May 1, 1750

1750 May 1 (Tuesday).  Very pleasant after the Rain.  All Nature blooming and flourishing whilst (alas!) my Heart is as a barren Wilderness.  Mr. Haven left us to go back to Framingham.  My Wife and I rode to Mr. Twitchells.[1]  Ebenezer and Joseph Mending Fence, ploughing and preparing the Fields for Planting.

[1]Jonas Twitchel (Twitchell), of Westborough.

May 2, 1750

1750 May 2 (Wednesday).  Wondrous pleasant and Delightfull.  A beautiful Prospect all round; the Air every where perfum’d by the Blossoms; and a Tunefull Chorus of different kinds of Birds, which Sing their Makers Praise.  Lord!  all thy works praise thee; and may thy Saints bless thee!  Bless the Lord O my Soul!  Agreed with Joseph Bruce to live with me for three months; from yesterday, till the first of August, for 41£ old Tenor.  But then by taking in the Days that he had work’d for me before this month came in on one hand, and allowing him two Days to Spend for himself of the Time to come, on the other; we agree that I shall pay him 42£ in the whole, when his Term shall be up.  N.B. Sent home Mr. Dyers Emlyn[1] by one Ephraim Bacon of Dedham.

[1]Possibly a work by the English Unitarian minister, Thomas Emlyn (1663-1741), which belonged to Jonathan Dyer of Dedham.  [Additional note: On January 20, 1749, Parkman borrowed “Mr. Thomas Emlyn’s — Tracts Volume I,” which Walett identified as A Collection of Tracts relating to the Deity, Worship, and Satisfaction of the Lord Jesus Christ (London, 1719).]

May 6, 1750

1750 May 6 (Sunday).  Read Exod. 22.  Expounded the Fourth Commandment a. and p.m.  My Wife and I din’d at Justice Bakers, he having provided and handed an Horse ready tackled for us both.  P.M. read Luke 24.  After Exercises Mr. Charles Bruce brought me the Earnest Desire of Mrs. Kelly (wife of [blank] Kelley a member of the Church of England in Hopkinton) to visit her, She being very sick — I comply’d.  Rode to Deacon Forbushes in my Chair, left my Daughter Molly there, and borrow’d Mr. Jonathan Forbush’s Horse, and with Mr. Bruce to pilot, I saw her and pray’d with her.  Return’d home the same Evening.

May 7, 1750

1750 May 7 (Monday).  My wife rode with me to see Adonijah Rice,[1] sick of a Fever; and thence to Marlborough.  Deacon Tainter making me a black Cloth Jacket out of an old Broadcloth Coat.  We din’d Dr. Gotts.  N.B. the Doctor gives me his Hand in token of reconcilement.  Design’d a Visit to Mr. Smith but he was gone to Cape Ann.  N.B. Mr. Hezekiah Bush[2] who suddenly drop’d down dead last — Saturday a.m. bury’d to Day.  A very awful and awakening Dispensation when a man is taken away So very Suddenly!  The Lord quickens us all hereby!  that we may be in an immediate Readiness.  Visited Colonel Williams and return’d at Eve in safety.  Thanks be to God!

[1]Son of Charles Rice of Westborough.

[2]Of Marlborough.

May 9, 1750

1750 May 9 (Wednesday).  But especially this, which is very warm — the sun burns as in Summer.  Finish’d Secret History of Europe[1] Part I, which is volume I.

[1]The editor has not located a record of a work with this title.  There are, however, a number of “secret histories” of specific reigns, etc.  [Additional note: This may have been John Oldmixon, The Secret History of Europe.  Shewing that the Late Greatness of the French Power…Treachery and Corruption of the Ministers Abroad… (London: Printed for the Booksellers of London and Westminster, 1712).]

May 12, 1750

1750 May 12 (Saturday).  Captain Maynard and I renewed Bounds where the old Meeting House stood and agreed that the Stake and Stones, exactly East of the old Meeting House East Door, Should Stand where we have now placed it, till it Should appear by a Survey with Instruments that it is not according to the Plott.  Reverend Mr. Joseph Bellamy[1] of Woodberry in Connecticut came to See me, and he brought a Letter to me, and another to the Church from Mr. Edwards[2] of Northampton requesting us to assist them in Council on June 19 next.  Revd. Mr. Stone came p.m.  N.B. Mr. Stone came in answer to my Desire to change tomorrow, but when he perceiv’d how, in divine Providence I was Supply’d, he went over to Mr. Martyn and Succeeded.  Brother Hicks also here, from Boston and brought me a kind good Letter from Mrs. Pierpoint.  I bless God for this Correspondence!  I am fill’d with Shame and Grief that I can Sustain it no better.  O that God would manifest His Grace towards me and qualifie me!

[1]Bellamy (Yale 1735) became the first minister of the church in the northern part of Woodbury (now Bethlem) April 2, 1740, and served this parish for 50 years.  Dexter, Biographical Sketches, pp. 523-529.

[2]The Reverend Jonathan Edwards.

