The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Relief Fire Club (Salem, Mass.)
Relief Fire Club Records
1 linear foot (2 boxes)
The records of the Relief Fire
Club of Salem, Massachusetts, consist of a treasurer's book, a dues book, and two
Scope and Content Note
The records of the Relief Fire Club of Salem, Massachusetts, consist of a treasurer's
book, a dues book, and two record books. The treasurer's book is a record of
assessments and fines to the members. The dues book includes a list of members and
their due to the organization. The record books include reports of meetings.
Business conducted at these meetings was primarily the discharge and election of
members. Articles of Association of the Relief Fire Club appear in record book,
volume 2. No records of fires are included in this collection.
The Relief Fire Club was formed in Salem, Massachusetts,
on June 24, 1803. The Articles of Association were revised in 1835. The number of
members was not to exceed forty-five. The stated purposed of the organization was to
"afford relief and assistance to the persons and property of each other" and "to
promote harmony and good fellowship among new members." Each member was to furnish
himself with a pair of new buckets. Two ladders, thirty-four feet long, were to be
procured by the club. On the notice of fire, each member was to immediately report
with his buckets and bag to the dwelling, store, or shop of the member he deemed to
be in most danger.
The earliest record of a meeting in this collection is one that was held
November 14, 1824, at the Salem Hotel. A moderator was chosen for each meeting, and
meetings were held four times a year in February, May, August, and November. Among
moderators chosen were: Benjamin Crowninshield, Joseph Ropes, Joseph Sprague, Capt.
Samuel Cook, and Dr. Samuel Johnson. Meetings were later held at the Lafayette
Coffee House and the Mansion House.
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.
Fire clubs (Cooperative societies)
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research use.
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in
writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex
Relief Fire Club Records, MSS 287, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem,
This material was donated by William C. Waters, Jr. from the estate of Henry F.
Waters in 1916.
Collection processed by Marion Clark, August 1996. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, January