- This event has passed.
William Pickering of Salem and John Calley of Marblehead, ambitious mariners forced by an unwanted war to engage in the Newfoundland fishery in the early 1700s, became deeply (and improbably) involved in the highest-level politics of the province of Massachusetts Bay. Calley, with evidence of treason, fomented an uprising against the Royal Governor and helped to found a new church in Marblehead, while Pickering rallied friends & relatives to rebel against the ruling class in Salem. They briefly took over town government and the provincial legislature, at the same time founding a new church and forever dividing Salem between the uptown bigwigs and Pickering’s seafarers of the East Parish. Robert Booth, curator emeritus of the Pickering House, is an accomplished historian and author of a number of books, among them Death of an Empire: The Rise and Murderous Fall of Salem, America’s Richest City, which was named the History Book of the Year Award in 2012 by the New England Society of the City of New York.