Built in 1735, this was the courthouse for Salem County until 1969 when a larger and more modern facility was built for the county. Today it serves as the courthouse for the Salem City Municipal Court.
In 1774, the courthouse was the site of a county petition to King George III to address various colonial grievances and for authorizing county relief to the citizens of Boston to assist them from the King’s sanctions from the Boston Tea Party incident. Judge William Hancock of the King’s Court of Common Pleas presided at the courthouse. He was later unintentionally killed by British soldiers in the American Revolution during the massacre of Hancock House committed by the British against local Revolutionary militia during the Salem Raid in 1778.
he courthouse was afterwards the scene of the “treason trials” of 1778, wherein suspected Loyalists were put on trial for having allegedly aided the British during the Salem Raid. Four men were convicted and sentenced to death for treason; however, they were pardoned by Governor William Livingston and exiled from New Jersey.