1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Danvers

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DANVERS, a township of Essex county, on the coast of Massachusetts, U.S.A., about 19 m. N. by E. of Boston. Pop. (1890) 7454; (1900) 8542, of whom 1873 were foreign-born; (1910 census) 9407. Danvers includes an area of 14 sq. m. of level country diversified by hills. There are several villages or business centres, the largest of which, bearing the same name as the township, is served by the Boston & Maine railway. In the township are a state insane asylum, with accommodation for 1000 patients; St John’s Preparatory College (Roman Catholic), conducted by the Xavierian Brothers; and, in Peabody Park, the Peabody Institute, with a good public library and museum, the gift (1867) of George Peabody. The Danvers historical society has a valuable collection. Although chiefly a residential town, Danvers has various manufactures, the most important of which are leather, boots and shoes, bricks, boxes and electric lamps. The total value of the factory product in 1905 was $2,017,908, of which more than one half was the value of leather. Danvers owns its water-works and its electric lighting and power plant. A part of what is now Danvers was included in the grant made by the court of assistants to Governor John Endecott and the Rev. Samuel Skelton of the Salem church in 1632. Danvers was set off from Salem as a district in 1752 and was incorporated as a township in 1757, but the act of incorporation was disallowed in 1759 by the privy council on the recommendation of the board of trade, in view of George II.’s disapproval of the incorporation of new townships at that time,—hence the significance of the words on the seal of Danvers, “The King Unwilling”; in 1775 the district was again incorporated. Salem Village, a part of the present township, was the centre of the famous witchcraft delusion in 1692. In 1885 South Danvers was set off as a separate township, and in 1868 was named Peabody in honour of George Peabody, who was born and is buried there. In 1857 part of Beverly was annexed to Danvers. Among distinguished natives of Danvers are Samuel Holton (1738–1816), a member (1778–1780 and 1782–1787) of the Continental Congress and (1793–1795) of the Federal Congress; Israel Putnam; Moses Porter (1755–1822), who served through the War of Independence and the War of 1812; and Grenville Mellen Dodge (b. 1831), a prominent railway engineer, who fought in the Union army in the Civil War, reaching the rank of major-general of volunteers, was a Republican member of the national House of Representatives in 1867–1869, and in 1898 president of the commission which investigated the management of the war with Spain.

See J. W. Hanson, History of the Town of Danvers (Danvers, 1848); Ezra D. Hines, Historic Danvers (Danvers, 1894) and Historical Address (Boston, 1907), in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first incorporation; and A. P. White, “History of Danvers” in History of Essex County, Mass. (Philadelphia, 1888).