A Quaker's Tour of the Colonial Northeast and Canada: The 1773 Travel Journals of Jabez Maud Fisher of Philadelphia

By Campisi, Jack; Starna, William A. | Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, July 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

A Quaker's Tour of the Colonial Northeast and Canada: The 1773 Travel Journals of Jabez Maud Fisher of Philadelphia


Campisi, Jack, Starna, William A., Transactions of the American Philosophical Society


(ProQuest: ... denotes "strike-through" in the original text omitted.)

Acknowledgments

A work of this scope could not have been completed without the contributions and good will of the many institutions, scholars, colleagues, and friends from whom we sought assistance. First and foremost, we would like to extend our thanks to the staff of the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, and in particular its curator, Christopher Densmore, who granted us permission to publish the Fisher journals and who provided valuable insights into the history of the Fisher family of Philadelphia. Institutions in New York State that aided in our research include the Oneida Historical Society, the Herkimer County Historical Society, the Rome Historical Society, the Montgomery County Department of History and Archives, and the Oswego County Historical Society. We thank the staff of these institutions, most of whom are volunteers, for their help in chasing down information that was often obscure and difficult to find, only a portion of which we eventually used, but all of which we found fascinating and valuable as background.

We are also grateful to the following persons who were more than generous in offering us their expertise: Jere Brubaker, Old Fort Niagara; David Cohen, independent scholar; Kate Deviny, Westfield Athenaeum, Westfield, Massachusetts; Charles Gehring, New Netherland Research Center, Albany, New York; George Hamell, Rock Foundation, Rochester, New York; Scott Meachum, independent scholar; Ray Middleton, Leeds Quakers, Leeds, United Kingdom; and Oliver Pickering, Yorkshire Quaker Archives, Leeds University Library, Leeds, United Kingdom.

We would also like to acknowledge Sandra Cadwalader of Philadelphia; Arthur and Mary Hornett of New Hartford, New York; and Robert and Lorraine Loomis of Frankfort, New York. They endured our repeated tales about Fisher's journey-the people he met on the way, descriptions of his diet "on the road," and his passion for waterfalls. We thank them for their patience and interest.

We reserve special thanks to Paris residents Cynthia Schoch, a long-time family friend; and her seafaring husband, Alain Bernard, who researched and translated for us the song "La Femme du President."

We also are grateful to Eileen M. McClafferty, who read and offered helpful comments on early drafts of our manuscript; and Julia Campisi, who prepared the index. The map was skillfully drawn and produced for us by Kate Simeon. We also would like to thank two of the readers solicited by the American Philosophical Society, Susan E. Klepp and Karim Tiro, for their constructive suggestions to improve our work.

Finally, we dedicate this work to Beverly Anne Campisi, who gave the editors her untiring support, but who did not live to see its publication.

Illustrations

Map of area traveled by Jabez Maud Fisher xviii

Albany 1789 8

Niagara Falls 1777 24

Montreal 1774 42

Quebec 1789 54

Introduction

The year was 1773, and the British colonies of North America were alive with the disquieting voices of rebellion. That May Parliament passed the Tea Act, which generated opposition in the colonies and by year's end provoked a famous and not-so-civil disobedience in Boston harbor. Over the previous decade, a flurry of unpopular laws and policies promulgated by Parliament had set many citizens on edge, in particular those who increasingly resented the at-a-distance authority of the Crown. However, it was the Stamp Act of 1765 that prompted the formation in each colony of Committees of Correspondence. As fledgling shadow governments, they would spearhead a collective resistance to British actions, leading in early autumn 1774 to the creation of the First Continental Congress. Two years later the thirteen colonies would announce their declaration of independence from the Crown.

The year 1773 was also when Jabez Maud Fisher, a twenty-three-yearold Quaker and an unnamed companion (or companions) set out from Philadelphia for New York City and then to Albany. …

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