Essex County, Massachusetts
Salem, Ipswich, and Newburyport are the shire towns. This county is bounded N.W. by Rockingham county, New Hampshire, S.W. by Middlesex county, E. and N.E. by the Atlantic ocean, and S.E. by Massachusetts bay. There is much good land in the county, but its surface is rocky and uneven. It has an extensive sea coast, indented with numerous bays, inlets, and capacious harbors. It is more densely populated than any county of its size in the United States. It has great wealth and its commerce and fisheries are unrivalled by any section of country, of its extent, on the globe. Population, 1820, 73,930; 1830, 82,887, and in 1837, 93,689. This county comprises an area of 360 square miles;—the number of inhabitants to a square mile is 260. Essex county, although of stubborn soil, has many very delightful farms, and furnishes great quantities of hay and vegetables for market. It has many beautiful ponds and commanding elevations, and its seaboard is the delight of every beholder. However fruitful the citizens may have rendered the soil by their industry, this county is essentially a commercial and manufacturing section of New England. The tonnage of the five districts, in 1837, was 85,933 tons. The amount of manufactures, for the year ending April 1, 1837, was $10,216,300; and the amount of the whale, cod and mackerel fisheries, amounted to $1,378,144. The principal rivers in Essex county are the Merrimack and Shawsheen. Essex county was incorporated in 1643, and has given birth to some of the most distinguished merchants in the United States. Among many others may be mentioned William Gray, Israel Thorndike, and William Parsons.