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“Old Naumkeag" appears to be a work which will greatly interest the readers of the present day. The researches of Felt, Bentley, and others, embody much of what is known of the topography and ancient history of Salem and vicinity; but the compilers of this work appear not only to have adduced other facts gathered from authentic sources, but also to have presepted them in a most attractive manner. Looking back over the days of our ancestors we cannot but admire the virtues and wisdom that carried them through the bitter disappointments and sufferings incident to a pioneer people. The history of Salem from the early days of Conant and Endicott, down to the present time, is replete with incidents of the most thrilling character.
The early struggle for existence; the oppression under British rule; the terrible scenes and enactments of the witchcraft days; the noble and successful stand in the cause of independence and liberty; the first complete establishment of commerce with all parts of the world — with India, China and the islands of the sea – the ships for which were constructed on shores; and last, though not least, the patriotism of our people, and the intellectual contributions to litera
- these go to make a history for “Old Naumkeag” of which the people of to-day may justly feel proud. It is one which should ever stimulate them to keep from oblivion the noble deeds of their ancestors, that future generations may reap the benefits of their hard experience without the great cost at which it was purchased.
H. L. W.
THE authors desire to acknowledge their indebtedness to the following persons, for valuable assistance and advice in the preparation of this work :-Dr. HENRY WHEATLAND, WILLIAM P. UPHAM, Esq., Hon. HENRY L. WILLIAMS, Hon. II. K. OLIVER, Hon. W. D. NORTIIEND, Hon. JAMES KIMBALL, Judge J. B. F. OSGOOD, T. F. HUNT, Esq., H. M. BATCHELDER, JOHN P. PEABODY, Capt. GEORGE UPTON, WILLIAM LEAVITT, C. H. PRICE, H. J. Cross, HENRY M. MEEK, of Salem; D. B. HILL, and HALE & Davis, of Peabody; Hon. J. H. ORNE, of Marblehead; WILLIAM INGALLS, of Danvers; to the Boston GLOBE PUBLISHING COMPANY; to the HARPER BROTHERS, of New York, for a number of their fine wood-cuts (loaned through the Essex Institute); Mr. A. WILLIAMS, of Boston; the SALEM PUBLISHING COMPANY; to J. W. and J. S. MOULTON, of Salem; to W. S. CHAMBERS, of Boston, our engraver; to the Omcers and Members of the Essex INSTITUTE and ATHENÆUM LIBRARIES, for the use of books and other material; to the SALEM PRESS; to the CLERGY of Salem; and to many others. In addition to these we are indebted to our local antiquarians, and the valuable Essex INSTITUTE HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS, for the benent of the rescarches cmbodicd thcrcin.
The aim of the authors of " OLD NAUMKEAG" has been only to write an NIISTORICAL SKETCII” of that portion of Essex County originally known as Naumkeag, but now divided into the city of Salem, and the towns of Marblehead, Peabody, Danvers, Beverly, Manchester, Wenham, Topsfield and Middleton; giving brief accounts of the more interesting events in the history of each, and descriptions of the places of interest to the stranger and to the native. The whole territory is replete with historical associations, and dotted with land-marks of the past - buildings or localities directly associated with some of the most important events in the history of America. To these shrines of antiquity, whose shadows lengthen and deepen with each departing year, come, annually, thousands of strangers; while the young are growing up in our midst nearly as ignorant of their historic surroundings as the stranger is. We have neither guides nor guide-books, nor local histories such as the visitor seeks. The most valuable of our local works are now almost if not quite out of print; such as are not, are rare and costly.
Realizing this, the authors have sought to prepare & work which should in some measure supply the want. At the same time, it has been so extended, we trust, as to make it interesting and useful to our own citizens. The young reader, it is hoped, will find information as well as entertainment; and the more ad.
vanced in life, and pleasure in retracing steps, leading back to the days of their youth, reviving recollections and associations ever dear, at the same time affording valuable information concerning their ancestry. We make no special claims to originality of material. On the contrary, we acknowledge our indebtedness, for most of the facts embodied in this work, to the antiquarians, living and dead, from the Rev. John Fiske, and the Rev. John Higginson, down to the present. We have searched the voluminous collections and writings of these painstaking recorders of the past and endeavored to present, in a popular shape, such portions of them as are of the greatest interest at the present time. Limited space precludes the publication of very much more which is of deep interest. With more time and space the book could have been made better. Such as it is we submit it to the public, asking only that all should bear in mind that
“Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,
Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor o'er shall be."