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(sā`ləm) [Heb.,=peace], in the Bible, royal city of MelchizedekMelchizedek
or Melchisedec
[Heb.,=king of righteousness], in the Bible, king of Salem and "priest of the most high God." He blessed Abraham after the defeat of Chedorlaomer, and Abraham gave him tithes from the enemy's spoils.
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, traditionally identified with Jerusalem.


city (1991 pop. 578,291), Tamil Nadu state, SE India. There are manufactures in chemicals, electrical products, tools, and brass goods; handloom weaving remains a significant industry. Iron and manganese mining are important in the surrounding region, as is agriculture. Salem has several colleges affiliated with the Univ. of Madras.


1 City (1990 pop. 38,091), seat of Essex co., NE Mass., on an inlet of Massachusetts Bay; inc. 1629. Its once famous harbor has silted up. Salem has electronic, leather, and machinery industries, and tourists are drawn to its many historical landmarks. Many colonial buildings remain. Nathaniel HawthorneHawthorne, Nathaniel,
1804–64, American novelist and short-story writer, b. Salem, Mass., one of the great masters of American fiction. His novels and tales are penetrating explorations of moral and spiritual conflicts.
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's birthplace dates from the 17th cent., and the House of Seven Gables (1668) is preserved. Also of interest are Pioneer Village, a reproduction of early Salem; the Witch House (1642), where witch trial hearings were held; the Peabody Essex Museum, whose origins date to 1799, with outstanding art, historic buildings, and the Phillips Library's historical collections; and Salem Maritime National Historic Site. Salem State Univ. is there.

In 1626, Roger ConantConant, Roger,
1592–1679, one of the founders of Massachusetts, b. East Budleigh, Devonshire, England. He was a salter in London before he went to Plymouth in 1623.
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 led a group from Cape Ann to this site, called Naumkeag by the Native Americans. Salem's early history was darkened by the witchcraftwitchcraft,
a form of sorcery, or the magical manipulation of nature for self-aggrandizement, or for the benefit or harm of a client. This manipulation often involves the use of spirit-helpers, or familiars.
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 trials of 1692, in which Samuel SewallSewall, Samuel
, 1652–1730, American colonial jurist, b. England. He was taken as a child to Newbury, Mass., and was graduated from Harvard in 1671. He became a minister but gave up the cloth to assume management of a printing press in Boston and entered upon a public
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 was a judge; many of the victims came from the part of Salem that now is DanversDanvers,
town (1990 pop. 24,174), Essex co., NE Mass.; settled in the 1630s, set off from Salem 1752, inc. as a town 1757. Danvers has light manufacturing, including electronic equipment, chemicals, machinery, and apparel.
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. Massachusetts exonerated all those accused in the trials in 1711. From colonial days through the clipper ship era, Salem was world famous as a port and a wealthy center for the China trade. It was a privateering base in the American Revolution and in the War of 1812. Shipping declined after the War of 1812, and the city turned to manufacturing. Hawthorne was overseer of the port from 1846 to 1849.


See history by J. D. Phillips (1937, repr. 1969); E. E. Elliot, The Devil & the Mathers (1989); L. W. Carlson, A Fever in Salem (1999); M. B. Norton, In the Devil's Snare (2002).

2 Town (1990 pop. 25,746), Rockingham co., SE N.H.; settled 1652, inc. 1750. It is a marketing and distribution center, with computer, electronics, polyethylene, software, machinery, and printing and publishing industries. Nearby are a racetrack and Canobie Lake Amusement Park. Of interest is Mystery Hill, site of large stone structures believed to date from 2000 B.C.

3 City (1990 pop. 12,233), Columbiana co., NE Ohio, in a coal region; inc. 1806. Tools and dies, industrial machinery, appliances, and pumps are among its diverse manufactures. Settled (1803) by Quakers, Salem was an early abolitionist center and an important station on the Underground RailroadUnderground Railroad,
in U.S. history, loosely organized system for helping fugitive slaves escape to Canada or to areas of safety in free states. It was run by local groups of Northern abolitionists, both white and free blacks.
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. A branch of Kent State Univ. is there.

4 City (1990 pop. 107,786), state capital and seat of Marion co., NW Oreg., on the Willamette River; inc. 1857. In an agricultural area with dairying, stock-raising, and the cultivation of fruits, nuts, and grain, Salem has food processing plants and wineries. There is printing and publishing, and manufactures include draperies, wood and paper products, paints, concrete, sheet metal, traffic-control and navigational equipment, silicon wafers, and boats. Founded 1840–41 by Methodist missionaries, it became capital of Oregon Territory in 1851 and remained the capital when Oregon became a state in 1859. Salem is the seat of Willamette Univ., various state and federal government buildings, state hospitals, and the state penitentiary; a museum of mental health is there. Of note is the neoclassical state capitol building (1937). The annual state fair is held in Salem.

