You didn't give a name to any particular harbor town in your essay, but I visualized Salem on Boston's North Shore. Your descriptions held the following elements of scene: *light, *character, *pov, *purpose, *time, *setting, *sight, *sound, taste, *touch, and *smell.
You could have added a period food or two, beer, and wine. Song, and dance could have been added to social gatherings.
Conflict is suggested strongly by the mention of witches/priests, and leaders/lower ranks.
Juxtaposition is used in the last two paragraphs to suggest the nature of the same town today... where tourists show little respect for the history of the town and its founding peoples.
3 paragraphs -- scene
2 paragraphs -- conflicts
2 paragraphs -- juxtaposed pov
I spent a couple of hours thinking about what you were saying with your essay. And, I have to agree, based on the many, many times I've been to the harbor towns, that there seems to be a general lack of appreciation for the builders of the country. People should practise more discernment in the way they see, and treat those who attempt to pass on the achievements of those who preceeded us.
Generally, this work has promise. I wish you had fleshed out some character descriptions of men, women, and children. In addition, your overall description leans too much to the dark, it could have been balanced a little better. Yes, times were tough, but so were those settlers.
Well written, Mr. McGee, and I give it 4 stars rating.