May 13, 1750

1750 May 13 (Sunday).  Read Exod. 23.  Mr. Bellamy preach’d from Job 22.21.  He din’d with me at Justice Bakers.  P.M. I read John 1, Mr. Bellamy from Luke 16.30.  His Exercises were very moving as well as enlightening.  Would fervently pray and hope there may be a Saving Influence of the Spirit of Grace accompanying.  N.B. I am much concern’d for our Brother Jonas Child, who I hear is often making attempts upon his Life.  If it did not rain So hard this Evening I Should not rest without going to See him: yet he was at meeting to Day, and Set the Tune, Sweetly and agreeably as ever.  Savoury and entertaining Conversation with Mr. Bellamy, whom I find an ingenious as well as Pious Man.

May 14, 1750

1750 May 14 (Monday).  Accompany’d Mr. Bellamy 2 Mile or more on his Journey.  Was at Mr. Beemans at the moving of his Barn.  Oblig’d to improve every Opportunity to forward my Building — I must undertake it under So many disadvantages.  P.M. to Deacon Tainters and Dr. Gotts at Marlborough.  At Eve at Mr. Bradishs who and his wife likewise are sick.  I was not very well while I was there.

May 15, 1750

1750 May 15 (Tuesday).  Lieutenant Forbush and I went to view the Ridge or Nole, which joins to the Land I lately bought of Lieutenant Nathan Brigham, and he Stak’d out how much I Should have if it Should Suit me to build upon it.  P.M. Mr. Martyn here.  My Concern very great about Mr. Hutchinson[1] settling at Grafton.  Rain Eve.  I have been hinder’d visiting Mr. Child.

[1]The Reverend Aaron Hutchinson.

May 16, 1750

1750 May 16 (Wednesday).  Was at Mr. Jonas Childs, but neither he nor his Wife at home.  Hear that Mr. Biglo has taken him with him to Marlborough to work at a Stone-Wall, which I hope will prove a good thing, and proper means of diverting his Mind and helping his Body.  Ebenezer and Billy went up to Brother Hicks’s with 5 Young Cattle.  I visited old Mr. Fay.  N.B. Colonel Buckminister and Lady here when I was from home, They being in their Journey to Brookfield and Rutland.  N.B. Captain Maynard fences the old Meeting House Ground.

May 17, 1750

1750 May 17 (Thursday).  My Wife rode over to Mr. Woods (the Clothier) with a Message from Me, of my Dependence upon him for Bricks.  She was also at Mr. Martyns.  I rode to Mr. Twitchells and to Mr. Bradishs, for Girders for my design’d Building.  N.B. Mr. Broad of Natick here.  N.B. Mr. Cushing at my House (while I was absent and knew it not) waiting Some Hours to Speak with me concerning going to Mr. Dodge’s Ordination and that he purpose to preach.

May 20, 1750

1750 May 20 (Sunday).  Mr. Hutchinson preach’d for me, and I for him at Mr. Martyns.  N.B. I preach’d on Mat. 25.46, latter part all Day.  Honourable Samuel Watts[1] and Colonel Richards[2] at Meeting, and I ask’d ‘em to dine with me; which they comply’d with.  At Eve I return’d home — as did Mr. Martyn also.  Mr. Hutchinson lodg’d at my House.

[1]Watts was a leading citizen of Chelsea, a justice of the peace, and councillor of the province.

[2]Joseph Richards (Harvard 1721), a class-mate of Parkman’s, practiced medicine in Dedham, served as selectman and Representative, and was lieutenant colonel of the Suffolk regiment.  Sibley, VI, 553-555.

May 21, 1750

1750 May 21 (Monday).  Mr. Hutchinson to Grafton.  My Wife and I to Mr. Beemans raising his Barn.  Ebenezer and Joseph there.  After Dinner we went to Lieutenant Bruce’s to move his Barn.  Whilst I was there came Lieutenant Tainter, and told me we had Some other Duty to attend, for that poor Jonas Child had hang’d himself and was Dead: and it was desir’d that I would go to his House forthwith.  I did So, Mrs. Parkman with me.  I went up to the Scaffold and Saw him (miserable Creature!) a ghastly, lifeless Corps.  How awful the Dispensation!  One of the Members of the Church!  God’s Judgments are a great Deep!  unsearchable!  and his Ways past finding out!  A multitude were gather’d, and the Coroner came, Lieutenant Hezekiah Ward, the distress’d widow and Relatives desiring it, I pray’d with them and took Leave.  May the Lord (of his infinite Mercy) Sanctifie this terrible Stroke to us all!  Tis very worthy of my Notice that I have never had opportunity to Speak with this poor Man in all this Time of his perplexity and Temptation though I have been to his House to see him one Time after another.  It fills me with Grief and Trouble.  O that we might all be quicken’d — to a consciencious Discharge of every Duty; careful improvement of the Day and Means of Grace; watchfulness against the Snares and Temptations of the Devil; against quenching the holy Spirit of Grace, or so much as grieving the Spirit or provoking Him to withdraw from us.  Jury Satt up all night.

May 22, 1750

1750 May 22 (Tuesday).  Verdict “in a Fitt of Distraction.”  Though I was full of Sorrow yet having promis’d to go over to Mr. Martyn my wife and I went; and din’d there.  P.M. Mr. Martyn and I rode to the Mason Hastings,[1] and thence to Mr. Morse’s[2] — but neither of them at Home.  Went to Mr. Bush’s, Representative, but the Town do not send.

