Rhode Island Stampless Covers & Letters
1751 Stampless Folded Letter from R. Partridge (London Lawyer)
To Arthur Fenner
(Father of Governor Arthur Fenner) Via Captain Northrop
(Scroll Down for Background and Historical Information)

This letter was carried privately aboard a sailing vessel from London to America by Captain Northrup. (The port of entry is not indicated and was more than likely either Newport or Boston.) A large segment of the early 18th century mail never entered the Colonial Postal System which was expensive and inefficient, but was carried instead by private carriers, friends, and business acquaintances. The letter was written on July 4, 1751 and is addressed to Arthur Fenner at Providence in the "Colony of Rhode Island" from his London Lawyer, R. Partridge. It concerns the progress of a suit filed against Mr. Fenner.
Arthur Fenner was born in Providence, Rhode Island on October 17, 1699. He was the owner of Fenner's Wharf from which the longboats were launched on their famous raid of the British Revenue Cutter, "Gaspee." He was the son of Thomas Fenner, (1652 to 1718) and Dinah Borden. He was the father of Governor Arthur Fenner born in 1745. The Fenners were among the original settlers of Providence. Arthur married Mary Olney the daughter of Captain James Olney in 1723. They had 12 children of whom 4 died young.

Arthur's youngest son, Arthur Fenner served in several state positions before becoming Governor, including Clerk of the Superior Court. He was elected Governor of Rhode Island as an Anti-Federalist on May 5, 1790 and presided over the General Assembly that voted 34 to 32 to enter the Union on May 29, 1790; making Rhode Island the 13th state to ratify the Constitution. Arthur served until his death in office on October 15, 1805. He was a Presidential Elector in 1792 casting one of Rhode Island's four votes for George Washington and again in 1796 with a vote for John Adams. Governor Fenner married Amy Comstock in 1764.

Governor Fenner's son James Fenner served as a U. S. Senator from 1805 to 1807 and was the governor of Rhode Island from 1807 to 1811, 1824 to 1831 and 1844 to 1845.

The Complete Text of the Letter follows Below:

London 7 m 4th 1751

Arthur Fenner

     There is nothing further done on the appeal of Channing yet; the agent for the appellant whose proper business it is to push it forward I don't find has made any essay towards it, & now there is no likelihood of it till towards winter. Whenever it does come on we shall be ready for the defense, I am
                                                                                   Thy Friend
                                                                                           R. Partridge


RI Historical Society
Stampless I
Stampless II

Stampless III
Stampless IV
Stampless V
Stampless VI
Brown & Ives Letters
The Hazard Family Letters
Joseph Tillinghast
Free Franked Letters
DeWolf Family Letters

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