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We the subscribers agree to pay into the hands of a Committee to be appointed for the following purposes the several sums affixed to our names viz For the purpose of Levelling the Common and laying it down to Grass ornamenting it with a double row of Lombardy Poplar Trees encircling it with a handsome railing of Oak joist and red Cedar posts and painting it laying out a handsome gravel walk filling up the ponds and decorating it in such a manner as will make it both elegant and convenient and highly conducive to the health of the Inhabitants.

159 Commons Improvement Subscribers

1. Elias Hasket Derby Jr.
2. William Prescott
3. Benjamin Pickman (Derby's Brother in-law.)
4. Clifford Crowninshield (his house is on the Commons and dies in 1809 at 47.)
5. Joseph Peabody
6. Thomas Briggs (his ropewalk was removed to Bridge Street and formed part of Stickney's walk and married Vincent's daughter.)
7. John Gray (son of William Gray.)
8. Samuel Archer
9. William Carlton (owner of Salem Gazette and Salem Register who went to jail in 1803 for insulting Col. Pickering who wrote the Alien Sedition Act.)
10. Stephen Webb (brother Benjamin owned the Sun Tavern which is now the Peabody Essex Museum offices. He was a ship Owner.)
11. Nehemiah Adams
12. Walter Bartlett (Auctioneer and first of the subscribers to be deranged)
13. Samuel Webb (Silversmith and 2nd to be deranged.)
14. Mary Boardman ( Benjamin Hodges sister. Her other siblings were Gamaliel and George. Their father was John. Her daughter Elizabeth married Nathaniel ` Bowditch . Another daughter Mary married Benjamin W. Crowninshield.)
15. John Babbidge (partners with Jonathan Hawkes who bought the Hawkes house from Derby.)
16. Nathaniel Bowditch
17. William Manning (Owned a stage coach and was Hawthorne's uncle.)
18. John Dutch (baker.)
19. Thaddeus Gwinn (rope maker.)
20. Benjamin West Jr. (Captain.)
21. Jeremiah Shepard (hatter and grocer.)
22. Penn Townsend (Captain, Mason, and revenue agent.)
23. Mary Oliver
24. Benjamin Oliver (doctor and a scientific man.)
25. Peter Oliver (3rd to be deranged.)
26. John Scobbie (Dry Goods business in the Franklin Building.)
27. Benjamin Hodges (Master of Essex Lodge, and 1st president of the Salem East India Marine Society. His son Benjamin dies one year after graduating Harvard in 1804)
28. Thomas Bancroft (Clerk of Courts, 1808 dies as a supercargo)
29. Benjamin Webb (Captain, owned Sun Tavern)
30. Joseph Hiller (Silversmith, customs collector, first master of the Essex Mason Lodge in 1791)
31. Isaac Osgood (lives in John Hodges home, married 3 Pickman daughters, was Clerk of Courts)
32. James Wright (baker.)
33. Ebenezer Putnam
34. Samuel Cheever (Mason,Tanner, and lived on the site of the Hannah Hodges-Joseph White House)
35. Joseph Vincent (senior warden of the Masons and ropemaker)
36. David Murphy (foreman of Briggs ropewalk.)
37. Jesse Richardson (President of an insurance Company, and dies in 1814 at 37.)
38. Jeduthan Upton (baker, merchant, Mason.)
39. Edward Allen (marries Gamaliel Hodges.)
40. Israel Williams (Captain Salem Cadets and sea captain.)
41. John Osgood (Captain.)
42. Joseph Perkins ( lawyer and Captain of Cadets.)
43. Jacob Ashton (President of Salem Marine Insurance Co.)
44. Abel Lawrence (distiller, Mason, 4th captain of Salem Cadets, distillery was on front Street, lived on corner of Essex and Barton Square)
45. Amos Hovey (dry goods in the Franklin Building, merchant on Union Wharf, and held several military positions.)
46. Thomas Webb (Captain and keeper of the prison ship on Rust's Wharf during the 1812 War.)
47. Joshua Ward (Essex Lodge was in his house, distiller, son of Hannah Derby Ward, and merchant)
48. Nathan Pierce (Owned Pierce's [Dodge's] Wharf, lost many buildings in the 1816 fire)
49. Martha Derby (Elias Hasket Derby Jr. sister, married John Prince)
50. John Fairfield (merchant and lived in the Mason House where William Roberts lived, in 1814 went to Londonberry and herded sheep for Elias Hasket Derby Jr.)