5 City (1990 pop. 23,756), seat of Roanoke co., SW Va., on the Roanoke River, between the Blue Ridge and the Allegheny Mts.; first inc. 1806, inc. as a city 1967. A variety of products, including machinery, earth moving equipment, automated teller machines, steel, apparel, tools and dies, furniture, tires, prefabricated home kits, and fire sprinklers, are manufactured there. Roanoke College is in the city.

Salem (Independent City), Virginia

114 N Broad St
Salem, VA 24153
Phone: (540) 375-3016
Fax: (540) 375-4048

In west-central VA, 8 mi. west of Roanoke. Laid out 1802; established in 1806. Incorporated as a town in 1836; as a city in 1968. Serves as county seat for Roanoke County. Name Origin: For Salem, NJ, former home of an early settler

Area (sq mi):: 14.59 (land 14.59; water 0.00) Population per square mile: 1689.80
Population 2005: 24,654 State rank: 67 Population change: 2000-20005 -0.40%; 1990-2000 4.20% Population 2000: 24,747 (White 91.30%; Black or African American 5.90%; Hispanic or Latino 0.80%; Asian 1.00%; Other 1.20%). Foreign born: 2.10%. Median age: 39.20
Income 2000: per capita $20,091; median household $38,997; Population below poverty level: 6.70% Personal per capita income (2000-2003): $30,422-$32,951
Unemployment (2004): 3.40% Unemployment change (from 2000): 1.00% Median travel time to work: 17.00 minutes Working outside county of residence: 53.60%
Cities with population over 10,000:
  • Salem County seat (24,347)

  • See other counties in .



    a city in southern India, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Population, 308,300 (1971). A railroad and highway junction, Salem has textile, chemical, aluminum, and metalworking industries. The largest magnesite mines in India are located nearby.



    a city in the northwestern USA, on the Willamette River; the capital of Oregon. Population, 73,000 (1974); with suburbs, approximately 200,000. Salem is the commercial center of an important agricultural area that produces fruits, vegetables, hops, and flax and raises cattle. Manufacturing employs 12,000 people (1972). Industries include food processing, woodworking, the production of paper and textiles, metalworking, and the production of aluminum. The city has a university. Salem was founded in 1840.



    a city in the northeastern USA, in Massachusetts; a northeastern suburb of Boston. Population, 41,000 (1974). A port on Massachusetts Bay of the Atlantic Ocean, Salem has leather and footwear, textile, food-processing, radioelectronics, and metalworking industries. A fishing fleet is based in the city, which is also a seaside resort. Salem was founded in 1626.


    1. a city in S India, in Tamil Nadu: textile industries. Pop.: 693 236 (2001)
    2. a city in NE Massachusetts, on the Atlantic: scene of the execution of 19 people after the witch hunts of 1692. Pop.: 42 067 (2003 est.)
    3. a city in the NW USA, the state capital of Oregon: food-processing. Pop.: 142 914 (2003 est.)
    4. an Old Testament name for Jerusalem (Genesis 14:18; Psalms 76:2)


    ["SALEM - A Programming System for the Simulation of Systems Described by Partial Differential Equations", S.M. Morris et al, Proc SJCC 33(1), 1968].
    References in classic literature ?
    Here, no doubt, statistics of the former commerce of Salem might be discovered, and memorials of her princely merchants -- old King Derby -- old Billy Gray -- old Simon Forrester -- and many another magnate in his day, whose powdered head, however, was scarcely in the tomb before his mountain pile of wealth began to dwindle.
    Poking and burrowing into the heaped-up rubbish in the corner, unfolding one and another document, and reading the names of vessels that had long ago foundered at sea or rotted at the wharves, and those of merchants never heard of now on 'Change, nor very readily decipherable on their mossy tombstones; glancing at such matters with the saddened, weary, half-reluctant interest which we bestow on the corpse of dead activity -- and exerting my fancy, sluggish with little use, to raise up from these dry bones an image of the old towns brighter aspect, when India was a new region, and only Salem knew the way thither -- I chanced to lay my hand on a small package, carefully done up in a piece of ancient yellow parchment.
    The remainder may perhaps be applied to purposes equally valuable hereafter, or not impossibly may be worked up, so far as they go, into a regular history of Salem, should my veneration for the natal soil ever impel me to so pious a task.
    Give a shout-out to the owners of the Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield in celebration of 50 years in business.
    I do have a sixth sense, and it's what I call my sense of humor,'' says Salem.
    Coast Guard Air Station Salem, situated on Winter Island on the northern shore of Massachusetts, was established in February 1935 and remained in service until fall 1970.
    For 25 years, Partners in Caring--Salem (PICS) has been brightening the lives of residents at Salem Lutheran Home in Oakland, California.
    The Maryland Salem Children's Trust: Home For Needy Children
    The National Religious Broadcasters has announced its full complement of annual awards for 2006 including three top honors for Salem Communications media.
    CAMARILLO - Investors might be more in tune with Salem Communications Corp.
    WTTT is part of Salem Boston which includes Family 590 AM WEZE and WROL AM 950.