Essex county. In 1638 this town was granted, by the name of Merrimack, to be a plantation, unto Simon Bradstreet, Daniel Dennison, and others. The year following it was incorporated by the name of Colchester, and in 1640 assumed, by direction of the then general court, the name of Salisbury. It is seven by three miles in extent, and is bounded southerly by the river Merrimack, westerly by Powow river, which divides it from the town of Amesbury, northerly by the New Hampshire line, which separates it from the towns of South Hampton and Seabrook, and easterly by the sea.
In 1643, the plantation in New Hampshire, viz. Hampton, Exeter, Portsmouth and Dover, were united to Massachusetts, and, together with Salisbury and Haverhill, formed into a new and distinct county, called Norfolk, of which Salisbury was the shire town, and so continued to the year 1679, when New Hampshire was again separated and formed into a royal government. In August, 1737, commissioners, appointed by the crown, met at Hampton falls for the purpose of settling a controversy, respecting the boundary line, which had long subsisted between the two governments of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. On this occasion the general court of New Hampshire convened at Hampton, and that of Massachusetts and Salisbury. Salisbury is distant from Newburyport, 4 miles, from Haverhill 12, from Exeter, N.H. 10, and from Portsmouth 20. Population, 1837, 2,675.
There are two considerable villages in Salisbury; the largest is at the westerly part of the town, upon Powow river at the head of tide water. The village is divided by said river into two pretty equal parts, one in Salisbury, the other in Amesbury. In that part of the village that lies in Salisbury, are two flannel factories, one 200 feet long and 50 feet wide, the other 100 feet by 40 feet. The establishment is called, the Salisbury Manufacturing Corporation. Capital $500,000. There is also in this village a large tannery, and manufactures of cotton goods, shoes, combs, boats, wherries and molasses casks.
The other village is pleasantly situated on the bank of the Merrimack, on a point of land formed by the junction of that river with the Powow; and is generally known by the distinctive name of Webster's Point. Ship building long has been, and still is, a principal branch of business in this place; and its character is well established for building excellent vessels. There are now nine sail of vessels owned in this village and employed partly in the coasting trade, and partly in the cod and mackerel fishery.
The annual product of manufactures of Salisbury, including vessels, and of the fishery, is about $500,000.
Salisbury and Amesbury are finely located for business; the villages are near and the scenery around them very pleasant. Salisbury Beach is noted for its beauty, and is much frequented.