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  • The Friendship was a three-masted Salem "East Indiaman" merchant ship built by Enos Briggs(1746-1819), who also built the USS Essex, sister ship to the Constitution. The original Friendship was built in 1797 and traded around the world, in China, East Africa and Western Europe, trading timber and raw fish for finished goods like crockery, silk and lacquer ware. A merchant ship, the Friendship had cannon to defend herself, but was captured by the British during the war of 1812 and no one knows what ultimately happened to the original ship.
  • In 1998, with the help of federal money, private donations and a big push from local schoolchildren, a replica was built which is now docked at Derby Wharf. The Salem Partnership was instrumental in promoting the ship.One memorable fundraiser was the selling of bricks, used later for a walkway, with the donor's name on them for $250.00 a brick.
  • Because the original plans were lost, the ship was reconstructed using period paintings, the ship's log and a model of the vessel made in 1804.
  • The new ship was made to look authentic to the 18th century time period, but used modern space age materials to make her handicapped accessible, and water tight. The ship is part of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.
  • The new Friendship leaves port three or four times a year, journeying up and down the coast of New England.
  • Captain Israel Williams was the first captain of the original Friendship. Born in Salem Williams went to sea at a young age and quickly became a respected captain. In 1797, the 26-year-old Williams took command of the newly built Friendship on her maiden voyage.
  • In the summer of 2016, the vessel was brought up to Gloucester to dry dock for 4 months of repairs. After the assessment, it was found that it may take more time than originally thought to finish the work.
  • By the summer of 2018, it was revealed that her work would not be done until 2019.
  • In mid-April of 2019, it was announced that the Friendship was ready to come back to Salem, though more work needs doing. The deck will be completely replaced and the masts will go back up. The deck replacement will take about 9 months.

See Also

The Friendship Salem website (with photograph)

Vertical File in the Salem Collection - The Friendship

Friendship: The World of a Salem Indiaman, 1797-1813 J. Frayler, 1998.

Enos Briggs Salem Tales, Salem Website

"A fleet of replicas is tacking in a small money pool" Boston Sunday Globe, North Weekly, Nov. 10,1996. p. 1 N

"Building Friendship; at Albany boat shop, Salem ship takes shape." Salem Evening News, Feb. 13, 1997. p.C1

"Dream Boat: duplicate ship builder masks modern techniques beneath historical veneer" Salem Evening News, Mar.26, 1998. p. A1

"Friendship comes home to Salem" Salem Evening News, Sept. 1, 1998. p.1

"Salem's ship is ready to come in." Boston Sunday Globe, North Weekly, Sept. 20, 1998, p. 1.

"Despite cost, Friendship delivers" Salem Evening News, Aug. 24, 2005. p.1

"The old men and the sea; a group of volunteer retirees restores..." Boston Globe, Nov. 28, 2007, p. F1

"Salem's volunteer Navy keeps Friendship looking trim" Salem News, Jan. 28, 2006, p. A1

"Friendship captain [James P. Fox] honored at conference" Salem Gazette, Mar. 21, 2008, p.19.

"Friendship gets a little love: Salem's tall ship to be in Gloucester 4 months for repair" Salem News, July 12, 2016, p. 1

"Friendship in trouble, but not lost. Repair crews uncover extensive rot, damage in ship's hull" Salem News, Aug. 18, 2016, p. 1

"Repairs to Salem's iconic tall ship top million-dollar mark" Salem News, Aug. 8, 2017, p. 1

"Friendship: With more repairs needed, Salem's tall ship expected back 2019" Salem News, Sept. 7, 2018, p. 1

"Homecoming Day: Friendship back in the water, could sail to Salem Monday" Salem News, Apr. 18, 2019, p.1