September 3, 1755

1755 September 3 (Wednesday).  The ministers (most of us) went to Mount Wachusett.  Mrs. Mellen and her Sister Robbins with us and Mrs. Mellen had a Fall from her Horse but recover’d.  We refresh’d ourselves on the Top of the Mount, Having carry’d up Bacon, Bread and Cheese, Rum.  In Descending from the Summitt we stop’d a little and Sang a Stanza to the Praise of the Great Creator.  N.B. A great multitude of persons happen’d to go up to the Mount to Day.  We saw many Horses at the Bottom, and at Mr. Keys’s.  N.B. I went to Mr. Jonathan Wilders enquiring after my Young Cattle which have stray’d but Mr. Wilder was not at home.  When I return’d to Mr. Mellens he came to me, and told me my Cattle he believ’d were at his Neighbours and promis’d he would take Care of them.  N.B. my Mare was very lame by reason of her loosing one of her fore shooes, which exceedingly incommoded me, and retarded the whole Company.  This Man had such Benevolence, Compassion and Generosity that he took off one of his own Horse’s shooes, and sav’d and Straiten’d the Nails to put them into mine, which he so fasten’d on that it held me till I got to Westborough: a nobleness that was notic’d by all, and may he be suitably rewarded for it!  A Number of us in returning homeward visited the Mine[1] — digging by Mr. Christian Angel — a German from Ypres a Town on the River Rhine.  Messrs. Cushing, Martyn, Stone and I lodg’d at Mr. Morse’s:[2] but I was greatly fatigu’d and had but little Sleep.

[1]It was at about this time that various shafts were sunk into a hill in Sterling in anticipation of finding some mineral of value.  A Brief History of Sterling (n.p., 1931), pp. 60-61, comments: “. . . Christian Angel a miner from Sweden was the principal workman.”  Specimens of ore were found to be without value and the mine was abandoned.  Fragments found in the twentieth century include plumbago, nickel, sulphates of copper and iron, garnets and carbonite of iron.

[2]The Reverend Ebenezer Morse of Boyslton.

September 4, 1755

1755 September 4 (Thursday).  Mr. Stone and I din’d with Mr. Martyn at his House.  When I return’d found that Mrs. Chamberlin (at my Sons) was deliver’d of a son on the 2nd, and yesterday, Mr. Willard Wheeler carry’d a Letter from me, to Captain Stevens of Groton, Signifying my acquiescence in his dropping the Arbitration between Lull and me: and Lieutenant Taylors Plan of 3rd Division in Townshend.

September 10, 1755

1755 September 10 (Wednesday).  Harrow my new Ground; with 8 Oxen, viz. my sons, and Lieutenant Forbush, Samuel Forbush, and Mr. Rogers’s.  Mr. Rogers and John Frost were the Men that manag’d it.  Mr. Benjamin Nichols work’d for me in Clearing at the Newton Meadow.  Mrs. Lock here with her Confession.  Mrs. Whipple and her sister and Mrs. Pratt made a Visit; Each with a Cheese.  Nichols lodges here.  Lieutenant Tainter kill’d a large Calf for me and carry’d part to Boston.

September 11, 1755

1755 September 11 (Thursday).  Many of the Soldiers of Captain Woods Company march being on their Journey to Crown Point.  I held a Catechetical Exercise design’d to Young Men — but there were only 3 Youths came besides my sons Thomas and William.  Nichols at work for me in Clearing etc.  Captain Wood and Lieutenant Bond here as they went off.  I deliver’d Lieutenant Bond Mr. Meads Almost Christian[1] for the use of those who go with him and into the Expedition from this Place.  Esquire Charles Brigham here at Eve — I assist him in Making Return to Colonel Pollard of the Committment of poor Silas Rice.

[1]Matthew Mead, The Almost Christian Discovered: or, the False Professor Tryed and Cast (Boston, 1730).  Another edition was published in Boston in 1742.

September 15, 1755

1755 September 15 (Monday).  Training Day — to See who would List, or if not Sufficient offers, then to press for Crown Point.  I din’d with the Officers at Mr. Ebenezer Rice’s.  N.B. Another Post from Albany who informs there was a Smart Engagement last Monday but that our people drove off the Enemy, took their General, and slew (as I think) 1000 of them besides, to the Loss of 130 (as judg’d) of our own; and Colonel Ephraim Williams,[1] Colonel Titcomb[2] of Newbury, among the last.  About 60 of ours wounded — and General Johnson[3] himself has a Ball lodg’d in his Thigh.  May God be glorify’d for what has been thus far done, and prepare us for further Favours!

[The following is from the Natalitia, dated Sept. 5, 1755.]

Scarce any one has ever had greater Cause to bless and praise God and yet what Heart so Stupidly Sensless and ungratefull!  and who that have Such Reason to grieve and mourn for Sin and wickedness, among all that profess to have any apprehensions of their Conditions, is So remote from this Duty!  (My Flight is only to Jesus who gives both Repentance to Israel and Remission of Sins!  O for the Spirit of Christ to qualifie me; and the Merits of Christ, His Righteousness, and his Sacrifice; for acceptance with God!  My infinite unworthiness does not drive me to Despair, while the Sacred Scriptures assure me that the Blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin; and He ever lives to make Intercession for His People — and among them are Some of the Chief of Sinners.)

[1]Of Stockbridge.

