Hobbs, Mary A
Mary A Hobbs (b. 1799-1867) - American Autograph Letter Signed, 08/08/1829 To: brother from: Sister living in Salem, Mss. Written in blk ink on recto, with postal stamped from MSS in bluish toned ink on 'wove'paper. Overall, fine condition.
Salem, located at the mouth of the Naumkeag river at the site of an ancient Native American village and trading center, was first settled by Europeans in 1626, when a company of fishermen from Cape Ann led by Roger Conant arrived. Conant's leadership had provided the stability to survive the first two years, but he was immediately replaced by John Endecott, one of the new arrivals, by order of the Massachusetts Bay Company. Conant graciously stepped aside and was granted 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land in compensation.
These "New Planters" and the "Old Planters" agreed to cooperate, in large part due to the diplomacy of Conant and Endicott. In recognition of this peaceful transition to the new government, the name of the settlement was changed to Salem, a hellenized form of the word for "peace" in Arabic سلام (salaam) and Hebrew שלום (shalom).
The neutrality of the United States was tested during the Napoleonic Wars. After the Chesapeake–Leopard Affair, Thomas Jefferson was faced with a decision to make regarding the situation at hand. In the end, he chose an economic option: the Embargo Act of 1807.
Jefferson essentially closed all the ports overnight, putting a damper on the seaport town of Salem. The embargo of 1807 was the starting point on the path to the War of 1812 with Great Britain. Both Britain and France imposed trade restrictions in order to weaken each other's economies. This also had the effect of disrupting American trade and testing the United States' neutrality. As time went on, harassment of American ships by the British Navy increased. This included impressment and seizures of American men and goods.