Fish Family Letters

Manuscripts Collection 178

Overview of the Collection

Repository: G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Creator: Fish Family
Title: Fish Family Letters
Dates: 1849-1894
Extent: ca. 150 items
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.
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)

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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, 1839. 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).

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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.

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Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division.

Restrictions on Use

Various copying restriction apply. Guidelines are available from the Manuscripts Division.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the G. W. Blunt White Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.


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

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 178, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

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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. Images
2 Correspondence. Images
3 Correspondence. Images
4 Correspondence. Images
5 Correspondence. Images
6 Correspondence. Images
7 Correspondence. Images
8 Correspondence. Images
9 Correspondence. Images
10 Unidentified correspondence. Images
11 Envelopes. Images