At the start of the 17th century, the land that became Beverly was part of Naumkeag within the territory of the Agawam Indians. Colonists first arrived in what would become Salem in 1628 and began building homes. By 1635, colonists were building homes in the community that would eventually separate from Salem to become the community of Beverly. The harbor brought merchants to the community and during the Revolution, many of the most influential merchants and privateers who supplied the rebel American army were located in this region of Massachusetts. Beverly was the home of the first ship commissioned by General George Washington. In 1775, it was also the site of a small battle between naval forces and local militia.