Roger Conant (1591-1679) was the founder of Salem, coming here in 1626 after a failed settlement at Stage Point, Gloucester. Salem was called Naumkeag at that time, later changing its name to Salem, from the hebrew word for peace "Shalom".
Conant came to Naumkeag with a dozen or so of the better men from the previous settlement. A new English group of about 50 settlers came in 1628 under leadership of John Endicott. They merged and that was the beginning of the new settlement know as Salem. Conant later moved to Beverly where he died in 1679.
A statue of Roger Conant sits on the Northwest corner of the Salem Common. For more details, see Roger Conant Statue on this site.
Some of the people who settled with Roger Conant at Naumkeag: John Woodbury, William Allen, Peter Palfrey, John Balch, William Trask, Richard Norman, John Norman, Walter Knight, Thomas Gray, John Tylly, and Thomas Gardner.
- Roger Conant Salem Focus website