June 1, 1749

1749 June 1 (Thursday).  I attended the Convention.  Was at the sermon.  Mr. Barnard[1] of Andover preach’d on 2 Cor. 4.1.  The Contribution amounted to £ [blank].  I din’d at Mr. Cooper’s.[2]  P.M. I was so unavoidably taken up with my affairs that I could not go again to the Convention.  My Horse was kept in the New North Meeting House Yard.  Supp’d at Mr. Olivers.  Lodg’d at Dr. Parkman’s.  The Distresses by the Drought very great.  I meet with no man, not the oldest, that has ever known Such a Drought so Early in the Year.

[1]The Reverend John Barnard.

[2]The Reverend Samuel Cooper (Harvard 1743), the minister of the Brattle Street Church in Boston.

June 2, 1749

1749 June 2 (Friday).  I Set out from Boston (Mrs. Keggelll having been so handsome as to charge nothing for my Horse keeping).  The Heat was very great — call’d at Captain Sharps.[1]  Mr. Cotton Brown[2] lodges there.  I din’d at Mr. Benjamin Hastings in Watertown.  Ephraim Holland p.m. my Company great part of the way up.  Got home in the Night.

[1]Robert Sharp of Brookline.

[2]The Reverend Cotton Brown (Harvard 1743), the minister of Brookline, 1748-1751.

June 7, 1749

1749 June 7 (Wednesday).  Mr. Swain (preacher at Grafton) came to see me, and din’d here.  P.M. Mr. Breck[1] came and Mr. Swain to Grafton.  In the Night refreshing Showers.  To God by [sic]the Glory!  Thunder and Lightning.  May God grant us the Grace we need, that we may improve his Favours to his Glory!  and may He be pleas’d to grant further needed supplys!

[1]The Reverend Robert Breck, Jr., of Springfield.

June 9, 1749

1749 June 9 (Friday).  Sarah Henry came up from Boston, her aunt Hastings her Company, who with her Son Benjamin came up in my Chair.  The Honourable Captain Goddard[1] and his son Benjamin here, in their way to Framingham.  Benjamin Hastings, Sarah and Elizabeth Tainter lodg’d here.  Showers in the Night.  Ebenezer and Daniel getting Rails and Posts.

[1]Edward Goddard, a prominent citizen of Framingham.

June 10, 1749

1749 June 10 (Saturday).  Mrs. Hastings and her son Benjamin, Sarah and Elizabeth Tainter din’d with us.  Several Excellent Showers very reviving and refreshing.  Glory to God!  Neighbour Eliezer Rice here.  He pretends to ask my Leave for Dr. Green[1] to preach at his House — but I warn’d him against it.  Ebenezer and Daniel setting out Cabbage and Tobacco Plants — and began to half-Hill the Indian Corn.  Receiv’d Sundrys from Molly by Mr. Ebenezer Rice.

[1]The Reverend Thomas Green was the minister of the Greenville Baptist Church in Leicester.  He was also a physician.  Emory Washburn, Historical Sketches of. . . Leicester (Boston, i860), pp. 111-113.

June 11, 1749

1749 June 10 (Saturday).  Mrs. Hastings and her son Benjamin, Sarah and Elizabeth Tainter din’d with us.  Several Excellent Showers very reviving and refreshing.  Glory to God!  Neighbour Eliezer Rice here.  He pretends to ask my Leave for Dr. Green[1] to preach at his House — but I warn’d him against it.  Ebenezer and Daniel setting out Cabbage and Tobacco Plants — and began to half-Hill the Indian Corn.  Receiv’d Sundrys from Molly by Mr. Ebenezer Rice.

[1]The Reverend Thomas Green was the minister of the Greenville Baptist Church in Leicester.  He was also a physician.  Emory Washburn, Historical Sketches of. . . Leicester (Boston, i860), pp. 111-113.

June 13, 1749

1749 June 13 (Tuesday).  The Drought very great.  An hot Morning.  Lieutenant Hezekiah Ward, was by appointment at Mr. Charles Rice’s to measure the controverted Land, but he was content to wave the work and return home, and he did so.  I visited Mr. Abner Newton.  I talk’d earnestly against Dr. Greens preaching among us: I hope to Effect.  My Young Men are at their half-hilling to Day, and Neighbour John Rogers helps them.  They finish’d some time before Sun setting.  There goes a great Storm of Thunder and Rain to the Northward.  Scarce any Drops here.

