Peter Kalm - Salem, New Jersey, USA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 39° 34.314 W 075° 28.017
18S E 459893 N 4380348
Quick Description: Carl Linnaeus' student Peter Kalm visited North America from 1748-1750 and kept a travelogue about his journeys and studies. On May 2nd, 1749, he traveled to Salem, New Jersey, USA.
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 7/17/2008 6:07:49 PM
Waymark Code: WM479K
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Elritsa
Views: 46

Long Description:
On May 2nd, 1749, Peter Kalm travelled down to Salem, in order to see the country. The following information about Salem is from his book "Travels in North America":

Salem is a little trading town, situated a short distance from the Delaware River. The houses stand far apart; they are partly stone and partly wood. A rivulet passes by the town and flows into the Delaware. The inhabitants live by their several trades, as well as they can. In the neighborhood of Salem are some very low and swampy meadows; and therefore it is reckoned a very unwholesome place. Experience has shown, that those who came hither from other places to settle got a very pale and sickly look, though they arrived in perfect health, and with a very fresh color. The town is very easily distinguished about this time by the disagreeable stench which arises from the swamps. The vapors of the putrid water are carried to those inhabitants which live next to the marshes, and enter the body along with the air, and through the pores, and are thus hurtful to health. At the end of every summer, the intermittent fevers are very frequent. I know two young men who came with me from England to America: soon after their arrival at Philadelphia they went to Salem, in perfect health; but a few weeks after they fell sick, and before the winter was half over they had both died.

Salem today is quite different than it was during the days of Peter Kalm's visit. The stench is gone and the people appear quite healthy. The Old Salem County Courthouse, which was standing during Kalm's visit is still present today. According to Wikipedia:

The Old Salem County Courthouse is the oldest active courthouse in New Jersey and is the second oldest courthouse in continuous use in the United States, the oldest active courthouse being King William County Courthouse (1725) in Virginia. The present courthouse was erected in 1735 during the reign of King George II using locally manufactured bricks. The building was enlarged in 1817 and additionally enlarged and remodeled in 1908. Its distinctive bell tower is essentially unchanged and the original bell sits in the courtroom.

The historic Salem Oak Tree also would have been present during Kalm's visit to Salem. This famous New Jersey tree stands in the cemetery. John Fenwick, who founded the town of Salem, is said to have made his treaty with the Indians in its shade in 1675.


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Dove78 visited Peter Kalm - Salem, New Jersey, USA 3/10/2012 Dove78 visited it
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