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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Salem in Essex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Privateer Warehouse

Salem Maritime National Historical Site

 
 
Privateer Warehouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 2, 2010
1. Privateer Warehouse Marker
Left side of the marker
Inscription.  Elias Hasket Derby, Salem’s prosperous ship-owner, and his bride Elizabeth Crowinshield began their married life in the brick house behind you in 1762. Seven children later, in 1780, Derby began building a much larger structure on the site in front of you.

Although the “New House,” as Derby called it, was nearly completed in 1782, the Derby’s never moved in, preferring a mansion in uptown Salem away from the waterfront. Until Derby’s death in 1799, he used the New House as a warehouse. Among the goods stored here undoubtedly, were prizes captured from the British by Derby’s privateers.

When Derby’s heirs sold the “warehouse” in 1800, 1/3 of the original structure was dismantled. The following year Benjamin Hawkes, a Salem shipbuilder, remodeled it to resemble its present appearance. Today it’s known as the “Hawkes House” and is being preserved as a part of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. The house is not open to the public.

----(upper right hand corner of marker) “On this land in 1780 Mr. Derby raised a Great House which he never finished…It has now stood 20 years as a monument

Privateer Warehouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 2, 2010
2. Privateer Warehouse Marker
Right side of the marker
of folly.” The Diary of William Bentley, D.D.-September 20, 1800.

----(below the photo of the ship) Derby’s privateers pursued and captured British merchant ships on the high seas during the War of Independence. Portions of the cargo from the 144 prizes they captured between 1777 an 1782 may have been stored here in Derby’s spacious “New House.” Few men at that time were wealthy enough to build a new mansion and use it as a warehouse.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraIndustry & Commerce.
 
Location. 42° 31.295′ N, 70° 53.211′ W. Marker is in Salem, Massachusetts, in Essex County. Marker is on Derby Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Salem MA 01970, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Derby House (here, next to this marker); The Custom House (within shouting distance of this marker); Derby Wharf (within shouting distance of this marker); Home for Aged Women (within shouting distance of this marker); Wharves in the Late 1800s (within shouting distance of this marker); Central Wharf (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Privateer Warehouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 2, 2010
3. Privateer Warehouse Marker
Hawkes House
(about 300 feet away); The Pedrick Store House (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Salem.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 11, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 294 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 11, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 25, 2021