September 2, 1748

1748 September 2 (Friday).  Mr. Biglo here clearing out my well, and paid him 10 shillings old Tenor for his work only part of the forenoon.  Mr. Israel Stevens of Grafton here and din’d with us.  A very reviving Rain — through the Mercy of God! after long and distressing Drought.  At Eve Mr. Abner Newton here about some Boards he wants of me.  Mr. Elihu Spencer designed Missionary to the Mohawks here, and brought a Letter from Mr. Edwards of Northampton.  He lodg’d here.

September 3, 1748

1748 September 3 (Saturday).  Three Letters from my wife informing that on Tuesday last Mother Champney was seiz’d with the Numb Palsey, could not speak nor did know any Body, was alive and that was all: and that on Thursday morning She dy’d — but was uncertain when she would be bury’d.  She has been a most loving, kind Mother to me.  I hope she receives a glorious Reward.  She was very Timorous but desir’d to trust in Christ.  May God please to Sanctifie her Death to me and mine, and to all more nearly connected!  I wrote by Mr. Spencer to Mrs. Parkman — the happy Showers this Morning detain’d him a little, but he set out for Boston.  Ebenezer went over to Mr. Martyns for the portmantle which my wife has Sent up in his chair.

September 5, 1748

1748 September 5 (Monday).  Fine Showers again last Night, and rain’d Plentifully this morning.  Blessed be God who has permitted me to finish my 45th Year and to see the Light of this Morning.  Vide Natalitia.  [The following is recorded in the Natalitia for September 5, 1748.]  I observ’d this Day (in some Measure) religiously — by retiring and going through (in a broken imperfect manner) various acts of Devotion, viz. Praise and Thanksgiving, Confession, Petition, Resignation etc.  Besides what respected my Self, my Family and my people, there was a great and important Affair which I had to Spread before the Lord this Day; Scil. The Sitting of the Council at Grafton tomorrow; their Affairs being very peculiarly Difficult, and lying much upon my Heart, as I have been unavoidably oblig’d to have their Matters with me from Time to Time.  The Lord therefore be pleased to prepare my Heart, and all the Council, and grant to us all, Such Wisdom and Direction as We need! point out what their Case and the present State thereof is; and Shew us what is best Method for the Church thence to take both with respect to the Separation, and with regard to their Re-settlement of the Gospel Ministry among them.  May God be pleas’d to impart to us what to Say to them And incline and dispose their Hearts to receive it and conform to it!  That so there may be some happy Event of the Councils Meeting at this Time!

September 6, 1748

1748 September 6 (Tuesday).  Waited some Time for Mr. Martyn, but at Length I went without him.  Deacon Newton[1] and Brother Nathaniel Whitney, from Mr. Grouts accompany’d me to Grafton, we being warned to Meet there to sit in Council upon their affairs, by adjournment.  Mr. Loring (who is Moderator) came, but brought no messenger.  Mr. Goddard[2] of Leicester came not, nor any Delegate, so that we did not sit as a Council.  We neither acted, nor dissolv’d.  But the Church of Grafton had, by vote, desir’d several Neighbouring Ministers to come and join with the Elders of the Council to hear their Affairs.  We therefore had the Church together and Reverend Messrs. Martyn, Hall of Sutton, and Eaton[3] of Leicester being with us we formed, and Chose Mr. Loring Moderator, and the same meet to choose their Clerk — and the Church was adjourn’d to tomorrow 9 a.m. to the Meeting House.

[1]Josiah Newton of Westborough.

[2]The Reverend Mr. David Goddard.

[3]The Reverend Mr. Joshua Eaton of Spencer.

September 7, 1748

1748 September 7 (Wednesday).  We met at the Meeting House.  Mr. Hall (according to Turn) pray’d.  Such of the Separatists as had any Things to offer, who had not opportunity heretofore, were call’d; and while the Moderator was attending upon one or Two who presented themselves, a Certain Woman (Mr. David Wadsworths Wife) from behind cry’d out and came up the Great Alley crying out “O Dear souls in the Name of my great Lord and Master, have a Single Eye etc.”  With much ado the Moderator Still’d her.  Dr. David Batchellor[1] openly declar’d himself a Separatist; and the rather because we had resisted (as he judg’d) the Ordinance and will of the Lord in not suffering that sister to go on with her message.  We din’d at Deacon Whipples.  P.M. the ministers call’d in several of those who had been wont to clogg the church in dealing with the Separatists, and conferr’d with them — viz. Mr. Abner Stow, Joseph Batchelour, Gideon Baker and several others.  At length the whole Church and all the people were call’d in: and Deacon Merriam[2] was interrogated.  Mr. Eaton pray’d, before the Church was dismiss’d at Night.

