Privateer Warehouse

Privateer Warehouse (HM16HL)

Location: Salem, MA 01970 Essex County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 31.295', W 70° 53.211'

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Salem Maritime National Historical Site

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 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.

HM NumberHM16HL
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 25th, 2014 at 10:16pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)19T E 345015 N 4709414
Decimal Degrees42.52158333, -70.88685000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 31.295', W 70° 53.211'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 31' 17.70" N, 70° 53' 12.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)978, 781, 617
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 174 Derby St, Salem MA 01970, US
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