April 3, 1749

1749 April 3 (Monday).  Return’d home.  Ebenezer and Daniel making Wall on the Southside of my Land joining to my Neighbour Ebenezer Maynard.  Old Mr. Willson of Bolton here.  Talk’d with him about his joining to the Church of England.  Mr. Putnam of Worcester, Lawyer, here with a Letter from Mr. Maccarty desiring me to preach his Lecture on the 13, which I am oblig’d to deny because of the Fast at Sudbury and our own Lecture the same week.

April 9, 1749

1749 April 9 (Sunday).  At first waking I did not expect to go to meeting.  Yet growing better when I got up, I did; and preach’d all Day — Text 1 Tim. 6.12.  Lay hold on Eternal Life.  N.B. Mary Garfield[1] of Shrewsbury (of about 22) fell into fitts in the Meeting House, was carry’d out and remov’d to my House.  Her fitts were repeated in the Evening.  She had some Number of them.  Her mother and Two Brothers here; Mrs. Garfield and son Moses here with Mary over night.  My son Ebenezer went about 9 at Night to Dr. Smith[2] — but he would not come.

[1]The daughter of Daniel Garfield.

[2]Joshua Smith, the physician of Shrewsbury.

April 10, 1749

1749 April 10 (Monday).  Mary Garfields fitts are not only Histeric but convulsive — increas’d to strong Convulsions.  At length her Father came.  They undertook to get her home.  Mrs. Miller (James junior’s wife) here to be examin’d.  P.M. Mr. Batherick on the like account.  Very Warm and Spring like.  Ebenezer graffing Cyons from Cornet Bright of Watertown.  Daniel ploughing Stubble ground.

April 12, 1749

1749 April 12 (Wednesday).  Undertook a Journey to Sudbury, it being the Day appointed by the Association for the First Fast on Consideration of the sad Signs of threatning Degeneracy and Defection in Religion.  Rode first to Mrs. Deborah Brigham and pray’d with her.  Thence (concluding Mr. Smith was gone) I went hastily to Deacon Tainters[1] in Marlborough and so to Mr. Lorings.  But he was surpriz’d to see me, he having put by the Fast by reason of his wife’s illness, and of this he had writ me a Line as he had done to other Members of the association but which I had never receiv’d nor knew one Lisp of till I got to Sudbury.  After dining there, conversing with Madam Loring (who is Yet very low and weak) and Spending a little Time with Mr. Williams of Weston[2] who (in his way to Harvard) call’d there, I return’d to Marlborough.  A storm arising made me call at Mr. Jabez Wards — where was Mr. John Weeks, and others.  Mr. Ward is selling his Place and going to New-Marlborough.  Mr. Weeks intimates to me that they grow sick of Mr. Jenison[3] who has hitherto kept School and preach’d among them.  Stop’d a little with Mrs. Sally Gott[4] to enquire about her Father.  At Mr. Smiths[5] into Evening yet got home and lodg’d at my own House.  To God be praise and Thanks!

[1]Joseph Tainter.

[2]The Reverend William Williams.

[3]William Jennison, sometime preacher, had kept school at one time in Westborough.

[4]Sarah was the eldest daughter of Dr. Benjamin Gott of Marlborough.

[5]The Reverend Aaron Smith of Marlborough.

April 13, 1749

1749 April 13 (Thursday).  Mr. Abraham Williams[1] here.  Tells me he has a Call at Sandwich — argues against the Duty of Fasting — calls it dressing up Religion in frightful Figures to terrifie Men — Says getting a Neighbour to kick ones shins or thrash one with an Horsewhip will do as well etc.  He is going to Worcester to demand of Dr. Breck[2] the Legacy his grandmother Breck left him.

[1]The son of Colonel Abraham Williams of Marlborough.  He accepted the Sandwich call.

[2]Samuel Breck, the physician.

April 16, 1749

1749 April 16 (Sunday).  Sacrament.  Read Genesis 29.  Preach’d on 1 Cor. 11.31.  Mr. Twitchell[1] and wife (who are lately come to dwell in this precinct), widow Woods and Bekky Warrin din’d here.  P.M. I read Mark 1.  Preach’d on 1 Sam. 16.5, those words “Come with me to the Sacrifice.”  The Body of the Exercise was sermon on 1 Cor. 10.16, from page 16 to the End of page 22.  Mr. Martyn here both going to and returning from Grafton to Day — tells me Deacon Cooper has been dead this fortnight.

[1]Jonas Twitchell, Twitchel, or Twichel.

