Emerging from Salem's Shadow

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After the tumultuous years of the second half of the 17th century, filled as they were with political upheaval, Indian wars, and culminating in the witchcraft crises of 1692, the new century must have seemed to local residents like entering a calm port. Although religion remained an important aspect of colonial life, the power of the church in civic life was on the wane.  Beverly’s economy remained focused on maritime trades and agriculture, but new trades emerged during the period.  Clockmakers, cabinet makers, silversmiths and other artisans created objects for an emerging well-to-do class. A spirit of change and possibility emerged in the 18th century, with profound consequences for our local community and America. Painting by Avis Thomas