July 1, 1755

1755 July 1 (Tuesday).  Set out from Groton with Captain John Stevens Esquire, and rode to Townshend.  Mr. Lull goes to Lieutenant Taylor in Townshend for the Plott of the Land which Mr. Lull would give me in Equivalence for the 70 acres which I lost; and he tells me that it lies on Pearl Hill about 2 1/2 Miles from Lunenbourg Meeting House.  Captain Stevens and I din’d at Mr. Hemenways.  P.M. when Mr. Lull and Lieutenant Taylor (whom Lull had chose for his Arbitrator) came, and we set to the Business.  But instead of the Lotts being on Pearl Hill as abovesaid, and as Lull had always told me, it was found in the Plott to be probably five Miles farther off, being 7 or 8 Miles from Lunenbourg Meeting House, and therefore I was dissatisfy’d with it.  It was therefore agreed that Lull Should not only give me a Deed of his third Division, but of his Sixth also, and if they Should appear to be both of them more than an Equivalence for the 70 Acre Lot and My Dammages and Disappointment — also my Expences, which Mr. Lull Should have born in finding the Bounds of the 100 Acre Lott, then I engag’d by writing to pay as the Arbitrators Should judge.  I also gave him from under my Hand to Quitt my Claim to the 70 Acres as Soon as I Should have my Equivalence for it in the Judgment of the Arbitrators.  Said Lull accordingly gave me a Deed of the Said 2 Divisions, one containing 62 Acres and the other 35 Acres, which Captain Stevens  took the Acknowledgement of.  And we agreed that Since we could not view them to Day — and So not this Journey — The two Gentlemen above Said Should take a Time and View them and Judge of them when they could with best Convenience.  I pay’d Captain Stevens 24/7 for this Day.  I lodg’d at Mr. Hemingways — but it was my great Grief that Mr. Lull went away uneasy because I would not be[ar] my Part of the Charge (not only of Viewing the Lotts when they Should be found but likewise) of looking them up.  Thus this troublesome Day finish’d.  May God please to discover what was amiss, and forgive it!

July 2, 1755

1755 July 2 (Wednesday).  Set out (from Mr. Hemenways[1]) and went to Lieutenant Taylors; who rode with me to Lunenbourg.  Visit Mr. Stearns.[2]  Meet with Mr. William Jones (Brother of Captain Elisha of Weston) who tells me he can assist us in finding the Lotts, and their Bounds which I have of Lull.  Din’d at Reverend Mr. Harringtons at Lancaster.  Arriv’d at Mr. Martyns before Night but tir’d and unprepar’d to preach to my own people.  Lodge there.

[1]The Reverend Phinehas Hemenway of Townsend.

[2]The Reverend David Stearns.

July 3, 1755

1755 July 3 (Thursday).  Publick Fast on Occasion of the Expeditions to Crown Point etc.  Mr. Martyn preach’d for me; and I for him.  My Text Ps. 51.11.  May it be accompany’d with a divine Energy to the Eternal Salvation of all of us!  Mr. Martyn preach’d a.m. on [blank].  P.M. on [blank].  I came home at Evening.  Billy, as well as Thomas, laid up with the Fever and Ague.  My Wife tells me that Mr. Hezekiah Pratt and 14 others came last Tuesday p.m. and hoed my Corn.

July 4, 1755

1755 July 4 (Friday).  Mr. Twitchell mows for me near my House, part of the Day and gives it.  Captain Codman of Charleston was poison’d lately by a Negro.  My Son Thomas has his Fitts yet, and Billy grows worse.  May God prepare us for his Sovereign Will!  At Evening Mr. Baldwin here.  N.B. Mr. Beeton broke up his acre joining to me.  He had 16 or 18 Cattle.

July 11, 1755

1755 July 11 (Friday).  Great Rains — all Hay making Suspended — Indian Corn generally very low.  Many persons here and interrupting me.  Mrs. Winchester here about her Daughter Chamberlins going to live at her Uncle Jonathan Brown’s in Watertown in her Circumstances — both Pregnant and languishing; they being much displeas’d with it.  At her Request I write a Letter to her son at Stockbridge.

