Fisher, Jonathan (1768 - 1847)

Genre: Illustrator, Non-Fiction, Poetry

Jonathan Fisher preacher, artist, inventor, scholar, writer was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, and was a 1792 Harvard graduate. While at Harvard he developed his own method of shorthand that he continued to use in most of his writing. In 1797 the Congregational Church in Blue Hill, Maine asked him top become minister. He was paid $200 plus 15 cords of wood for the year and given 300 acres of woodland and a barn.

His first house, which he built with the help of his congregation, was completed in 1797, with a substantial addition in 1817. This later became the ell of an addition that still stands and is open for tours.

Although he was noted for his quiet personality, Fisher had strength of character and direction that made him a force in the town. He was one of the founders of the town library and was also involved in obtaining a land grant for the town academy. He was one of the founders and long-time trustees of the Bangor Theological Seminary. The seminary has an endowed chair, the Jonathan Fisher Professor of Christian Education, in his honor.

Selected Bibliography

  • Scripture Animals; A Natural History of the Living Creatures Named in the Bible (1834/1972) is noted for its delightful illustrations. It is one of the 100 books included in the book/exhibit, The Mirror of Maine
  • 'Two Elegies on the Deaths of Mrs. Marianne Burr, Who Died of a Consumption, Jan. 2, 1795; and of Mrs. Rebekah Walker, Who Died of the Same Disorder, Jan. 27, 1795. Aged 23' (1796)
  • 'A Short Essay on Baptism, designed for the Benefit of Common Readers' (1817)
  • Short Poems: Including a Sketch of the Scriptures to the Book of Ruth; Satan's Great Devise, or Lines on Intemperance; I and Conscience, or A dialogue on Universalism; and a Few Others on Various Subjects (1827)

Selected Resources

  • Reverend Jonathan Fisher, of Blue Hill, Maine (1868),
  • Memoir of Rev. Jonathan Fisher of Blue Hill, Maine (1889),
  • Biographical Sketch of the Rev. Jonathan Fisher of Blue Hill, Maine (1945),
  • Jonathan Fisher, Maine Parson, 1768-1847, by Mary Ellen Chase (1948),
  • Versatile Yankee; the Art of Jonathan Fisher, 1768-1847 (1973)
  • Versatility Yankee Style: the Cultural Diversity of Rev. Jonathan Fisher,John H. Bellamy and the Hardy family (1977)
  • The Language of Jonathan Fisher, 1768-1847 (1985)
  • The Jonathan Fisher House website contains biographical information and links to examples of his work.