51. John Jenks (Mason, dry goods, capt. Lieut. Salem Cadets.)
52. Samuel Gray Jr. (shoemaker.)
53. John Derby Jr. (tailor.)
54. Edward Augustus Holyoke (doctor, first president of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, founder of New England Medical Journal, and first dean of Harvard Medical School. One of his daughters married William Turner and the other Joshua Ward)
55. Thomas Lee (Holyoke's neighbor, his house was sold to Benjamin Crombie in 1803 who opened a tavern there.)
56. Jonathan Neal (privateer Captain)
57. William Gray Jr. (merchant, called Bill Gray, worked
in Elias Hasket Derby Sr. counting house, his house was
the Essex House, Kings Arms, and The Sun Tavern.
This was once an old house owned by Col. Benjamin
Browne a loyalist. He later moved to Col. William
Browne's old House and moved the Sun Tavern there [Peabody Essex Museum offices]. William was also a
loyalist and fled the country)
58. Jonathan Gardner Jr. (owned a tan yard in winter street, incorporated the Salem Marine Society in 1772, and was a merchant.)
59. Abijah Northey (store owner.)
60. Joseph Waters (Captain of the Essex,commander of
seafencibles during the 1812 War.)
61. John Gibaut (married Sarah Crownisnshield, Collector
for Gloucester)
62. Susannah Archer
63. Sarah Fisk (Gen. John Fiske's wife.)
64. Israel Dodge (merchant and distiller.)
65. Samuel Putnam (Ma. Supreme Judicial Court Judge)
66. Enoch Swett (Captain and Mason)
67. John Andrew (father had a home on the spot of the
Franklin Building, partner in Archer & Andrew, and was
a commission merchant in Russia.)
68. James Devereux (captain, married Sally Crowninshield,
and was a Mason.)
69. Simon Forrester (merchant, owned Central wharf, and
the store opposite of his home on Derby Street.)
70. Thomas Ashby (captain, grocer, home was in between
Curtis and Orange Streets which was owned by his
wife's father Capt. John White.)
71. Moses Little (doctor.)
72. William Appleton (cabinet maker, lived in home on
Harbor and Lafayette Streets.)
73. William Lascomb (painter).
74. Stephen Phillips (Captain, Philips house on Chestnut.)
75. John Watson (school master, his school house was on
the Union/Merchant/Brown Building, his daughter
Abigail married William B. Parker who sired the Parker Brothers.)
76. Ebenezear Beckford (representative to the General
77. Moses Townsend (president of the Union Marine
Insurance Co., lived in Brick house on corner of Carlton
and Derby Streets)
78. William Luscomb Jr. (painter and son of William
Luscomb contributor)
79. William Marston (grocer and Captain of militia.)
80. Willard Peele (merchant and president of Commercial
80. Samuel Buffum (sailmaker partnered to John Howard.)
81. John Howard (sailmaker, president of the Mechanic
82. Joshua Dodge (married Elizabeth Crowninshield.)
83. Jonathan Mason (Captain and merchant.)
84. Henry Prince (Captain, merchant, his son captained a
Revenue cutter, owned the shop in front of the Derby
House on Derby Street and the house itself.)
85. Gamaliel Hodges (Captain, merchant, Benjamin Hodges
was his brother.)
86. John and Richard Gardner (merchants, carpenters,
mother was Sarah Derby, John built the Pingree/
Gardener house in which Captain Joseph White was
murdered in.)