July 16, 1755

1755 July 16 (Wednesday).  My Brother Samuel rode with me to Cambridge, it being Commencement.  N.B. Brother Champney is involv’d in Mr. William Fletchers Ruin.  N.B. No Boston Scholar in the Class who take their first Degree to Day.  I was almost melted with the Heat.  Return’d to Boston at Night, my Brother Samuel with me; and my wife being at his House, I lodg’d there again.

July 17, 1755

1755 July 17 (Thursday).  Made several Visits among my Relations and Friends, particularly to Mr. John Osborn, a relation of my former Wife’s.  I attended the public Lecture.  Young Mr. Checkley[1] preach’d — his Text Ps. 20.7.  He had importun’d me to preach, but I refus’d — din’d at Mr. Foxcrofts.[2]  Mr. Conant[3] and Dr. Rogers of Ipswich din’d there also.  I went to See Mr. Oxenbridge Thatcher, who had my Kinswoman Hearsys Case in his Hands: and he shewed me her Petition to the Governor and Council: assuring me he should do his utmost that she might be divorc’d.  Nigh sunsetting we set out on our Journey — Reach’d Captain Thomas Prentice’s (in time past of Lunenbourg and Lancaster) and we lodged there.

[1]The Reverend Samuel Checkley, Jr., minister of the Second Church of Boston.

[2]The Reverend Thomas Foxcroft.

[3]Sylvanus Conant, the minister of Middleborough.

July 19, 1755

1755 July 19 (Saturday).  About break of Day came Mr. Forbush and Mr. Joseph Manning from Cambridge, and went to bed here.  Mr. Joseph Woods brought a Complaint sign’d by Ebenezer Chamberlin and Mary (wife of Ithamar) Bellows; against Judith, wife of Jonathan Bellows.  N.B. Lieutenant Bruce here and acknowledg’d he did amiss on June 22 and what he said was writ and sign’d.

July 22, 1755

1755 July 22 (Tuesday).  Read Mr. Hopkins’s History of Housatunnock.[1]  Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlins Wife here, and appears dissatisfy’d at my Lenity to Mrs. Judith Bellows: but hope she went away easy with my just Vindication.

[1]Samuel Hopkins, Historical Memoirs, Relating to the Housatunnuk Indians (Boston, I753).  This appeared later in different form as An Abridgement of Mr. Hopkins’s Historical Memoirs (Phila., 1757), and An Address to the People of New-England (Phila., 1757).  The Philadelphia imprints were by Benjamin Franklin.

July 23, 1755

1755 July 23 (Wednesday).  Mr. Moses Twitchell came and mow’d for me.  Part of the Day the remainder of the upland at the Island, and part in the Meadow near to it.  Mr. Joseph Rice’s wife and Joshua Lock’s, came to See me but my Business in my Hay was so urgent I desir’d to be excus’d — and went to my raking.  N.B. There was no Hand could be hir’d, and both my sons, Thomas and Billy incapable of any Labour at all.

July 24, 1755

1755 July 24 (Thursday).  In the Morning came Mr. Moses Twitchell to mow again — he undertakes to mow what remains to be mow’d (and which is the Chief of it) of my Newton Meadow, for two Days Work, to which I readily Consent.  A.M. I visited Mrs. Judith Bellows.  A most amazing scene open’d, when I enter’d into Examination of her and her Daughter Comfort.  Mrs. Bellows constantly and very Solemnly Denys that she herself knows what became of the Things which Comfort stole from Belknaps: or that Comfort came by them in a dishonest way.  Affirms that what she says is as true as that the Heavens are over her Head and the Earth under her Feet.  Comfort with great sorrow and shame confesses She did take the Things in the Way complain’d of: and hopes and prays She shall never be left to such sin and folly again.  She says that her Mother did know of it — know as much as She did of it: and knows what became of them.  She can’t Say her Mother did burn them but very seriously and solemnly declares that her Mother told her She had burnt them, and can tell what her Mother said at the same time; and that was this, “But I will never be such a fool as to acknowledge it as You have done.”  Upon which the Mother added many bitter Reproaches; — persisting in denying what Comfort had affirm’d.  I interrogated Mr. Bellows Strictly, whether from all that he had seen and heard about it, he did believe his wife had burnt the Things?  He answered that he did.  There arose very terrible Contradictions, and exceeding bitter Charges against him — so that I was oblig’d to turn to the Children and enquire of them — as, whether (since Mrs. Bellows complain’d bitterly of her Husbands beating her etc., whether) they had either of them seen their Father Strike their Mother?  unless as He had Said he had been forc’d to do.  This was prefac’d with Something very Solemn to them and expressing the great unhappiness of Such a Case etc. — They answer’d that they never had.  The Woman oft times rose to Such transports of Rage, and behav’d so furiously that I was necessitated to rebuke her Sharply — (having us’d all manner of gentle Methods with her before), and was not able to do anything to any good purpose with her.  To my great sorrow and grief left her: with serious Advice and Charge to the poor Man and his unhappy Children.  May God of his infinite mercy and Goodness restrain, convince and recover her!  P.M. held a Catechetical Exercise to Young Women.  30 Present.  Joseph Chaddock kindly help’d me p.m. in Hilling and securing the upland Hay.  Mr. Moses Twitchell lodges here.

