Construction : Introduction
the Customs Service rented a variety of buildings in Salem for use as
a custom house. Custom revenues provided a substantial portion of government
income throughout the later part of the eighteenth century and the beginning
of the nineteenth. The Salem customs agents, responsible for a bustling
port, collected large tariffs on imports and were also charged with storing
the Treasury Department allocated funds for the purchase of a lot and
construction of a new customs building along Derby Wharf. Treasury agent
William F. Lee, then Collector of the U.S. Customs at Salem, was designated
to oversee the project and selected Perly Putnam, a Weigher and Gauger,
and Jonathan P. Saunders, the Surveyor of the Port, to draw plans for
the new building and oversee construction.
Salem Maritime National Historic Site for scanning portions of the H.S.R.
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