Jonathan Fisher, Maine Parson, 1768-1847

Jonathan Fisher, Maine Parson, 1768-1847

Jonathan Fisher, Maine Parson, 1768-1847

Jonathan Fisher, Maine Parson, 1768-1847

Excerpt

This book has been made by many hands and many minds. I am but its scribe. For several years those who have made it have contributed generously of their time and labor, and only through that time and labor has its completion been possible.

It is based almost entirely upon the "Common Journals," or Diaries, of Jonathan Fisher, which he kept daily for forty-five years of his long life, upon his many notebooks, and upon his countless letters and sermons. All these documents, except certain of the letters, were originally written, or later transcribed, in a shorthand code, which he devised in 1792 when he was a student at Harvard College. Since nearly every source upon which the book is based had to be carefully decoded by the use of a key which the parson thoughtfully left behind him, a vast expenditure of time on this task alone has been inevitable.

Most of the difficult deciphering of this mass of material has been done by my sister, Edith Chase Weren of Pleasantville, N. Y., assisted by Gaylord Crossette Hall of New York City, a great-grandson of Jonathan Fisher. Each has worked literally for years upon this colossal job. The loan of the material itself has been given by Gaylord Hall, who has added to his own collection various papers lent him by several other Fisher descendants, and by Roland Merrill Howard of Bluehill, Maine. To the latter, whose name justly appears first on the dedicatory page, is due the very existence of the greater part of the Fisher material left in the deserted parsonage upon the death of the last member of the Bluehill family. It was Roland Howard who twenty years ago rescued the vast number of these papers, together with JonathanFisher . . .

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