[1]Daniel Hastings of Shrewsbury.

[2]The Reverend Ebenezer Morse of Boylston.

May 24, 1750

1750 May 24 (Thursday).  Mrs. Bowker[1] (heretofore Sarah Tainter) taken leave and goes to live at Summers.  Mr. Hutchinson came up from Boston and preach’d my Lecture.  Text John 14.16.17.  After Exercise Mr. Hutchinson, my wife and I were refresh’d at justice Bakers.  N.B. Brother Edwards Whipple Set the Psalm.

[1]Mrs. Joseph Bowker.

May 25, 1750

1750 May 25 (Friday).  Mr. Bellamy din’d here upon his return from Boston to Northampton: tells me that neither Mr. Foxcroft,[1] nor Mr. Wigglesworth[2] will go to the Council at Northampton but hopes Mr. Hobby[3] will.  Mr. Bellamy did not tarry.  I was forced to Send a Denyal to Mr. Edwards.  N.B. Ebenezer and Joseph Weeding.

[1]The Reverend Thomas Foxcroft of the First Church of Boston.

[2]The Reverend Samuel Wigglesworth of Hamilton.

[3]The Reverend William Hobby of Reading.

May 26, 1750

1750 May 26 (Saturday).  Justice Charles Brigham[1] here.  I enquir’d of him why his Children were not baptiz’d?  He answer’d that many Things had occurr’d to his Disappointment.  Towards Night came the Reverend Mr. Samuel Hopkins[2] of Springfield and his Daughter.

[1]A prominent citizen of Grafton.  Pierce, Grafton, pp. 463-464.

[2](Yale 1718).  Hopkins was the minister of the First Congregational Church of West Springfield, 1720-1755.  Dexter, Biographical Sketches, pp. 184-187.

May 27, 1750

1750 May 27 (Sunday).  I administered the Lords Supper.  A.M. read Exod. 25 to number 23.  Mr. Hopkins preach’d on 2 Cor. 6.1 a. and p.m.  He was with us at Communion.  Mr. Hopkins, my wife and I din’d at justice Bakers.  P.M. I read John second Chapter.  N.B. Brother Edwards Whipple set the psalm.  N.B. When the Church was transacting the Affair relating to the Ordination of Mr. Hutchinson at Grafton the Choice of one of the Delegates was much clogg’d.  Deacon Forbush was nominated, but the vote not clear — he excus’d himself.  Lieutenant Tainter was nominated, but no vote.  At length Brother Whitney was chose; Scil: together with Esq. Baker.

May 28, 1750

1750 May 28 (Monday).  I waited on Mr. Hopkins and his Daughter as far as Mr. Bathericks, on their way to Boston.  Thence I visited the Sorrowful widow Child and din’d there p.m.  Visited Adonijah Rice who is still weak and low; his Case dubious.  Catechiz’d at the Meeting House, at 3 p.m.  40 Children if I mistake not.  Ebenezer and Joseph finish weeding.  From Mr. Nurse’s, Sent by Mr. Samuel Fay to Mr. Kneeland,[1] an Account of Mr. Jonas Child.

[1]Samuel Kneeland, publisher with Timothy Green of The Boston Gazette and Weekly Journal.

May 29, 1750

1750 May 29 (Tuesday).  My Kinsman Nathaniel Parkman[1] accompany’d by Daniel Hastings came to See me.  My Son Thomas also came home to See us.  They all lodg’d here; and their Horses are all kept here.  N.B. A Most Shocking Account of Mr. William Williams[2] of Weston.  And hear of Sudden Deaths from Day to Day.

[1]Parkman’s nephew, the son of William Parkman of Boston.

[2]Williams was accused of “heinous miscarriages,” and a church council of Oct. 24, 1750, which dismissed him, found him guilty of “gross Lasciviousness in Diverse instances.”  Sibley, V, 297-298.

May 30, 1750

1750 May 30 (Wednesday).  Endeavour’d to keep Election at home.  After Dinner we Sung part of the eightieth psalm.  P.M. came old Mr. Maynard and old Mr. Whipple to see me.  Read ‘em those parts of Mr. Prince’s Chronology[1] which contains the Beginnings of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Colonys.  Endeavour’d to be myself and to make my Family etc. sensible of God’s Favours to New England.  The Lord make us truely Thankfull for them, preserve them and grant Grace to improve them!

[1]Thomas Prince, A Chronological History of New England in the Form of Annals, 2 vols. (Boston, 1736-[1755]).  The second volume was published with the title Annals of New- England.

May 31, 1750

1750 May 31 (Thursday).  Mrs. Nanny and Beckky Gott, Mr. Martyn and wife and Mr. Morse and wife here.  My Son Thomas cutts off his Hair.  He and his Brother to Upton.  My Kinsman Nathaniel went over to Lieutenant Tainters to dine there and did not return.  Every Day confirms and increases the sorrowful News from Weston.  N.B. My Wife’s Neices lodge here.