September 2, 1744

1744 September 2 (Sunday).  Sacrament day.  Mr. Coolldge, Captain Fay[1] and his Daughter Goodenow[2] din’d with me.  I preach’d a.m. on 1 Cor. 11.26.  P.M. repeated Sermon on 2 John 8.  A.M. not without some hope that God was among us — but yet we have very great Reason to be humbled under a sense of our Leanness and Blindness, our Negligence and sinfullness.  I again laid the New Haven Letter before the Church but they did not see Cause to Consent to the Request thereof.  They urg’d that they as it was far off So they could not come to any tolerable understanding of their Case; nor could Learn how that Society had Separated from Mr. Noyes,[3] etc.  For my own part, I could not inform them, having never been inform’d myself, and I thought myself too nearly ally’d to Mr. Pierpont,[4] to warrant my pressing the matter upon them.

[1]John Fay.

[2]Dinah Fay had married David Goodenow of Marlborough.  He later moved to Shrewsbury.  Hudson, Marlborough, 373.

[3]Rev. Joseph Noyes.

[4]James Pierpont, Jr., son of the Rev. James Pierpont, Noyes’s predecessor at New Haven, was a leader in the movement to establish a second church.  Dexter, 189-90.

September 3, 1744

1744 September 3 (Monday).  I visited Ensign Josiah Rice’s Child, ill of the Cankers; and Captain Forbush who Still lyes sick of a Fever.  The Lord look upon him and be gracious to him.  N.B. Mr. Batchellour and his partner, Mr. Goodhew, flourish in their Coopering at Captain Maynards[1] and to Day sent a Load of Barrells to Boston.  This is the first Load out of the Town.

[1]John Maynard.

September 4, 1744

1744 September 4 (Tuesday).  The Gentlemen whom the General Court has Sent as their Committee to View this Town and Judge of the Circumstances hereof, and make Report accordingly — viz. The Honorable Samuel Watts Esq. of Chelsey, Major Jones of Hopkinton and Mr. Dodge[1] of Wenham, are suppos’d to be at Hopkinton.  P.M. Mr. Joseph Wheeler and Samuel Allen here good part of the Afternoon, but went south I suppose to wait (with others) upon the Said Gentlemen; but it was so rainy that they came not into Town.  I wrote to the Society in New Haven which had lately sent to us.

[1]Numerous persons of this name, several of them prominent, were living in Wenham.  See Myron O. Allen, The History of Wenham(Boston, 1860), 141-142.

September 5, 1744

1744 September 5 (Wednesday).  The Rain prevail’d greatly and continued all Day.  So that neither did the Courts Committee come to us to Day.  An Exceeding Rainy Time.  Jejun. priv. vide Natal.  The Lord enable me to take due Notice of his adorable patience and long suffering towards me!  I now enter upon my 42nd Year.  The Rain so heavy that if I would ever So fain I could not go to Southborough to Day, as requested by Mr. Stone[1] to preach his Lecture.


[In the Natalitia is recorded the following under date of September 5.]


September 5.  I endeavour’d to humble my Soul with Fasting, and I Spent the Day chiefly in acts of Religion and Devotion.


I first Consider’d and then endeavour’d to praise God for, His astonishing Patience and rich Goodness towards Me.


I reflected with some seriousness upon my ungratefull Returns to God – recollecting my past conduct, and especially my youthfull; my Soul was fill’d with much both Shame and Grief.  My late Transgression also testifie against me, and ought deeply to humble me: the Defects of my Ministry and my own unprofitableness and unfaithfulness under my Christian Obligations.


I sought the Lord in prayer and supplication for Pardoning Mercy and sanctifying Grace.  I sought for myself – for my Family – for my Flock.  I carry’d their present state to God as they are now engag’d in the great Affair of Dividing the Town, and the General Courts Committee now here among us.  I carry’d to God also, as I was able, the state of the Churches of this Land,  as circumstanc’d at this Day.  I renewed my Solemn Engagements before the Lord and my Resolutions to walk before Him (by his Grace assisting me) in Integrity all the Days of Life.

[1]Rev. Nathan Stone.

