Fish Family Letters (Coll. 178)

An Inventory of The Letters at the G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport

Collection register prepared by the Manuscripts Division

Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc
Mystic, Connecticut

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Fish Family
Title: Fish Family Letters
Dates: 1849-1894
Abstract: Chiefly letters written to Simeon G. Fish (son of shipbuilder Nathan G. Fish, owner of Maxon, Fish & Co.), containing descriptions of social life and daily activities in Mystic during the mid-19th century. Other persons represented include members of the Miner and Randall families.
Quantity: ca. 150 items
Identification: Coll. 178

Biography of the Fish Families

The Fish family lived in Mystic, Connecticut. Simeon Fish was one of seven children born to Nathan G. and Emeline (Miner) Fish. They formed a close-knit family group together with their Miner, Randall, and Fish aunts, and uncles, and cousins. Simeon's father, Nathan G. Fish, was a respected shipowner and co-founder of the Maxon, Fish & Co. Shipyard (See also Coll. 43 and Coll. 166)

Scope and Content

The first letter in this collection, although undated, was obviously written by Simeon's aunt, Phebe Denison Miner, announcing the birth of his younger brother on January 10, 1939. Following this is correspondence from Simeon's brothers and sisters while he was aboard the ship B.F. HOXIE (1857), and also during the time he was with the 26th Connecticut Regiment in the Civil War. They give gossipy tidbits about the ships being built in Mystic, the prominent citizens of the town, the friends of the Fish children, the parties that were held, and the ways people entertained themselves during the 1850s and 1860s. There are several letters from brother John Fish in Wisconsin, telling of his life in a small lumber town and his homesickness for his family. Included also are two letters from Robert H. Clift that graphically describe the fighting at Belmont, Mississippi (Nov. 1861) and Murphysboro, Illinois (Jan. 1862).


The Fish Family Letters contain approximately 125 signed letters arranged in chronological order by day, month, and year. Whenever possible, envelopes have been retained with the appropriate correspondence. All items are considered to be in good to excellent condition.

Index Terms

Clift, Robert H.-- Correspondence
Fish family
Fish, Nathan G. (Nathan G.), 1804-1870--Family
Fish, Simeon G., 1837-1906 --Correspondence
Miner family
Miner, Phebe Denison--Correspondence
Minor family
Randall family
Corporate Entities:
B.F. Hoxie (Ship)
Maxson, Fish & Co.
United States. Army. Connecticut Infantry Regiment, 26th (1862-1863)
Belmont (Miss.)--History
Murphysboro (Ill.)--History
Mystic (Conn.)--Social life and customs
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives
Wisconsin--Description and travel
Merchant mariners
Soldiers--United States
Document Types:
Family papers--Connecticut--Mystic

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Correspondence; 1849-1894
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence; 1849
2 Correspondence; 1850-1856
3 Correspondence; 1857-1858
4 Correspondence; 1859
5 Correspondence; 1860-1861
6 Correspondence; 1862
7 Correspondence; 1863-1865
8 Correspondence; 1874
9 Correspondence; 1880-1894
10 Unidentified correspondence; undated
11 Envelopes; undated