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Joseph Peabody

Birthdate: (86)
Birthplace: Middleton, Essex, MA, USA
Death: January 5, 1844 (86)
Salem, Essex, MA, USA
Place of Burial: Salem, MA, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Francis Peabody, Jr. and Margaret Peabody
Husband of Catherine Elizabeth Peabody; Catherine Peabody and Elizabeth Peabody
Father of Francis Peabody; Joseph Augustus Peabody; Francis Peabody; George Peabody and Catherine Elizabeth Gardner
Brother of Benjamin Peabody; Andrew Peabody; Francis Peabody; Asa Peabody; Margrat Knight and 4 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Joseph Peabody

Joseph Peabody (December 9, 1757 – January 5, 1844) was a merchant and shipowner who dominated trade between Massachusetts and the Far East for a number of years.

He was descended from Francis Peabody of St. Albans, England, in 1635. He was one of the first settlers of Topsfield, Massachusetts. During the American Revolutionary War he was an officer on privateers, and acted with credit as second officer of the letter of marque Ranger. He was captain of several merchant vessels, and his company built 83 ships. He became extremely wealthy and used that wealth for philanthropy.

Peabody was the wealthiest merchant-shipowner of Salem, Massachusetts between the embargo of 1807 and 1845.

Brig Leander

His brig Leander 223 short tons (202 t) tons, built at Salem in 1821, made twenty-six voyages to Europe, Asia Minor, Africa, and the Far East in the twenty-three years of her life.

Ship George

The ship George was 110 feet 10 inches (33.78 m) by 27 feet 10 inches (8.48 m) by 13 feet 6 inches (4.11 m), weighed 328 short tons (298 t), and was designed somewhat like a Baltimore Clipper model. Built at Salem for a privateer in 1814, she was purchased by Mr. Peabody for USD $5,250. It is said that she made Salem in forty-one days from the Cape of Good Hope in 1831. George made twenty-one round voyages from Salem to Calcutta between 1815 and 1837, with such regularity that she was called the "Salem Frigate." Salem vessels were always manned in part by local boys, but the George was a veritable training ship. No less than twenty-six mates and forty-five captains graduated from the forecastle of this floating bit of Essex County.

Pepper trade and China trade

For several years Joseph Peabody competed in the China trade, and continued the famous pepper trade between Salem, Massachusetts and Sumatra.

Capture of the Friendship by pirates

In 1830 Peabody's ship Friendship was attacked and captured off the village of Quallah-Battoo by Malay pirates while loading pepper. The ship James Monroe of New York set out to recover the Friendship, With the help of crew from Governor Endicott of New York and brig Palmer, The pirates initially refused to surrender, but jumped overboard and fled after the three ships opened fire on the village. The following morning, four Friendship survivors in poor condition showed up in a small boat, having swum two miles down the coast and hidden in the jungle in order to escape the pirates.

In reprisal for the massacre of the crew of the Friendship, a punitive expedition was launched in 1832, The First Sumatran Expedition.


In 1791, Peabody married his first wife, Catherine, who was the daughter of a minister friend. She died within a couple of years. In 1795, he married Catherine's sister, Elizabeth. They had four children. His first son, Joseph Augustus (1796-1828), graduated from Harvard in 1816.

One of Peabody's descendants was Augustus Peabody Gardner.

See also

First Sumatran Expedition


^ Morison, Samuel Eliot (1921). The Maritime History of Massachusetts, 1783-1860 (Second Impression, February 1922 ed.). Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

^ a b Hunt, F. [1858]. Lives of American merchants - Vol 1. (via Google Books)

^ Gleason, Hall (1937). Old Ships and Ship-Building Days of Medford. Medford, MA: J.C. Miller. pp. 30–32.

^ Gardner, Frank A MD [1933] Gardner memorial : a biographical and genealogical record of the descendants of Thomas Gardner, planter, Cape Ann, 1624, Salem ISBN 0740425900, 9780740425905 (also, via

____________________ Glen Magna Farms, survives unrivaled as an estate exemplifying North Shore summer living. It typifies the golden age of American gardens when eclecticism and historicism dominated landscape as well as architecture.

During the War of 1812 Joseph Peabody, the wealthiest Salem shipping merchant, bought a twenty acre Danvers property with dwelling house described as “in every respect well calculated for a gentleman’s seat.” From this initial twenty acre purchase, the property grew to over three hundred and thirty acres, enduring as the summer retreat for the family for one hundred and forty-four years.

By 1892, the property belonged to Ellen Peabody Endicott, Joseph Peabody’s granddaughter, who further enlarged and embellished the house and grounds. In 1893, she hired the Boston architectural firm of Little, Brown and More to design the expansion of the Mansion to its classic colonial revival form. In 1926, the year before Ellen Endicott died, she received the Hunnewell Gold Medal, a prestigious honor granted by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.

Her son, William Crowninshield Endicott, Jr. continued to lavish attention on the Farms, upgrading and enhancing the estate until his death in 1936. He was instrumental in bringing the Derby Summer House (built in 1794) to the property in 1901. The two story Adamesque building has been listed as a National Historic Landmark since 1968.

In 1963, the Danvers Historical Society purchased the central eleven acres of the property and has worked to restore the gardens and grounds to its early 20th century appearance. The Massachusetts Historical Commission and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society have recognized the garden

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Joseph Peabody's Timeline

September 12, 1757
Middleton, Essex, MA, USA
August 7, 1796
Age 38
Salem, MA, USA
December 7, 1801
Age 44
December 7, 1801
Age 44
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
January 12, 1804
Age 46
Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
June 23, 1808
Age 50
Salem, Essex, MA, USA
January 5, 1844
Age 86
Salem, Essex, MA, USA