s call for years now.

The Lyceum was built in the apple orchard of Bridget Bishop. Her house stood where the Salem Five Bank is now on the corner of Washington Street and Church Street. Her first husband Mr. Oliver had died and left her a house with many gables. Then she married Mr. Bishop. Even though she married a bishop, the church still hanged her as a witch. Her home was an influence on the exterior descriptions of The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne and the interior based on his cousin Susan Ingersoll’s home which at the time was missing a few gables…Hawthorne never spoke at the Lyceum, but acted as their secretary and his father-in-law sold tickets.

Now back to the boys; it is strange that their three locations in town were in buildings attached to tunnels. The boy’s were from the working classes without much affluence, could they have been doing the work of the ‘Artful Dodger’ and ran by some sort of ‘Fagin’. Their third and first location were in brick buildings; I guess they learned quick.

Zack Fagan of Ghost Adventurers and Ghost Hunters have filmed episodes in this building.

Now about Charles Lenox Remond and his sister Sarah training Frederick Douglass within these walls into the Abolitionist Movement; that is another story.

Many secrets in Salem!

For more read info Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press. Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, The Witch House, Jolie Tea, and Amazon.com.

Fagin in Salem with the First Boy’s Club in the Country

Welcome to the Salem Tunnel Report. Every Monday we will post new and old tunnel finds along with those who built them. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits of the smuggling that happened in these tunnels; sometimes for the good, but more often not.

Downing Block
173-175 -177 Essex Street

Built in 1858 for dry good merchants Thomas W. Downing and John Downing on the site of Essex Place. In 1803 the Salem Bank and the Salem Marine Insurance Company resided on the first floor of Essex Place. Its presidents included Benjamin Pickman Jr. and Joseph Peabody. In 1804 the Salem East India Marine Society Museum resided at Essex Place. The Essex Historical Society which is now part of the Peabody Essex Museum was above the Salem Bank in that building.

In 1818 the Institute for Savings in the Town of Salem and Vicinity occupied the building. This was founded by Dr. Edward Augustus Holyoke. In 1830 there was an attempt to break into the their vault. Dr. Edward A. Holyoke, Benjamin Pickman Jr. , Timothy Pickering, Benjamin W. Crowninshield, Daniel A. White, and Nathaniel Silsbee were members. In 1843 the bank changed its name to the Salem Savings Bank. In 1844 the Salem Savings Bank will move into Kimball Block on the corner of Derby Square which burns down in 1899. In 1900 W.E. Hoyt Company builds the current building on the corner of Derby Square and the Salem Bank will be in it also in 1909. The Essex County Natural History Museum was housed in Essex Place when it merged with the Essex Historical Society to become the Essex Institute in 1848. Essex Institute would be the basis for the Miskatonic University in H.P. Lovecraft’s narratives.

In 1869 the Salem Fraternity which is the oldest boy’s club in the country was founded within the Downing Block. It was created to provide evening instruction and wholesome amusement for those “who were confined to their work during the day who needed recreation at the end of their labors”. Physical training, general education, and arts and crafts were offered. They had a library, a reading room, and amusement room. These services were provided to boys and girls for free.

Then they move into the Lyceum on Church Street. That wooden building suffered a fire. Then in 1899 the Salem Fraternity buys the Joshua Phippen’s Essex Bank Building on Central Street. After being housed there they merge with other national clubs to become the Boys & Girls Club. This time the children were not able to burn the building down. All three of their locations were attached to the tunnels in town. It makes you wonder if Fagin ran the boys cub… Their current Salem location is in the hall next to the Immaculate Conception Church, another brick building…

This Downing Block has a curious set of tunnels. Under the entrance that leads to the stairs to the 2nd and 3rd floors is a long hall way in the building. On the back of the building in this basement hall is an iron door covered in thick glass. At this point the long sliding latch is rusted shut. I was able to pull the doors hinges free from the wall, but the concrete wall behind it is well mortared. From this point to the front are several arches on the left and right. In one arch you can look through a hole and look into the basement under Turtle Alley. Before you get to the stairs there are a pair of metal doors. These open into rooms on either side of the hallway. Two shoots can be seen entering them from the ceiling. Behind the stairs is the original neon sign for Bernard’s Jewelers. Past the stairs there are arches with old furnace doors in them. Then right before the Essex Street entrance to the tunnel there are a pair of arches with doors in them. The one to the left has a mail slot in the bottom of it. On the other side of this door is a metal bracing composed of a series of “x”s. In this room the tunnel entrance extends 5 feet into the basement.

