Fisher family papers, 1797-1825


Date: 1797-1825 | Size: 1 Linear feet, Ca. 200 items

Background note

The Fishers were a Philadelphia family of lawyers and merchants.

Collection Information

Physical description

Ca. 200 items.


Presented by Elizabeth Cadwallader Wood and accessioned, 12/03/1975.

General note

A few of the letters were published in Nina N. Bashkina, David F. Trask, et al., eds., "The United States and Russia: the beginning of relations 1765-1815" (1980). A portrait of Miers Fisher, Jr. appears on p. 626.

Early American History Note

This collection houses an assortment of papers relating to the Fisher family of Philadelphia. Miers Fisher was a prominent Philadelphia lawyer. Assorted papers of his two sons are also included. Samuel Fisher was a merchant in Philadelphia and his brother, Miers Jr., was a merchant in Russia. This collection captures the breadth of this prominent family's social and economic connections.

The collection has a letter book from Miers Fisher Sr. from 1797-1806 that contains letters touching on his legal and personal affairs. The letter book of his son, Samuel, chronicles his business affairs from 1819-1825.

The extensive and rich papers of Miers Jr. capture the experience of a Philadelphian living abroad in Spain and Russia in the early nineteenth century. This portion of the collection includes extensive letters, merchant accounts, meteorological observations, and a detailed diary of his travels. Miers Jr. witnessed the beginning of the Spanish War for Independence against Napoleonic rule in 1808 and wrote about it at length. In 1809, he traveled to Russia and wrote home about his experience and kept a diary. The letters of Miers Jr. describe the economy and culture of Russia, as well as provide Miers' view on America's foreign affairs as viewed by an American living in a foreign port. He notes especially the growing rivalry between Great Britain and the United States and the maneuvers of Napoleon.

Indexing Terms


  • Business Records and Accounts
  • Daybooks.
  • Diaries.
  • Diplomatic Material
  • Family Correspondence
  • General Correspondence
  • Letterbooks.
  • Meteorological Data
  • Travel Narratives and Journals

Geographic Name(s)

  • Philadelphia (Pa.) -- Commerce -- 1815-1861.
  • Spain -- Description and travel.


  • Lawyers.
  • Merchants.

Personal Name(s)

  • Fisher family.
  • Fisher, Miers, 1748-1819
  • Fisher, Miers, 1786-1813
  • Fisher, Samuel Rowland, 1745-1834


  • Americans Abroad
  • Business and Skilled Trades
  • Diplomatic History
  • International Affairs
  • International Trade.
  • Marriage and Family Life
  • Meteorology -- Observations -- Europe.
  • Pennsylvania History
  • Saint Petersburg (Russia) -- Description and travel
  • Social Life and Custom
  • Travel
  • Travel -- Russia