June 15, 1749

1749 June 15 (Thursday).  Public Fast on Account of the Great Drought.  I preach’d on 2 Chron. 6.26.27.31.  I thought it best to deliver my whole Preparation in one Exercise, though it takes me an Hour and quarter to deliver it, then to break the Discourse, and loose the warmth and Force by dividing it.  P.M. from Amos 4.6 and 7, I also have given you etc. — Yet have ye not return’d unto me saith the Lord.  I undertook to Shew that though God had inflicted on us many Judgments yet we did not turn to Him as he justly might expect we Should, and though it might seem to us that we did much in returning to Him, yet he Saw and knew us better — and I Enquired into this Matter more distinctly, to see what men might do, and yet there might be no true returning, and for Reply to this Enquiry, I used again those Articles in sermon on Acts [blank] from page 3 to page [blank].  And I hope it was, by Gods Blessing somewhat Beneficial.  But O that God would give us the Grace to see what we are, turn us, and have mercy on us!

June 16, 1749

1749 June 16 (Friday).  My Wife and I (now first) rode out in our Chair to visit Mr. Tomlin and Bethiah Tyler — but we proceeded as far as to Mr. Martyns and din’d there.  We made our propos’d visits as we came back.  I was indispos’d when I went out, and by means of the Great Heat, I grew much worse.  When I return’d home, Mr. Charles Brigham was here; but I was So ill, I could not converse with him.  I appointed him a Time to come again.

June 17, 1749

1749 June 17 (Saturday).  After a very ill night I rose somewhat comfortable.  Blessed be God!  The prospects abroad extremely Melancholly and sorrowful.  My people mowing — but yet next to nothing for their pains.  I gave them order to fence off Some of the Ground for pasture.  Mr. Samuel Harrington here with veal, a present to me — which was very acceptable — my Stomach being very poor.  Very Hot Time — as if we should be burnt up with the Drought.  I was little more than hanging about all Day.

June 18, 1749

1749 June 18 (Sunday).  In the Morning I rode over (according to agreement) to Mr. Martyns, and he came hither.  I preach’d to his people on Heb. 3.17.18 and p.m. what I deliver’d to my own the afternoon of the Fast from Amos 4.6.7.  Mr. Martyn on 2 Pet. 3.18.  Extreme Hot Day.  (So that Cakes of Chocolate melted on the Shelves though they lay Single.  It was So both at my House and at Mr. Martyns.) In returning at Eve we met at Mr. Tomlins, and pray’d with him.

June 19, 1749

1749 June 19 (Monday).  Another Hot Day Still, but not so hot as Yesterday.  Mr. Charles Brigham of Grafton examin’d.  Aaron Warrin came to desire me to go over immediately to see his sister Betty — went on Captain Maynards Horse.  A multitude gathered there to See her.  Dr. Miles there.  Mr. Daniel Hardy paid me above sixty five pounds old Tenor.  Forbush came home with me.  Brother Hicks here going to Boston in the Night.

June 20, 1749

1749 June 20 (Tuesday).  Clear but cooler.  Reckon’d with Captain Maynard and settl’d with him not only for the Year last past, but likewise in the Affair of his Rate in the 82£ which Mr. Billings was to have gather’d for the Year 44 from June 5 to October 20.  Mr. Beton putts on Clouts upon the Axeltree of my Chair.

June 21, 1749

1749 June 21 (Wednesday).  I rode to Sudbury to Association Fast.  But few there.  Only Mr. Stone, Mr. Smith and Mr. Davis.  Afterwards came Mr. Gardner.[1]  Not even Mr. Cook[2] there.  P.M. Mr. Bridge[3] of Framingham came.  Mr. Loring pray’d a.m. and Mr. Davis preach’d Text Rom. 2.25.  P.M. Mr. Smith pray’d and Mr. Gardner preach’d.  Text Habac. 3.2.  N.B. Ebenezer and Forbush went in my Chair, in order to go to Cambridge, but they turn’d in to Sudbury meeting in the Afternoon.  It prov’d an Hot Day.  I return’d as far as Marlborough; lodg’d at Mr. Smiths with Mr. Davis.

[1]The Reverend John Gardner of Stowe.

[2]The Reverend William Cooke of Wayland.

[3]The Reverend Matthew Bridge.

June 22, 1749

1749 June 22 (Thursday).  Was at Mr. Ephraim Brighams, at Mr. Edward Barns’s (where I bought Cheese), din’d at Deacon Matthias Rice’s[1] (whose wife presented me with a Cheese) and then I return’d home.  Here had been Mr. Solomon Reed and his Wife from New Haven and brought a kind Letter from Mrs. Pierpoint.  Brother Hicks from Boston.  Sorrowful Accounts of the Prevalence of the Drought.  From Different Parts of the Province we hear that the Fish die in the Rivers through the Scantiness and heat of Waters.  Hear that people in Marlborough have met (divers of them) to Fast and pray, and propose to again tomorrow.

