Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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FISHER, Jonathan, clergyman, born in New Braintree, Massachusetts, 7 October 1768; died in Blue Hill, Maine, 22 September 1847. He was the son of a Revolutionary officer who died in the service, was educated by his uncle, Joseph Avery, the minister of Holden, Massachusetts, and developed a remarkable aptitude for handicraft work. He began late to prepare for College, and was graduated with honor at Harvard in 1792. He then studied theology at Cambridge, acquiring unusual familiarity with the Hebrew language, and was installed as the Congregational minister at Blue Hill in 1796. While in College he devised a phonetic alphabet and system of stenography, which he used in writing his sermons. He pursued for years the compilation of a Hebrew lexicon on the plan developed at the same time by other philologists, whose publications caused him to abandon the project of publishing his work. He painted portraits, and engraved on wood the illustrations to a work that he published on "Scripture Animals." He also published a volume of "Miscellaneous Poems," chiefly on biblical subjects.
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