April 6, 1727

1727 April 6 (Thursday).  I rode to Boston to gain Information concerning my Brother, and I was Certify’d that on the 27th of the Last Month My Brother John Parkman was coming in from Anguilla (having been at Barbadoes to which port he came from Cork) in a Vessel built by him at Dighton, And with the Building, fraughted rigged and mann’d at his Father’s his Brethren’s and his own charge.  He was now laden with Cotton, Rhum and diverse valuable articles, no small quantity of Gold, but the Heavy and greatest part of his Lading was Salt.  But that this (27th) Day proving very Stormy they were driven near Cape Ann and finding that all that remain’d for them to do was to shift for their Life because of the Dangers they were come into upon the Rocks, especially being nigh Normans Woe (a great Rock So call’d which they now drove upon).  My Brother endeavoured by the help of the Fore tack, and taking the advantage of the heaving of the vessell, to swing off from the Vessell, if possible on upon the Rock.  But the vessel unexpectedly and Suddenly hove back and brought him into the deep.  The Tumultuating and raging Sea foaming upon him, and frustrating all Endeavours to recover him (though they threw out Ropes to him that slip’d through his hands and though the Mate had him once by the hand as he came along by the fore Chains) Swallow’d him up, and he perish’d in the Deep.  Alas!  My Brother!  that Sucked the Breast of my Mother, that was brought up with me, is Separated from me and his Eyes clos’d in the night of Death.  But I would not utter my plaints as if I mourned without hope.  I trust that Living and Especially that Dying he was the Lords.  Neither would I do otherwise than humbly own and Submissively acknowledge the Sovereign Power and Dominion of God, and bow my Self down before the unsearchable wisdom, the reproachless holyness, and with all the infinite Goodness and Divine Tenderness of my heavenly Father, and would dutifully and reverently Say that it is the Lord — and since it is he, Let him do what Seemeth him good.  His wayes though full of wonder yet holy are they all, and righteous are they all, and Every of his Works for the honour of his glorious Name, and all his Dispensations towards us for our highest Benefit if we will duely Improve the Same.  How broken was his Body and batter’d against the Rocks when the people of the Place found the lifeless Corps on the fatal shore in the morning!  When I see the Blood afresh trickling down from his wounds my heart is again Set ableeding, and when I see his Ruddy Countenance and his athletick Constitution so soon triumph’d over and Subdued!  But let me go back again and See what comes of the Rest of the Company and not let all my Care waste itself here.  They were wondrously Sav’d on the large Rock (on which they had dropt from the Bowsprit of the vessel before She stove) and here they remain’d through the night though in the greatest Danger all the while of being wash’d away with the Sea that broke over them.  The vesell being broken to pieces Some of the Goods were wafted along by the Rock and the Men Sav’d Some Baggs of Wool.  The rest of the Cargo Goods, etc. was Lost.  On the 29th our People receiv’d the Message in the Evening.  On the 30th (being Fast Day) My Remaining Brethren went to Cape Ann but could not get there timely enough to do anything to purpose.  On the 31 They Solemnized the Funerall, and buried him in that Town.  On Saturday (April 1) they returned home.  This is a Brief and Melancholly account.  I Beseach God to make it Spiritually advantagious, though outwardly it is So grievous to us.