- The Essex was unique in that it was the largest vessel and only warship ever produced in Salem.
- The Frigate Essex was built at Winter Island by Enos Briggs in 1799 after Congress passed an act to accept 12 vessels built on credit-debt. The war with France was heating up and the U.S. government was too poor to build their own ships. In a few short weeks, $74,700 was raised by Salem residents and Enos Briggs was named ship builder.
- The Essex measured 850 tons; 146 foot in length; her mainmast was 85 foot. Rigged as a three-master, she sailed the high seas as a warship for the next 13 years. She was one of the first ships in the U.S. Navy.
- She was captured by two British vessels in the harbor of Valparaiso in 1813.
Vertical File in Salem Collection - Frigate Essex
Enos Briggs Salem Tales, Salem Website
U.S.S. Essex and the birth of the American Navy by Frances Robotti, 1999.
Salem and the Indies by James Duncan Phillips, p.138-40, 411.
The Frigate Essex papers : building the Salem Frigate 1798-1799 Peabody Essex Museum.
The 32-Gun Frigate Essex P. Takajian
Essex Institute Historical Collections Vol 10, Part 3, p.1-108