The city was founded by English Puritans, who received a charter from the monarchy granting them self-determination from the Church of England, in 1626 on the mouth of the Naumkeag river. The name was given to Salem Town and Salem Village, which was also part of the trials, and later renamed Danvers, Massachusetts.
In the late 17th century, after the establishment of the colony, the people of Salem experienced numerous changes in the government affected by shifting politics and civil war in Britain and Massachusetts. Despite this and devastating winters, Salem Town engaged in trade, shipbuilding and fishing. However, the increased prosperity of the town caused tensions between the town and the village. The issue was couched in religious terms as the villagers were seeking autonomy and believed that the town had practiced individualism, a direct opposition to Puritan belief.
In 1692, the Templar Samuel Parris, his wife Elizabeth, daughter Betty, niece Abigail Williams, and the house slave Tituba, arrived in the Salem Village. Eventually, Salem Village was allowed its own church and was given the freedom to employ and support their own minister, a position Samuel Parris accepted.
Discontented, this was not enough to stop the complaints of the people and factions were built while the tensions and conflicts rose. The villagers refused to support Parris and his family, which led to each side's dismay.
During the witch trials, the Templar William Stoughton operated in the town, hunting for the precursor artifact which happened to be a young girl named Dorothy Osborne. The Assassins then sent Tom Stoddard and Jennifer Querry to investigate the artifact and recover it from Templar hands.