[1][Additional note: Batchellor is not listed among Grafton’s physicians in Frederick Clifton Pierce, History of Grafton, Worcester County, Massachusetts, from Its Earliest Settlement…to the Present Time, 1879… (Worcester: Chas. Hamilton,1879), 372-75; nor is he elsewhere given that title in Parkman’s diary.]

[2]Joseph Merriam.

September 8, 1748

1748 September 8 (Thursday).  Mr. Davis of Holden being by providence among us, pray’d in the morning.  The Weight of forming the Result was thrown upon Me.  I retir’d and (with some assistance in one sentence from Mr. Hall, and in the Exhortation from Mr. Martyn) I drew it up.  It was voted unanimously.  Mr. Loring preach’d a Lecture on Mat. 5.4, and after Lecture I publish’d the Result to the Congregation.  The Church stop’d and voted their acceptance of the Result about 4 or 6 Dissenting.  But Deacon Merriam voted.  After dining we Dissolv’d and Return’d home.  At home found my wife and daughter Lucy from Cambridge together with Brother and Sister Hicks[1] who came from thence with them and they lodg’d here.

[1]Mr. and Mrs. John Hicks of Sutton.

September 9, 1748

1748 September 9 (Friday).  Brother and sister Hicks to Sutton.  I went to see Captain Warrin and his wife who are very bad — and their son Jonathan likewise ill.  Visited also Captain Maynards Family, Six of which are ill, viz. Stephens wife and son John — Rody Smith, and Josiah Lock, Hepzibah Crosby and Hepzibah Rice.  Mr. Edwards Whipple brought home my brindled Cow, from Nichewoag Cutt.  A Great Frost last night.  Prisoners broke Jayl last night at Worcester.  A vile Woman and a man — both committed for Theft.

September 12, 1748

1748 September 12 (Monday).  Captain Warrin[1] dy’d last Night.  An heavy Loss!  He was a worthy Man.  The Lord sanctify it to us all!  Lieutenant Ward survey’d a piece of Land nigh the Cedar Swamps for me.  Neighbour David and Nathan Maynard Chain Men.  Mr. Bliss[2] of Concord here.  He and Lieutenant Ward din’d here.  I rode down to see Mrs. Amsden[3] who is Sick.  Went to the House of Death, Captain Warrins, pray’d with the sick there, and the sorrowing Neighbours that were there together.  At Eve sent to Boston by Asa Brigham.[4]

[1]Daniel Warren.

[2]The Reverend Mr. Daniel Bliss.

[3]Mrs. Jacob Amsden.

[4]Son of neighbor David Brigham.

September 13, 1748

1748 September 13 (Tuesday).  In the morning at Captain Maynards.  Mr. James Eager came to inform me that Mrs. Wheeler[1] dy’d last Night and I was desir’d to attend the Funeral tomorrow.  My Wife and I to Captain Warrins burying.  While we were at the House of Mourning Message from Mrs. Amsden that she was near her End.  After prayer and the Corps moving out to go to the Grave I went down to Mr. Amsdens — and pray’d there she being exceeding low.  Return’d and met the Mourners as they were on the Road home.  Left ‘em the solemn Charge of David to Solomon 1 Chron. 28.9.  Visited Mrs. Rogers and pray’d with them.  Sarah Henry at work on a Coat for Ebenezer.

[1]The widow of Joseph Wheeler.

September 14, 1748

1748 September 14 (Wednesday).  My Wife and I rode over to Mrs. Wheelers burying.  We first went to Mr. Martyns, and din’d there.  Mr. Martyn rode with us to the House of Mourning.  Though I was ask’d to pray on that occasion yet I repeatedly desir’d Mr. Martyn to perform it in my Stead but he as often refus’d.  Tis a very desolate House and the Hand of God is observable!  In how short a Time, from remarkable prosperity, to this sorrowful Desolation!  God grant the surviving Children and all of us to see what the Great God has done.  Rain at mounting to return.  Mr. Batheric came to work but was soon call’d off to make a Coffin for Mrs. Amsden.

September 15, 1748

1748 September 15 (Thursday).  I went to Marlborough though it was something showery.  In returning I attended upon Mrs. Amsden Funeral.  N.B. at Dr. Gotts to Day there was brought one John Brigham of 22 Years, whose arm he himself had shot with a Pistol, and tis thought it must be cut off.  Mr. Batheric[1] at work here upon the shed at my North Door, and Sarah Henry at work here.

[1]Daniel Batherick of Westborough.

September 19, 1748

1748 September 19 (Monday).  I was up extreme early — prepar’d a Deed which Neighbour Hezekiah How sign’d delivered Me of the Right to his fifth Division of Common Lands without the Cow Common.  I rode to Marlborough, to Mr. Eleazer How and traded with Benomi Bailey for a second Hand Saddle — for which I am to give him 4£.  I din’d at Mr. Smiths[1] — attended the Proprietors Meeting, but neither Lieutenant Ward, nor those I am to border upon being there I did not present my Plott.  Went to Mr. Joseph Williams about Benomi’s Saddle but Mr. Williams had lent it.  I return’d home having the Second Volume of Dr. Doddridge’s Family Expositor[2] of Mr. Smith and I immediately began it in my Family.

