Diary and commonplace book of Peres Fobes, 1759-1760

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Content Notes

The diary and commonplace book of Perez Fobes is written on unlined pages in a notebook with a sewn binding at the top of the pages; only the edge of the original leather softcover remain. The volume holds handwritten entries added irregularly from August 23, 1759 until December 1760 while Fobes was a student at Harvard College. The topics range from the irreverent, to the mundane, to the theological and scientific. The notebook serves to chronicle both his daily activities, such as books he read, lectures he attended, and travel, as well as a place to note humorous sayings, transcribe book passages, or ponder religious ideas such as original sin. In the volume, Fobes devotes considerable space to the subject of astronomy, and drew a picture of the "The Solar System Serundum Coper[nici] with the Or[bit] of 5 Remarkable Comets." At the back of the book, on unattached pages is a short personal dictionary for the letters A-K kept by Fobes.

Biographical Notes

Peres Fobes was born September 18, 1742 in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. He graduated with a AB from Harvard in 1762. He taught school in Plymouth until he was appointed minister of the First Church of Raynham in 1766. His interest in education and science led him to found a school in Raynham in 1773, and in 1780 he was a charter member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Fobes served as vice-president of Rhode Island College (now Brown University), and later he was appointed professor of Natural History, and continued there until 1798. He died on February 23, 1812.