Salem was built in 1852, at New Brunswick, Canada, and measured 155 feet long and 839 tons. Its home port was Liverpool, England, then Hull, England, and it often traded to Australia. It disappears from the register in 1873.
The painting is a portside view of Salem, with all its sails unfurled. The hull of the ship has painted gunports. A Union Jack is at the foremast, calling for a pilot. There are two lighthouses in the background. All the flags are new, and the masts, hull and rigging are repainted. Small sailboats in the background show signs of being over cleaned.