Salem At a Glance

Town Incorporated1630
City Incorporated1836
Land Area:8.10 square miles
Water Area:9.95 square miles
Population:40,407 (U.S. Census 2000)
Density:4,986 per sq. mile
Area Code:978
Zip Code:01970
Historical Profile on the city web site
Community Information from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts web site

Salem Fire Department
48 Lafayette Street
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 744-1235 (non-emergency number)
Chief John G. Giunta

Salem Police Department
95 Margin Street
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 744-1212 (non-emergency number)
Chief Mary Butler

The City Seal

Motto of the City of Salem
City Seal

In 1654, Elihu Yale sent two of his employees to Atjeh, the greatest independent kingdom on Sumatra, to establish the pepper trade. The last bulk cargo of pepper entered Salem, Massachusetts from Sumatra on November 6, 1846, on the brig Lucilla. Ever since the RAJAH of Salem had loaded the first Susu pepper, Salem had held a predominant position in that trade. So important had its position been that, a hundred years later, in Australia, whole peppercorns were still known as "Salem Pepper".

In fact the seal of Salem, when reproduced correctly, still bears the picture of an Atjehnese. At the peak of the pepper trade, the city council ordered a seal showing "A ship under full sail, approaching a coast, designated by the costume of the person standing upon it and by the trees near him, as a portion of the East Indies, .... motto 'Divitis Indiae usque ad ultimum sinum'... signifying ' To the farthest port of the rich east...".

George Peabody, son of the patriarch of the pepper merchants, and himself a pepper ship owner, drew a design of a man wearing a flat red turban, red trousers and belt, a yellow knee length robe and blue jacket. There is no people in the East Indies whose costume is closer to this than the Atjehnese, and that was probably his intention.

Only official documents of the the City of Salem may contain the seal of the City. It is a violation of State law, and Local Ordinances, to use the City Seal in any capacity not related to official City of Salem business. The City Clerk is the custodian of the City Seal.

City Government

Salem City Hall
Type:(Form: B - Mayor & City Council)
Offices: Salem City Hall
93 Washington Street , Salem, MA 01970

City Hall Annex
120 Washington Street, Salem, MA 01970
Selected shortcuts to city information.

Elected Representatives

U.S. Senators
Elizabeth Warren<>
Edward J.>
U.S. Congressman
Seth Moulton <>
State Senator
Joan B. Lovely <>
State Representative
Paul Tucker <>