87. William Browne & Sons (tan yard that stood on the
corner of Andrew and Washington Square East and
Deacon of the East Church)
88. Nathaniel Silsbee Jr. (Captain, supercargo, merchant,
Senator,and married Mary Crowninshield.)
89. Joshua Orne (merchant, his house was on the spot of
City Hall, and was a Mason.)
90. Michael Webb (grocer.)
91. George Crowninshield & Co. (merchants and captains)
92. Richard Manning (Squire Manning, captain, money
lender, Justice of the Peace, home was on the current
spot of the Phillips School, family had a shoe shop
amongst a variety of shops)
93. Edward Norris Jr. (Captain, notary public.)
94. John Treadwell (minister, school master, Representative
to General Court, Senator, Judge of Common Pleas
95. Josiah Richardson (butcher, shop was on the head of
Smith Wharf, and home was opposite March Street on
Bridge Street.)
96. Timothy Wellman (Captain and lived near the corner of
Hardy and Derby Streets)
97. John Norris (merchant, distiller, and left his fortune to
the Andover Theological Institution)
98. Peter Lander (president of Merchant Insurance Co., lived
east of the East India Marine Hall, and his daughter was
a sculptress.)
99. Benjamin Crowninshield (Captain, Collector of
Marblehead, and Mason)
100. Jonathan Waldo & Son (apothecary, worked for
Stearns, Major of Militia, and Selectman, built brick
building on corner of Washington and Essex Streets
with Benjamin Pickman and Stearns and Waldo &Co.,
repaired Fort Pickering in 1799)
101. James Cheever (Captain, Lieutenant of the Grand Turk
during Revolution, Selectmen during the Embargo
days, and Officer in the Customs House appointed
by Jefferson, and lived on the north side of Essex Street
opposite Hardy Street)
102. William Ramsdell (Captain for Joseph Peabody and
partners with Nathaniel Knight in Knight & Ramsdell.)
103. Benjamin West (Captain)
104. Elijah Haskell (Captain, lost his arm, Inspector of
Customs, lived on Essex opposite Curtis Street, and
his mother was Hannah Silsbee.)
105. Isaac Very (Captain, son Daniel T. dies in Dartmouth
prison, and was a Mason)
106. Matthew Vincent (Owned the Narborne House on
Essex Street, foreman of his father's ropewalk, and had
a twine factory near Pleasant and Spring Street)
107. David Patten (orphan educated by Samuel Silsbee,
married his daughter, Mason, and was a Captain who
died at sea in 1805.)
108. Samuel Endicott (captain for Joseph Peabody,
merchant, and lived at 2 Winter Street.)
109. Daniel Hathorne (Captain, died at sea in 1805 ,at the
same year David Patten did, at 37, and was a Mason.)
110. Gideon Tucker (clerk and partner with Joseph Peabody,
and built home on Essex Street)
111. Joseph Vincent Jr. (ropemaker)
112. I. Nichols (merchant and owned the Ware Farm on
Salem Turnpike)
113. Nathan Pierce Jr.
114. C. Cleveland (deputy Collector under Major Hiller, and
owned a Insurance Office and Brokerage Company.)
115. William Lang Jr.( auctioneer.)
116. Isaac Smith (Captain, lived in 91 Bridge Street, George
Hodgkins moved into his house, died in Jamaica in
1802 at 33, and was a Mason.)
117. Joseph Knapp (Captain, merchant, and lived on the
south side of Essex Street in between Curtis and
Orange Streets)
118. John Endicott (Captain who worked for Joseph
119. Jonathan Archer (shopkeeper, Assessor, Tax Collector,
and deacon of East Church.)
120. John Bray and son Daniel (shoemaker, and his daughter
married Captain Benjamin Webb. His son was an
accountant and Lieutenant of Salem Cadets)
121. Jonathan Smith (Block and pump maker who sucked
the water out of the tunnels during construction.)
