Black and white portrait of Nathaniel Hawthorne

"A quest for the people who made us what we are,"

-Historian Michael Wood

At Salem Maritime, we celebrate the people who shaped our history. These individuals walked the streets of Salem, worked in the counting houses, businesses, and mills, and sailed around the world on vessels that left from the city's wharves. Elias Hasket and Elizabeth Derby were members of one of the most successful merchant families in 18th century Salem. Nathaniel Hawthorne set many of his famous stories here. African-Americans, free and enslaved, worked on the ships and in the homes of Salem, and in the early 19th century some from Salem became leaders of the abolitionist movement. Polish immigrants moved to Salem for economic opportunities in the mills, and became a vital part of the 20th century makeup of the city.

A large group of people gather in front of a three-story brick building.

Prominent People in Polish Salem

In Polish immigrant communities, a shared identity was continually debated and involved a great deal of both conflict and celebration.

Last updated: January 11, 2022

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160 Derby Street
Salem , MA 01970



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