Processing of this collection was funded by a grant from the NHPRC (National Historical Publications
and Records Commission).
The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Essex County (Massachusetts) Prison Records
.5 linear feet (1 box)
This collection contains materials regarding the jails of three towns in Essex County, Massachusetts: Salem; Ipswich; and Newburyport. This collection is organized into three series by town.
SERIES I. Salem
A. Salem Jail
B. Salem Stone Jail
SERIES II. Ipswich SERIES III. Newburyport
A. Newburyport Jail
B. Newburyport Courthouse
Scope and Content Note
This collection is organized into three series by town. Series I. Salem consists of subseries of the Salem Jail and the Salem Stone
Jail. Series II. Ipswich consists of the Ipswich jail. Series III. Newburyport consists of subseries of the Newburyport Jail and
Courthouse. Each subseries is arranged chronologically. Document types include legal papers, deeds, memos, construction bills, and
receipts for boarding prisoners.
This collection contains materials regarding the jails of three towns in Essex County, Massachusetts: Salem; Ipswich; and Newburyport.
In 1811, land was purchased in Salem to replace the original wooden jail, Salem Jail, and build a new stone jail. The building and
land that the original Salem Jail stood on was on was sold. The new jail, known in this collection as the Salem Stone Jail, was
constructed from 1811-1813, and then renovated from 1844-1845. The complex consisted of three buildings, the jail, the jailkeeper's
house, and a barn. The jail was in operation until 1991, and it is now a restaurant and residences.
In 1652, the second prison in the Massachusetts Bay Colony was built in Ipswich. In 1689, overflow prisoners from Salem during the
Salem Witch Trials were held at the jail. In 1812, sixteen British sailors were held at the jail after firing upon Plum Island.
The Ipswich High School now occupies the land that the original jail was on.
In 1744, the Newburyport Old Jail was erected on Federal Street. In 1824 the Old Stone Jail was built, and the Old Jail was sold,
with the proceeds going to Essex County. The building was later converted to residences. The Old Stone Jail, located at 10 Auburn
Street, included the jail, jailkeeper's house, and a barn. In 1923 the property was sold and the barn now serves as an antique shop.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.