View of SALEM in N. Carolina 1787
The moment I touched the boundary of the Moravians, I noticed a marked and most favorable change in the appearance of buildings and farms, and even the cattle seemed larger and in better condition…. Every farm looks neat and cheerful; the dwellings are tidy and well-furnished, abounding in plenty. — Elkanah Watson, 1786
This is the earliest known view of Salem. Images similar to this were sent to the governing center of the Moravian Church in Herrnhut, Germany, as visual evidence of the town’s success. Salem is depicted as a thriving “city on a hill” surrounded by richly cultivated agricultural land. The artist includes a farmer plowing the rich soil and paints himself recording the scene on the lower right. Note the tavern—the gateway for outsiders coming to visit —on the outskirts of the town to keep strangers separate from members of the congregation.