[1]One of the founders of the church in the north precinct of Westborough.

June 25, 1749

1749 June 25 (Sunday).  Preach’d a.m. on 2 Sam. 21.14 last Clause.  P.M. on 1 Thess. 4.7, repeating part of Sermon on Titus 2.12, from page 47 to 54 inclusive.  We read Genesis 40 and Mark 11.  Propounded Mr. Charles Brigham of Grafton in order to his joining in full Communion with this Church.  Mrs. Margaret How din’d with us.

June 27, 1749

1749 June 27 (Tuesday).  Daniel began his hilling.  Sometimes lowering, and dropp’d but not enough to lay the Dust.  Heard that at Lieutenant Tainters divers people met to pray together.  I had recommended it to him on sabbath Eve last.  I visited Mr. Stephen Fay — his uncle — and was at Mr. Benjamin Fay’s: also at Mr. Pratts to see his sick Child.

June 28, 1749

1749 June 28 (Wednesday).  I rode to Mr. Bavericks and Spent some Time with his wife about her Spiritual State.  Rode to Marlborough and preach’d the Lecture for Mr. Smith on Hab. 3.17.18.  It was a Cloudy Day and Sometimes Misty, but did not rain much.  At Evening in the Mist I rode over to Mr. Stones and lodg’d there.  Alas how different his House is become!

June 29, 1749

1749 June 29 (Thursday).  In the Morning Mr. Stone and I rode over to the Fast at Mr. Smiths[1] at Hopkinton.  He desir’d it on account of his two sons Nathaniel and Richard, and Two Daughters likewise, who had fallen into very gross, familistical Errors.  We went first to Mr. Barretts[2] — and thence to Mr. Smiths.  Some of the Children were there in the forenoon — all of them in the Afternoon.  Mr. Barrett pray’d in the first Exercise, Mr. Stone preach’d from Isa. 63.17.  And Mr. Porter[3] of Sherbourn concluded with prayer.  P.M. Mr. Bridge pray’d.  I preach’d from 2 Cor. 11.3, and Mr. Prentice[4] of Holliston concluded.  After the Exercises we had some Discourse with Nat Smith[5] but to very little purpose.  I lodg’d at Mr. Barrets.[6]  N.B. Mr. Webb[7] of Chatham there, a Candidate for the Church of England.

[1]Richard Smith.

[2]The Reverend Samuel Barrett of Hopkinton.

[3]The Reverend Samuel Porter (Harvard 1730), the minister of Sherborn, 1734-1758.  Sibley, VIII, 769-772.

[4]The Reverend Joshua Prentiss.

[5]The following indicates who Smith was and how mad he was.  Franklin B. Dexter, ed., Extracts from the Itineraries . . . of Ezra Stiles (New Haven, 1916), p. 418.  “Sept. 18, 1793, Old Nat Smith died 2 or 3 y. ago, AEt. 80 & supra.  He lived an old Bach, in Hopkinton near Edge Medfield.  He was one of Old [Shadrach] Ireland’s Men & of the Company of a doz. or 15 wild Enthusiasts who about 50 y. ago lived in and about Medfd., Sutton, Uxbridge & declared themselves IMMORTALS: of which Rev. Mr. Prentice’s Wife of Grafton was one.  She used to lie with Ireland as her spiritual Husbd.

“Formerly they walk round Hopkinton Meetinghouse sounding with Ramshorns and denouncing its Downfall, in vain.

“Nat Smith proceeded to assume & declare himself to be the Most High God & wore a Cap with the Word God inscribed on its front.  His Great Chair was a Holy Chair & none but himself must sit in it.  He had a number of Adorers and Worshippers, who continue to this day to believe he was the Great God.”

[6]The Reverend Samuel Barrett of Hopkinton.

[7]Benjamin Webb (Harvard 1743) of Eastham, was baptized in Christ Church (Episcopal), Boston in 1750.  He did not become a minister, but rather spent fifty years as an itinerant schoolmaster.  Sibley, XI, 326-327.

June 30, 1749

1749 June 30 (Friday).  Rode home Early.  Brought over Mr. Henry[1] Volume 1.  Daniel has been hoeing and he has finish’d the Long piece, and the New Ground.  Ebenezer does not come from Cambridge.  Have heard it is Commencement there to Day.  Hot and Dry Weather still.  May the God of infinite Mercy and pity look upon his Weary Heritage!

[1]A work of the English divine, Matthew Henry (1662-1714).