April 17, 1749

1749 April 17 (Monday).  A Precinct Meeting — partly to provide for raising the New Meeting House, and among divers other Things to See whether they would pull off the Covering and Closing of the old Meeting House and Use them upon the New — but could not obtain a vote to meddle with it.[1]  N.B. I sent in a Letter, which the Moderator (Esquire Baker) receiv’d; but without reading to the precinct, order’d to be return’d to me, which Lieutenant Forbush accordingly did.  N.B. Captain Maynard here a.m.  Also Mrs. Batherick.  N.B. Mr. D. Hemingway the Carpenter began to work in Framing of the New Meeting House.  In the Morning I visited Mary Garfield who is now very weak and low, but expresses herself very sensibly and graciously.

[1]The precinct voted “to provide Half a barrel of Roum, by the cost and charge of the precinct, for the Raising the frame of the meeting-house . . . Voted Capt. John Maynard, Lieut. Simon Tainter, Lieut. Abijah Bruce to be a committee to take care to provide the Roum.”  DeForest and Bates, Westborough, pp. 133-134.

April 20, 1749

1749 April 20 (Thursday).  Ebenezer and Daniel digging Stones for the South Wall between Mr. Ebenezer Maynard and me.  Dr. Breck and his Wife came to see me.  Doctor had unhappily turn’d over his Chair in coming and hurt one of his Hands: he was sick at Dinner and rose from the Table.  Old Mrs. Whipple and her Granddaughter Pratt here.  Mrs. Pratt in Distress about her Spiritual State.  N.B. Forbush[1] here — wants opportunity to talk with me, and with my wife that all Grounds of Offence in his acquaintance with Molly and his Conduct about her may be removed.  Being in a low State of Health, he is going over to live at Dr. Scammells.[2]

[1]Eli Forbush or Forbjs as he spelled it.

[2]Samuel Scammell, a native of Portsmouth, England, came to America about 1737.  He served as a schoolmaster and then became well-known as a physician of Milford, Mass.  Adin Ballou, History of the Town of Milford (Boston, 1882), II, 1004-1005.

April 22, 1749

1749 April 22 (Saturday).  Though I sent by Brother Hicks on the 19th to Mr. Belcher Hancock of College that I could not well change with him yet he came at Evening.  My English Hay is gone (having kept my Young Horse over Winter) which was beyond my Design, and hereby I became too much straitened.  N.B. Ebenezer and Daniel making Stone Wall on the Southside, and not finish’d yet.

April 23, 1749

1749 April 23 (Sunday).  In the Morning I rode to Grafton for Mr. Hancock.  Was entertain’d at Mr. Isaac Harringtons.  I preach’d a.m. on Jer. 3.15.  At the Earnest Request of Mr. Joseph Axtell[1] and his Wife I preach’d to her at Evening at their House, She having lain Sometime under great Affliction and long confin’d from the Public Worship.  My Text 1 Thess. 1.10 last Clause.  Rode home the Same Night following.  Mr. Hancocks Text 1 John 3.19.

[1]The Axtells took up residence in the north part of Grafton about 1730.  Pierce, Grafton, pp. 451-2.

April 24, 1749

1749 April 24 (Monday).  Mr. Hancock and I rode over the Mr. Martyns where were Mrs. Monis and the late Colonel Vassals[1] widow (who came up with him last Saturday) and I waited on them a few Miles — Mr. Martyn and his wife further, in their Journey to Cambridge.  I returned home by the way of Ensign Rice’s and prevail’d with him to Spare me some Hay.  N.B. Captain Maynard came to See me at my House and we have much Discourse about our Trouble by the Meeting-House being carry’d away from us.  Samuel Bumpso worked with my Young Men in finishing the Wall on the southside and building a wall at the Back of my House.  N.B. It grows a very dry Time.  Very high winds.  The Fires raged last Night and this at Hopkinton.

[1]John Vassal (Harvard 1732) of Cambridge had died Nov. 27, 1747.  Sibley, IX, 229-235.

April 26, 1749

1749 April 26 (Wednesday).  Mrs. Hephzibah Maynard[1] here a.m.  Much Troubled about the New Meeting House place.  Ebenezer work’d with Noah How, getting out Rails for him in Lieu of an 100 which he says my Hands carted away from him — but inadvertently.  Daniel ploughing.  P.M. Mrs. Lucy Pratt here, on her Spiritual Concerns.  N.B. Brother Hicks here from Cambridge.  He confirms the sad news of Mr. J. Davenports House as being burnt in Watertown on the 24th and of other Burnings in divers Towns.  N.B. He and I finish’d a Troublesome affair that had lain some time between him and me.