September 6, 1744

1744 September 6 (Thursday).  But gratify’d Mr. Cushing (as far as I was able) by preaching to Day for him.  Text John 1.11.  Very few at Meeting there.  Mr. Samuel Biglo’s wife with Me, in her soul Distresses still.  Return’d at Evening.  N.B. The Courts Committee view’d the south part of the Town.  I was with them at Eve at Captain Maynards.  N.B. Mr. Ebenezer Baker of Marlborough a great Interruption of our Conversation there.

September 7, 1744

1744 September 7 (Friday).  So grievously broke in upon by the Various Matters of the View of the Town etc., that I could not attend to My Studys.  Din’d with the Committee at Captain Eagers.[1]  N.B. Lieutenant Holloway intimated to Me that it was agreeable to my own Desire that I was with the Committee whereas it was in Conformity to their Special Request Sent me by Captain Eager and Captain Eagers own personal Request that I put myself to the Trouble to go over and din’d there.  N.B. Captain Watt’s advice that I would not engage myself in the Disputes of my Neighbours about Dividing the Town, The Rather because they all, universally express’d so much Love and Esteem etc. and were each of them desirous to enjoy me among them.  Conformable to his Advice I Said nothing but after a little Space retir’d.

[1]James Eager of Westborough.

September 8, 1744

1744 September 8 (Saturday).  I had many close Reflections upon myself, Chastizing myself for my Pusillanimity that I did not boldly bear my Testimony against the slender Provisions in the Most Towns throughout the Country for the Maintenance of ministers, which withholding more than is Meet tendeth to Poverty and is one of the Principal Causes of the many Dissentions in the Land — but know not what the Event would be if I had Zealously appear’d in it since it might soon have involv’d me in what the Committee had so much advis’d me against.  However my mind was Somewhat Eas’d when Major Jones and Mr. Dodge came along by my House in the forenoon in their return home (Captain Watts going down the Road from Captain Eagers), for though I could not have Opportunity to declare my mind last night yet I did to the fore-named Gentlemen to Day.  Lieutenant Holloway and Mr. Jacob Rice being in Company with them.  In which I expressly declar’d especialy that I could not by any means Countenance Such Divisions of Towns or Parishes as incapacitated them for bearing the necessary Public Charge etc., and that notwithstanding all the Love which the Town express’d to Me yet I intimated that they certainly did not provide for me as was necessary to enable me to answer their Expectations from me.  Captain Maynard at my House afterwards, and at noon Lieutenant Holloway and Rice — but would not stay to dine.  P.M. Mr. Coollidge returns from the North side and keeps School no more, being far gone in Despairs, Sordidness and viciousness (viz. Idleness and sloth, Smoaking and Drinking) — But he seem’d so much to Desire to remain with me over the Sabbath that I even told him he should be welcome.

September 11, 1744

1744 September 11 (Tuesday).  Mr. Coollidge went away to Lieutenant Tainters.  I walk’d, though not with Mr. Coollidge to Lieutenants and din’d there.  At Eve Mr. Coollidge with Lieutenant for Watertown.  At Eve Eli Forbush here at my House having wrote the Dealings of God with his soul, he gave it to me.  Mr. Cook was here after him and gave account of his Experiences and what he thought to be his Conversion; but when we were upon the most serious Concerns, and without any Sign of Provocation that I know if, except that I made no Difference between persons of our Country or another, he bitterly told me that he had been more abus’d by me, and by my wife and Children than ever he had been abus’d in All his Life, which with other Things I remember he Said to me nigh about those Times which he says he Experienc’d made me fear whether he who brought forth so Contrary Fruits to the Spirit had that glorious Spirit.  After I had administered some Reproof and Reason’d with him and told him I Should made a minute of this he left me, and O that God would please to shew him his Errors and forgive them!  N.B. Bekky Hicks to Day to Cambridge on my mare.  Thomas at his Fathers.

September 12, 1744

1744 September 12 (Wednesday).  Visited Captain Forbush[1] but the Doctor being there, and it appearing later than I thought for I did not make any long stay.  Brother Samuel Breck was there also with Dr. Gott.  Dr. Breck din’d with us.  P.M. I rode over to Lieutenant Holloways (favour’d with Neighbour Ebenezer Maynards Horse) to Catechizing.  Had 27 Boys and 17 Girls.  Lieutenant Holloway[2]gone to Brookfield.  Call’d at Mr. Tim Fays after the Exercises.  Rainy return home at Thomas at his Fathers Still.