122. Mysterious donor of $5
123. Henry Tibbets (Captain and Inspector of Customs.)
124. John Derby (lived in what was the Robert Brookhouse
on Washington Street, Brigadier General Elias Hasket
Derby Jr. brother, and dies checking his mail at the Post
Office at 65)

This sum was not large enough so there was a second fund drive. Some people will give even a second time.

1. George Crowninshield & Sons Co.
2. Jacob Crowninshield (Representative in Congress, dies at
38 in 1808 in Washington after spitting up blood on the
floor of Congress.)
3. Joseph Ropes (Captain.)
4. Daniel Pierce (Captain and lived in a house on the corner
of Essex and Cambridge.)
5. Simon Forrester
6. Stephen Phillips
7. J. Shepard, Samuel Cheever
8. Thomas Briggs
9. Joseph Vincent
10. Benjamin Hodges
11. John Southwick (school master and Representative to
the Courts)
12. B. L. Oliver
13. Samuel Archer
14. Nathaniel West (Captain, privateer, merchant, married
Elizabeth Derby, and lived out his life in his tenement
on Summer Street.)
15. John Fairfield
16. William Gray
17. Jacob P. Rust (owned brick shop on Essex which is now
Cabot Money Management.)
18. Jabez Baldwin (Jeweler in the West Block, Baldwin &
Jones of Boston, and daughter marries Thomas Briggs
who lived in the Brick house on Pleasant Street.)
19. Edward Allen Jr. (merchant.)
20. Samuel McIntire (designed the western and eastern
21. Captain Jonathan Hodges (merchant, distiller,
Commander of Salem Cadets, and Salem Treasure.)
23. Samuel Archer the 3rd (merchant, captain, Colonel of
the Regiment, and he built the Franklin Building.)
24. Joseph Winn (butcher, merchant, and commander of
Salem Cadets)
25. George Dean (was a Quaker but became Colonel of the
Militia to become a Quaker again and sold hardware)
26. Thomas Whittredge (Captain and his daughter married
Tucker Daland.)
27. Bartholomew Putnam (Surveyor of the Port, lived where
the East Church or Witch Museum is now, and married
Sarah Hodges. Gamaliel's daughter)
28. Captain Joseph White (murdered in his home in 1830,
Captain of the Revenge, first privateer from Salem)
29. Jerthmael Peirce (Pierce & Waite)
30. Aaron Waitt (Pierce & Waitt)
31. John Dabney (printer, bookseller, Post Master in the
Bowker Block)
32. Benjamin Webb (owner of the Sun Tavern where the
Bowker Block is, the estate was sold in 1805 by William
Gray to the Union Marine Insurance Company,
afterward the tavern was kept by William Manning, and
Dabney farmed on the North River on Conant Street.)
33. William Merriam (carpenter and later owned the
Commercial Coffee House in Boston)
34. Samuel Skerry (Captain and kicked in the head by a
horse in 1808 in Pope's Stable on Federal Street at the
age of 36)
35. Benjamin Felt (block and Pump Maker also helped
pump out the water while digging the tunnels)
36. Samuel Derby (2nd Captain of Salem Light Infantry,
Colonel of Regiment, and General of Brigade, Mason,
and married 3 times.)
37. Samuel Ropes (ship Chandler in the firm Page & Ropes
and his daughter married Henry Prince.)
38. Benjamin Pickman Jr.
39. Jacob Crowninshield
40. Nathaniel Silsbee
41. B.L. Oliver
42. A Friend
43. Joseph Vincent
44. Nehemiah Adams
45. Ebenezear Putnam
46. Amos Hovey
47. John Osgood
48. Captain James Devereux
49. Captain Clifford Crowninshield
50. C. Felt
51. Captain Stephen Webb
52. Joseph Peabody
53. Jeremiah Sheppard
54. Joseph Hiller
55. Simon Forrester
56. Isaac Osgood
57. S. Putnam
58. Israel Williams
59. Benjamin Pickman
60. Joshua Ward
61. William Luscomb Jr.
62. George Crowninshield & Sons Co.
63. Jacob Ashton
64. Abel Lawrence
65. William Marston
66. William Prescott

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