Joseph Fish, letter, to Nathaniel Whitaker, 1766 July 30


abstractFish writes to Whitaker about his mission to the Narragansetts, and about the visit he and his wife made to Mrs. Whitaker.

handwritingHandwriting is formal and clear, yet it has been dimmed by preservation work. The trailer appears to be in Whitaker's hand.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages has been heavily reinforced, which makes it difficult to gauge the condition of the paper. It appears to be in poor condition, with heavy staining, creasing and wear that results in some loss of text.

inkBrown ink is faded, and dimmed by the reinforcement.

noteworthyAn unknown editor has written the letter X in spots on the document. These edits have not been included in the transcription.

signatureFish signs the document three times: once in full, twice with initials.

EventsFundraising Tour of Great Britain

Revd & Dear   Sir, 
It was my Unhappineſs that I could not find a  Lieſure hour or two, for free Converſation [gap: hole][guess: wh] you, before you Em ‐barked for England. your Departure & important Deſign, lay wi[gap: tear][guess: th]  Weight upon my Mind, as it has done ever Since. And it was m[gap: tear][guess: y]  fixed purpoſe to let you know my special Regard & Concern  for you & Cauſe, by earlier writing: but have been so p[gap: worn_edge][guess: er] ‐petually crowded with Buſineſs, chiefly of a public nature;  that I cant say I have [illegible][guess: had] been at Liberty to write you,  when Oppty preſented, till now I snatch a few minutes  for that purpoſe.   The Situation of the Indn Charity School, Doings of .y.e  Board, Miſsions &c: I leave to the hands that are employd  in thoſe public affairs; which, conclude, you will here‐ with, have full Acc.t of.— Only Obſerve, That the day of  the Dear & excillent Mr Kirtlands Ordination, appeard  to me very glorious, promiſing great & good events. — Can[gap: tear][guess: t]  but hope the Iſsue will be, The Advancement of the Re‐ deemers Kingdom. —   While Such important Steps are taken, to carry the  Gospel among the Savages, of far distant Tribes, it may,  perhaps afford you & Friends; some additional Pleaſure,  to hear that Learning & Religion are hopefully, reviving, a‐ mong some of y.e Indians near at hand   Beſides the Indian School & Lectures, among y.e Indns  of my own Pariſh, which I've had ye Care of for Many years,  At the earnest Request of the Honle Commiſrs Boston,  I have for nine months Past, been much engagd for y.e  Indians of King Ninnegretts Tribe, in Charlestown Rhode‐  ‐Island; where there are above Seventy Indian Families &  more than Three hundred Souls, pretty much in a Body  together.— Authorizd as above, I appointed them an  Engliſh Schoolmaster, of good Capacity & well dispoſd, for 
the Buſineſs, (to be Supported by the Commiſ,)— Set them  up a Commod.s Schoolhouſe, in which, (tho' unfiniſhd,)  the Master lives & the School is Steadily kept. He had, laſt  winter, (in a private houſe,) above Fourſcore Indn Schollars  in a day, and about 120 that came to y.ethe School, at times,  and their Proficiency at Reading & Writing was very conſi ‐derable. That Laſt being chiefly calld off to Buſineſs, this  Summer, he has, of a Smaler Claſs, about Thirty that  generally attend his School & y.e number is increaſing.   I Viſit & Preach to them about once a month —  Have a Conſiderable Aſsembly of Serious, Attentive In‐ dian Hearers, who profeſs Satisfaction, beyound my Thought.  For they have had Religion Among them theſe Twenty  years, & an Indn Ordaind Minister, for a number of years:  but they are all of the Seperate Stamp,— Very Ignorant:  scarce any of them able to read a word,— unhappily leaven'd with,  yea full of Falſe Religion, — tenacious of their ^wild^ Imaginations  & Viſionary things, (which they cannot bear to hear touchd,  though they'll readily hear y.e Opoſite Truths,) And, till now,  Set against, at leaſt, mortally afraid of y.e Standing Ministers.—  So that I must think my self highly Favourd, by y.e Respect  they Shew to my Perſon & Regard for my Labours among ym.  Am in hopes they will, by little & little, come off from their  wild notions, and have a reliſh for nothing but Truth.   Oh that I may have no other View but their best good,  and the Redeemers Intrest. —   I have been much in Journeying, Since you left us.  Laſt Week, returning, with my Wife, from Viſiting our Childn  New Haven, we Spent an hour at your Houſe, Chelſea. And  had the Pleaſure of Dining & Converſing with your Dear  Wife: It afforded us real Satisfaction, to See Mrs Whitaker,  with her Little ones all about her, [illegible] not only in ⅌fect  Health, but more especially, to find her Chearfull, Sociable  & entertaining, (as uſual,) — Evidence that She has happily 
overcome the late Severe Trials of parting with her beſt Friend.  She Seems really to enjoy her Self as well as your Abſence can  admit, — your very deſirable Children appear with that  Decorum y.t be[illegible][guess: comes] a well orderd Family. Tis rare to See So  fine, So lovely a Child, as that of yours, wh you never Saw.  Mr Woodward, (till now unknown to me,) appears to be Sui‐ tably attentive to y.e good of the Family. — I thought him  quite an agreable, Obliging young Gentn. — On y.e Whole,  was well pleaſd with the Oeconomy of your Houſe.—  May you, in due Seaſon, return Succeſsfull, and happ[gap: tear][guess: ily]  find your Tabernacle in peace. —   My Time is Out— Have only to wish you much [gap: tear][guess: of]  the Divine Preſence, The Smils of Heaven on your Im‐ portant undertaking,— The Hearts & Hands of all Brittain  Britain for newfull Supplys.— That you may, in all res‐ pects, conduct with y.e utmost prudence & Fidelity, — Be  kept unſpotted from y.e Vanities of y.e World, And return  to us richly laden with the Vertues, the Rarities of our  mother Country, And am, Dr Sir, [illegible]with high Esteem,   
your very Sincere Friend & unworthy Brother,  Joseph Fiſh 
P.S. My hearty Regards to the Revd  Mr Occum — am really glad  to hear y.t he Stands firm, — be‐ haves so well, & meets with so  much Respect. — The Lord keep  him from Pride, Self-Exaltation,  and the Vices of y.e Place & Times.—  yrs & his J. F. 
I know not of any Other Man, that I am acquainted with in Londn  or Europe, except the Revd Mr Whitefield: Am very glad & thank‐ full that he takes proper Notice of you, & So much befriends the  Cauſe. Let my k[gap: tear] Love & Service be acceptable to him. J. F. 
Revd N[gap: tear][guess: athanl Whitakar] 
From Revd mr Joſeph  Fiſh Stonington  July 30 1766   
Fish  To  The Revd Mr Nathaniel Whitakar  In  London  To be left at the New England Coffee Houſe