[1]Samuel Forbush.

[2]William Holloway of the north side of Westborough.

September 17, 1744

1744 September 17 (Monday).  Thomas Clearing.  Mrs. Patty Ward[1] (Colonel Nahums Daughter) here.  She and Molly rode to Marlborough.  P.M. I visited old Mrs. Goodenow who lay very Sick.  She gave me an Excellent Testimony of the Grace of God in her and the Evidences of a regular and thorow work from her early Age; of which may God have the Glory!  And may we all pattern after her!  Her children also testify that this had been the Substance of her Conversation among them all along through her Life.  N.B. I hear that David Crosby and 5 others break Jayl.

[1]Of Shrewsbury.

September 18, 1744

1744 September 18 (Tuesday).  Thomas thrash’d rye.  Samuel Baker here to be examin’d a.m.  I visited Mr. Gibson of Hopkinton who lyes very bad, and Mr. Barrett gone to Boston to his Brother Mr. Thornton Barretts Funeral.  In my way I was at Mr. Bowmans.[1]  Dr. Crawford return’d with me.  N.B. Mrs. Thankfull Maynard here to be Examin’d.  Molly return’d from Marlborough.

[1]James Bowman of Westborough.

September 19, 1744

1744 September 19 (Wednesday).  Rode up to Worcester.  Mr. Welds Case against Rachel Wheeler was try’d at Superior Court; but only as to the Libel, and did not go into the proof of the Facts — and was committed to a Jury — but they could not agree.  So that it was put off to another Year.  I din’d at Colonel Chandlers.[1]  P.M. I was at Mr. Eatons, where were Mr. Hall and Mr. Prentice and their Wives.  In the Eve I was at Mr. John Chandlers, where was Mr. Johonnot[2] of Boston.  While I was there a Messenger with Candle and Lanthorn to have me lodge at Colonel Chandlers, where were Several of the Judges — which I embrac’d.

[1]John Chandler, Jr., of Worcester.

[2]Daniel Johonnot, a Huguenot refugee, was a distiller and merchant in Boston.  See NEHGR 6 (1852): 357-60.

September 20, 1744

1744 September 20 (Thursday).  The Trial of Edward Fitz Patrick, for Murthering Daniel Campbel of Rutland in March last.  Mr. Campbel of Oxford pray’d at the opening the Court.  The Trial began at 11 a.m. and lasted till 4 or 5 p.m.  The ministers din’d with the Court at Captain Haywards.  At Eve the Jury brought in their Verdict, Guilty.  After Spending some Time in the Eve at Colonel Chandlers with the Judges etc., Mr. Campbell and I were Conducted by Mr. Sheriff Curtis to the high sheriffs, Captain Flaggs,[1] where we lodg’d.  Thomas at Worcester to Day.

[1]Benjamin Flagg of Worcester.

September 21, 1744

1744 September 21 (Friday).  We understand that the Prisoner took on much last Night when he had his Irons put on again.  Mr. Campbell and I visited him before his Sentence.  I receiv’d the Judges Request to pray with the Court.  Judge Dudley[1] pronounc’d the sentence of Death upon him.[2]  He Confess’d that what the Justice (Chandler) and the Minister (Mr. Burr) had Said (namely of his Confession in the Jayl at his first Committment) was true, though he Stood to it that the Rutland men testify’d was, Two words to one, wrong.  Din’d at Colonel Chandlers, and returned home.  Returning home heard that old Mrs. Goodenow was Dead, and this Day to be bury’d.  Mr. Cushing was gone to the Funeral.  I also hastened, waited at Ensign Rice’s, and went to the Grave as the Corps pass’d to it.  May God Sanctifie this Breach upon us!

[1]Paul Dudley of the Superior Court of Judicature.

[2]Edward Fitzpatrick was sentenced to be executed Oct. 18, 1744.  He was the first to be executed for murder in Worcester County.  Jonas Reed, A History of Rutland (Worcester,1836), 183-84.