July 25, 1755

1755 July 25 (Friday).  Had Mr. Zebulun Rice’s Teams, manag’d by his son Adam; and Mr. Twitchell loaded up all the upland Hay; which was safely brought home.  About 10 Cocks.  Mr. Thomas Twitchell came and work’d a while, but having rak’d about 1/2 dozen Cocks, and the Weather growing thick, they both broke off about 10 o’Clock and went home.  It prov’d a very rainy Day.  N.B. The Reverend Mr. Fish here, he having put a Bone out of Joint and been to a Bone-setters.  We agree to Change next Sabbath, God Willing.

July 26, 1755

1755 July 26 (Saturday).  Mr. Solomon Prentice here.  He din’d with us.  I talk’d closely with him of his Wife’s pretence to Immorality: he gives in to it, and thinks She is, as She declares, in the Millennium State.  I also enquir’d strictly into their Sentiments and Practices respecting their Conjugal Covenant.  He utterly denys Every Thing of uncleanness, Fornication or Adultery among them.  P.M. I rode to Upton, Deacon Forbush in Company.  Mr. Fish[1] came here.

[1]The Reverend Elisha Fish of Upton.

July 27, 1755

1755 July 27 (Sunday).  I preach’d on Joel 3.13 a.m., on Mat. 13.39 p.m.  I tarried there all night.  Mr. Fish return’d home.  O that the God of infinite Grace and Goodness would grant Success!  but more especially that I might, myself, feel the Power and Efficacy of the Word of God and do Every Thing as reallizing Eternity.

July 28, 1755

1755 July 28 (Monday).  I rose very Early and Brother Forbush and I return’d to Westborough.  Lieutenant Tainter and a Young Man of his hiring — and two Boys also under him, in all four Hands, came and hill’d for me.  There were also Ensign Harrington, Mr. Eleazer Whitney, Ezra Baker, Ebenezer Rice junior for Barnebas Newton, and William Bowman — nine in all — and they ended by baiting Time.  Mr. Thomas Twitchel raking for me in the Newton Meadow, and Lieutenant Tainters two Boys help him.  Both Thomas and Billy drooping yet; and their Fitts follow them.  Thomas’s Yesterday and Billy’s to Day.

July 29, 1755

1755 July 29 (Tuesday).  Mr. Nurse going to Dr. Willson, I sent Billy with him.  And he endur’d the Journey without Injury.  Brought a Letter from Doctor to Me — with Medicines particularly a Vomit.  Cortex-Elixir Vitr. and a Saline Infusion.  Mr. Thomas Twitchell and Jedidiah Woods rak’d, cock’d, pol’d and Carted the rest of the Hay that was now ready at the Newton Meadow being 3 Load.  Had Ebenezers Team for one and Mr. Nurse’s gratis for the other.  Towards Night went to see the Ministerial Meadow which is now brown but I have No body to cut it.

July 31, 1755

1755 July 31 (Thursday).  Neighbour Nurse very ready to help and oblige me in my little Husbandry.  One Mr. Marshal of Somers, a Separate Teacher here.  P.M. I rode in the Chair to Mr. Thomas Twitchells.  Carry’d Sarah and Susan to get Gowns made.  Went to Mr. Richard Kelly to get him to reap my Rye.  We had a dark ride home, in the Chair, not without Considerable Danger.