Rhode Island Stampless
Covers & Letters
1751 Stampless Folded Letter from R. Partridge
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.
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
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