In the other arch opposite of this is another door that leads to the basement under Witch T’s. This storefront was once home to the Goddess Treasure Chest. The Goddess Treasure Chest used to resides in the old Daniel Low warehouse which has a tunnel leading to it. Also the old owner’s home in the Derby-Pickman Building is also connected.

Now the tunnel entrance to Essex Street has been bricked closed, but there is a hole big enough to climb through. This section of tunnel was filled with ash and pumice which has caved in from the right and the left. Above is a granite slab which you can see in the sidewalk in front of the door.

The corridor is about 3 feet wide and 7 feet tall. Roots were growing through the tunnel from the direction of the Hawthorne Hotel. The tunnel extended past the granite slab and had water pipes running through it. Soon after the first printing of this book the Peabody Essex Museum buys this building to protect their secrets.

During Salem Con., a paranormal convention, they had a ghost investigation that resulted in a ghost talking through a ghost box (an app that records white noise which voices manifest through) pretending to be the ghost of Tituba.

Many secrets in Salem!

For more read info Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press. Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, The Witch House, Jolie Tea, and Amazon.com.

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Wife’s Tunnel of Love

Welcome to the Salem Tunnel Report. Every Monday we will post new and old tunnel finds along with those who built them. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits of the smuggling that happened in these tunnels; sometimes for the good, but more often not.

Dr. Nathaniel Peabody House
53 Charter Street

Prior to 1794 this home was owned by Benjamin Pickman Jr. and Frank Cousins ascribes a date circa 1780 it was built. Pickman was a brother-in-law to Elias Hasket Derby Jr. and purchases Derby Square from him. He would also own the property next to the Peabody Essex Museum where they are now in 2017 putting the current addition in where the Oriental Garden was. This home was connected to the Pickman estate through Court Street.

Literature fans might know this as the home from Dr. Grimshawe’s Secret that was posthumously published by Julian Hawthorne the author’s son. The work highlights the nature of his father-in-law who uses spider webs to make a potion to heal people. Dr. Nathaniel Peabody was a dentist who was always struggling to maintain a practice and later lived with his daughter in Boston as he made pharmaceuticals with varying success. This propensity for poverty also led Hawthorne to hire him to sell tickets for the Lyceum lectures.

Where the father failed in life his daughters made up for in spades. Sophia had married Hawthorne after a 3 year engagement. Sophia was always playing ill, and might of been because her father prescribed a cure for her teething which contained mercury. Later she would rely on opium for migraines. In 1864 President Franklin Pierce would tell Sophia’s sister Elizabeth that Nathaniel had died. Hawthorne was traveling in the White Mountains with his old friend when he had passed.

Elizabeth Peabody started the first kindergarten in America in 1860. She also translated the first Buddhist scripture, Lotus Sutra, into English in her transcendentalist magazine The Dial. At the time she had a bookstore, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody’s West Street Bookstore, at her home in Boston (circa. 1840-1852). She was a proponent of Paiute Indians and women’s rights. Margaret Fuller’s “Conversations” where held here. Many gatherings of the Transcendentalists happened in her bookstore. Fuller and herself where the only two female writers in the group. This is where she raised her father as he kept trying his hand at selling his pharmaceuticals.

Mary Tyler Peabody married the great educator Horace Mann. In fact there is a tunnel running from the Horace Mann School to the old gym/art room in Salem State University. Her and her sister Elizabeth met him in the boardinghouse they all lived in when they were teaching together. After her husband’s death she worked with Elizabeth in her kindergarten. Her and Horace had a child named Benjamin Pickman. Mary had became an adopted granddaughter of Benjamin Pickman Jr. through her father’s friendship with Dr. Thomas Pickman, his son.

On riding by on my bike I noticed new construction. See they started repairs early in 2017, but they have been stalled. Due to an argument with the city planning board the previous owner, who is deceased now, had sworn his properties would fall to ruin. His other property is the abandoned home on Federal Street Court, which is my setting for Mr. Pelinger’s House & Intergalactic Roadshow, behind the Ropes’ Garden. In his will it is said his heirs can only do enough repairs to keep the homes from being condemned. It looks like the family tried to do more and construction halted. So when I was going by I noticed that where the steps where to the front door had a hole in the foundation. It reminded me of the tunnel that ran under the William B. Parker House and Francis Skerry House.

In front were boards covering up the tunnel that ran under the steps. I did not feel brave enough to lift the board over the tunnel, it was getting caught on a barrier, but I opened the other one to the side and seen the left wall of the tunnel and the hole next to it. I wonder if this served as Nathaniel’s and Sophia’s tunnel of love…

Many secrets in Salem!

For more read info Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press. Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, The Witch House, Jolie Tea, and Amazon.com.