[1]The Reverend Mr. Aaron Smith.

[2]Philip Doddridge, The Family Expositor; or a Paraphrase and Version of the New Testament, with Notes (London, 1739).

September 27, 1748

1748 September 27 (Tuesday).  Mr. Barns[1] here, and I took the Opportunity to go down with him to that part of the Meadow east of my Improvements — and it being the most unprofitable (not worth mowing), but within my Fence, and what old Mr. Barns in his Life Time had consented in presence of Witnesses Should be my property, and settled it so by the Bound-mark on the Nole Close by it, Yet inasmuch as the Said old Mr. Barns mention’d Bounds up as far as the Corner of my Field, I told his son that for the Ease of my own Mind I would give him Ten Shillings as a Consideration for that Land which would be included within even that Line which a Bound from thence (From a Tree near the Corner of my Field) would include — Notwithstanding that the Affair was all wholly settled as aforesaid by old Mr. Barns in the presence of Witnesses, and he could have no Demand at all upon me.  But then he should not oblige me to run the Fence from the marked Tree upon the Nole to the North East Corner, on the Side of the Ridge and in the hollow, as a Straight Line would carry it, but Should allow me to make my Fence on the Top of the Rigdge [sic], though it be Somewhat rounding, but it would be so much better for both him and me.  To all which Things he freely consented, and I accordingly gave him the Ten Shillings.  N.B. Mr. Martyn here in his way to Grafton Church Meeting, in which tis propos’d to suspend some of the Separatists.  My Daughters Molly and Lucy went over to Mr. Martyns.  Ebenezer gathering Winter apples.  Mr. Mede here.  Mr. Martyn here at night.  He informs me the Church in Grafton have passed a Vote to suspend 24 members (Men and Women) and appointed a Fast.  N.B. Troopers entertain’d this Evening at Mr. Benjamin Hows in this Town.  Mr. Martyn told me the Church of Grafton had appointed a Fast, and desir’d my Assistance with others.

[1]Richard Barnes.

September 28, 1748

1748 September 28 (Wednesday).  Visited Mrs. Warrin, who tis hopeful is on the Recovery; as is Jonathan likewise: but Nahum was in great Extremeity and Nigh his End when I went there.  I pray’d with them — and after some solemn and Serious Discourse took leave: but before I mounted, word came out that Nahum was just gone.  I went in again, and saw him give up the Ghost.  N.B. Mr. Jonas Warrins Exhortation and Admonition to me, as God was now taking away both Sheep and Lambs out of my Flock.  I took it kindly — thank’d him, and do pray God to bless it to me.  N.B. The Same Mr. Warrin deliver’d to me the request of the people in Upton to go over and preach to them, at such Time as I could best attend it.  Soon after I came home Mr. Abraham Williams[1] came with a Packet from New Haven — containing besides the Commencement Papers, a Letter from Mrs. Pierpoint[2] and therewith a silver Snuff Box, the gift of Mrs. Pierpoint to my Daughter Sarah.  On the Said Box were engraven the Arms of the Pierpoints with that instructive and quickening motto PIE REPONE TE, which is the Same as are worn by the Duke of Kinstone.  May God reward her abundantly in Spiritual Blessings from all her Love to me and mine!  He left us, though it rain’d, to go to Marlborough.

[1]Abraham Williams, Jr., of Marlborough.

[2]Mrs. James Pierpont of New Haven.

September 29, 1748

1748 September 29 (Thursday).  A.M. at the Burial of Nahum Warrin[1] (so far as to be at the House and Pray and Exhort).  May this Death be a further warning to us!  Especially to our Young People!  Mr. Martyn and his Wife din’d with us.  He preach’d my Lecture on Ps. 89.7 with special reference to the Lords Supper.  Towards Night came Mr. Fuller of Sutton who marry’d my Kinswoman, and his son in law Mr. Isaac Putnam, and they lodg’d here.

[1]Son of Daniel Warren.

September 30, 1748

1748 September 30 (Friday).  My Kinsmen proceeded in their Journey toward Salem.  Moses Warrin came for me to visit his Mother[1] who grows worse again: at Evening I was there.  When I return’d found Mr. Breck[2] of Springfield and Mr. Ballantine[3] of Westfield, on their Journey to the Ordination (next week) of Mr. Gad Hitchcock.[4]  They lodg’d here.

[1]Mrs. Daniel Warren.

[2]The Reverend Mr. Robert Breck, Jr.

[3]The Reverend Mr. John Ballantine.

[4](Harvard 1743).  The minister of Hanson, 1748-1803.  Sibley, XI, 231-236.