Saturday, July 01, 2006

Friendship the Ship

Salem is a short ride on the commuter rail from Boston. There are many things to see and do there. Today I visited the Salem Maritime National Historical Site , which is staffed by US Park Rangers. There is a tour of several houses and the Customs House, which I took last year. There is also a replica of an eighteenth century merchant vessel that is docked on Derby wharf. The Friendship replica was built with tourists in mind and it was fun to walk above and below deck. The original ship could hold two hundred tons of cargo. It sailed to many foreign ports buying and selling its cargo to try to maximize profit when it finally returned to Salem.

Before Thomas Jefferson enacted the Embargo Act of 1807, Salem had been a very prosperous City. The ships were kept at port for more than a year and it hurt the port cities of the Northeast including Boston and Newport, RI. The president wanted to keep us out of the conflict during the Napoleonic Wars, but the Embargo Act was very short sighted. Many people don't know that the Northeast threatened to secede from the Union decades before the South finally did.


At April 27, 2008, Blogger histfan said...

Excellent tours today of the USS Friendship, the Derby House, the Narbonne House, and some recreated historic buildings, all for $5. More than two hundred years ago, Salem exported salted cod and timber, which it exchanged for sugar and molasses in the West Indies, and spices and finished goods in the East Indies.


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