When did the Puritans settle? How many hanged in the witch trials?
How did merchant shipping make Salem the country's wealthiest city per capita? What about the Great Fire of 1914?
Read highlights of Salem's history, incredible!
1692 & Peace?
Europeans settled Salem in 1626, when Roger Conant's fishermen arrived. Two years later, he yielded leadership in government to John Endecott. Since this transition was peaceful, the settlement's name became "Salem," of semitic origin ("salaam" in Arabic, "shalom" in Hebrew), meaning "peace, fulfillment, well-being."
Puritans in Massachusetts sought religious freedom, but were intolerant of other religions or denominations. Authoritarian with themselves, they suppressed individualism in favor of shared religious experiences. Labor and dogmatism were the best signals of honesty and integrity.
Puritans feared demons, considering witchcraft a felony. In June 1692, the odd behavior of two girls aroused demonic fears, leading to the Salem witch trials, with at least 19 hanging at Gallows Hill, now a park.