[1]The wife of Parkman’s neighbour, Captain John Maynard.

April 27, 1749

1749 April 27 (Thursday).  Daniel ploughing.  Ebenezer variously employ’d about the fences round the Yards etc.  In the forenoon I was oblig’d to go down to Mr. Cook’s to fasten my Horse’s Shooes.  Mr. Daniel Forbush[1] was there.  He took Notice I had not yet been to the Timber (where they were framing the Meeting House).  I told him I was going to preach to Mr. Martyns people.  He said he believ’d the Committee would be glad (he doubted not) of Such an opportunity to Send a message by me to Mr. Martyn.  He spoke in a much Earnestness and intimating that they were at the Frame, who would thus be glad, and that they would send to my House.  I went from thence to see old Mrs. Forbush[2] (nigh 85 years of age).  But when I came out from her, I thought it would be best to ride round by the Meeting House place to give ‘em opportunity and prevent their Sending on purpose to my House and as Mr. Forbush aforesaid intimated they would.  I therefore came home that way.  Captain Baker and Lieutenant Bruce[3] were very complaisant.  I enquir’d whether the work went on well and how forward they were etc.?  They told me that Time that they had last night agreed upon for the Raising Day — viz. Next Wednesday — But that they intended to send to me and to the Neighbouring Ministers, But as there was but one of the Committee there, Captain Baker, there could be no public message as yet to Mr. Martyn.  I put ‘em in mind to Send without Fail to his Spouse also.  One Mr. Hastings, a Carpenter, brought me their bottle and offer’d to give me a Dram — which gave me occasion to talk with them about their offering (as I had heard) their Bottle to Travellers to beg of them as they pass’d in the high way: I talk’d with the Chief Workman Mr. Hemingway, but he vindicated himself.  I told him I had rather give ‘em, myself, Every Penny of what they Should so Collect — and I took out my Book to pay him what they Said had been given though they Said it was only by Such as had turn’d aside to see them and that only by Two persons — one of which gave 3/, the other 1/.  I parted as decently as I could professing my Concern to have Every Thing carry’d on in Righteousness, Peace and Honour.  Esquire Baker, in his Conversation, inform’d me that at the Meeting last Night (which was of Such of the Inhabitants of the precinct as pleas’d to Show their Minds about the Provision they would make for the Raising) Some that were disaffected brought in a Petition to the Committee to raise a Meeting, if possible to remove the Spot for the Meeting House.  But it was too late, and he said it could be thought no other than Vexations, design’d so — by its being brought at this Time.  Molly rode with me over to Mr. Martyns — Mr. Cushing and his wife came.  We din’d there.  The Drought So great that I turn’d my Thoughts from other Subjects, and preach’d (the Lecture) from Jer. 14.22.  The Lord grant us to acknowledge Him in all His Dispensations and wait on Him alone for Supply and Relief!  In returning at Evening was in Danger at the Bridge by means of my Horse’s Fright and Springing, at the loose Planks, especially one that was broken, but was safely upheld and got over without hurt.

[1]The son of Deacon Jonathan Forbush.

[2]The widow of Thomas Forbush.

[3]Abijah Bruce.

April 28, 1749

1749 April 28 (Friday).  Daniel finish’d ploughing the Field a.m. and plough’d the Yards by the House.  The Beds of the Garden, by the Drought and by the Fowl, chiefly destroy’d.  Mr. Walker of Nichewoag, who took Care of my Cattle last Year, was here.  Agreed to give him 45 shillings for the Care of the Cattle, and 20/ for his pains after one of them could not get up (by 8 miles) At the Time of Driving up.

April 29, 1749

1749 April 29 (Saturday).  After great and distressing Drought, there came this Day a refreshing Rain.  Colonel Hendsell[1] and his Spouse came in, but tarried not long.  Ebenezer and Daniel planting the Yards.  Had the Comfort of being seasonably prepar’d for the Sabbath.  Deacon Newton came and in the Name of the Committee of the Precinct invited me and my wife to the Raising of the Meeting House next Wednesday.

[1]Ebenezer Hinsdale (Harvard 1727) of Deerfield, had been the chaplain of Fort Dummer and missionary to the Indians.  In 1742 he built the fort in what became Hinsdale, N.H.  At this time Colonel Hinsdale was the representative of Deerfield.  Sibley, VIII, 141-148.  See Herbert C. Hinsdale, Hinsdale Genealogy (Lombard, III., 1906) pp. 84-87.