List of Indian sermons preached by Josiah Cotton, 1709-1710
While processing the papers of Reverend Joseph B. Felt of Salem, Massachusetts, I came across an interesting document. It is a tattered handwritten sheet of paper, repaired with tape, entitled “Indian sermons preached from October 28, 1709 to September 28, 1710.” You can read a list of places and dates and a brief text. It is signed by Josiah Cotton.
John Fiske’s Notebook, Photograph courtesy of James F. Cooper, Oklahoma State University
One of the earliest manuscripts in the Phillips Library is a notebook kept by John Fiske (1601-1677) during his several pastorates at Salem, Wenham, and Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Fiske arrived here from England in 1637 and worked in Salem as physician, part-time schoolmaster, and occasional assistant to the Reverend Hugh Peter until about 1641, when he went to Wenham. He became the first minister of the First Church of Christ founded there on October 8, 1644. In 1655 Fiske moved to Chelmsford, where also he was the first minister, and remained there until the day of his death on January 14, 1677.
The Peabody Essex Museum has its origins in the East India Marine Society. In 1799, twenty Salem, Massachusetts ship captains and supercargoes that had sailed around the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn formed a society and one of the stipulations for membership was that they keep a log of their journey, recording wind, weather, ship sightings, and other points of interest. The Phillips Library now owns almost 3,000 of these ship logs, dating from 1748 to the mid-1900s.