March 1, 2022 11:03 am

Roger Conant was the founder of Salem and became one of the first governors of Massachusetts when he took over a fishing settlement in Gloucester in 1625. In the fall of 1626, Conant led a group of the Gloucester colonists to Naumkeag. The group included: William Allen, Thomas Gray, Richard Norman, Peter Palfray, John Balch, Walter Knight, Richard Norman Jr, John Tylly, John Woodbery.

At Naumkeag, the colonists built houses, cleared and prepared the land for the planting of corn and tobacco and other crops. It is believed that Conant built the first house in Salem, on what is now Essex Street almost opposite the Town Market, that year and his son Roger was also born that year, making him the first colonist born in Salem.

On November 19, 1679, Roger Conant died at the age of 87. In 1913, a bronze statue of Roger Conant was erected on Brown Street in Salem. Learn more at

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