[2]Moses Titcomb had played an important role in the capture of Louisburg in 1745.  John J. Currier, “Ould Newbury” (Boston, 1896), pp. 464-473.

[3]Sir William Johnson, the superintendent of Indian affairs.  Johnson’s account of the campaign in New York appeared in The Boston Weekly News-Letter, Sept. 18, 1755.

September 18, 1755

1755 September 18 (Thursday).  Mr. Nichols cleans up Rye and remainder of Wheat which Dunlop thrash’d, and mow’d Bushels in the New broke up Land.  I catechiz’d at Mr. Joslins.  After Catechizing came Mrs. Judith Bellows and was far from penitent.  I told her I was offended with her myself — and this for two Things — namely, her ill Carriage to her Husband, and her not adhering to the Truth.  As to the first, She had the assurance to Challenge me upon it.  I therefore apply’d to Mr. Joslin who Soon confronted her, particularly with her Conduct that very Day that I had been at their House the time before Last.  Mrs. Joslin also join’d with her Husband in it.  Yet She remain’d incorrigible.  I visited Mrs. Bruce and pray’d with her.  Her Case is now fear’d to be desperate.  When I return’d home met Brother Hicks[1] and his Daughter Hannah here.  N.B. He has been perplex’d at Boston, by Mr. Elijah Collins, by means of a Bond of Mr. Oliver Wards in which Brother Hicks was also jointly bound.  They lodg’d here.  N.B. one of their Horses Sadly lame.

[1]John Hicks of Sutton.

September 22, 1755

1755 September 22 (Monday).  In the Morning Mr. Jeduthun Baldwin here — he came last Night — is going to Crown Point — and takes leave accordingly.  N.B. He tells me the Negro Man and Negro Woman who murder’d Captain Codman[1] of Charlestown, were Executed last Thursday, at Cambridge.[2]  The Man was hang’d, and was afterwards to be hang’d in Irons on Charlestown Neck: the Woman was burnt to Death, a frightfull Spectacle![3]  May all hear and fear!  especially to be punish’d Eternally in the Flames of Hell!  May my own Soul be suitably affected with the Thought![4]  Our Parish met to Day to grant my Support, as they call it.  I sent in a Memorial, that considering the Troubles [of] the present Time (by the War) I was willing to take up with what they did for me, as to sallery and Wood, last Year, if they would do it chearfully — but that I could not, with less.  In Return they Sent me a Committee (Mr. Grow and Ephraim Bruce) with their vote in the following words viz. “(thirdly) Voted and granted to the Reverend Mr. Parkman our Minister for his Support for the Current Year the Sum of thirty two Pounds Lawfull Money including his Firewood.” Sign’d by Thomas Forbush Moderator.  This I did not well understand.  The Committee Said the Precinct meant to make my whole sallery and Support to be in old Tenor £460.  I told em I did not know what my Sallery was, if there [was] needed so much support to make it up that Sum.  They said I had better go to the Precinct or write to them.  I chose this latter — and accordingly wrote to them desiring them to let me know what they Suppos’d I meant by Support for I conceiv’d my Sallery was 55£ Lawfull Money.  The Committee carry’d my writing to the people.  I remark’d also to the Committee that this was not So much as they did last Year for there was here no Subscription for the wood.  They went, but the meeting broke up without doing any thing further — either an answer to me — or about the Wood.

[1]John Codman.

[2]Aug. 19, 1755, “Phillis, a Negro woman, and Mark, a Negro Man, Servants to the late Capt. Codman . . . were found Guilty of poisoning their Master.”  The woman was sentenced to be “burnt to Death,” the man to be hanged.  The Boston Weekly News-Letter, Aug. 21, Sept. 18, 1755.  A Boston broadside of 1755 called attention to the “untimely end” of these miscreants.

[3][Additional note: Abner C. Goodell, Jr., The Trial and Execution, for Petit Treason, of Mark and Phillis, Slaves of Capt. John Codman, Who Murdered Their Master at Charlestown, Mass., in 1755; for which the Man Was Hanged and Gibbeted, and the Woman Was Burned to Death, Including also, some Account of Other Punishments by Burning in Massachusetts (Cambridge, Mass., 1883.]

[4]Chief Justice Stephen Sewall (Harvard 1760) handed down the death sentence to two slaves, Phyllis and her husband, who were convicted of poisoning their master.  Phyllis was to be burnt to death.  SHG cites the Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 20:142.  This may be the case to which Parkman referred, July 4 and September 22, 1755.  SHG, 6:561-67.

September 23, 1755

1755 September 23 (Tuesday).  Brother Hicks here, going to Boston again on the Affair of Elijah Collins: it being left to Arbitration.  N.B. We are exceedingly troubl’d by Captain Forbushes Hogs at my Cook Field — 10 of them and have been in nigh 10 Times.  I got Mr. Ebenezer Forbush to mend my Fence — and yet they got in.  I went to the Captain’s and they promis’d to Shutt them up.

September 25, 1755

1755 September 25 (Thursday).  I made a Visit to Mr. Seth Rice’s.  He was not at Home.  He is gone to Dr. Smiths.[1]  His Family greatly distress’d for him, being grown worse of late — pain’d in Body as well as discompos’d in Mind.  Dr. Smith came there.  We rode together to see Lieutenant Stephen Maynard who is Sick of a Fever.  His Son Antipas also Sick and the Family in much Trouble.  Pray’d with them.  N.B. Josiah Lock, of the Same Family, Set out to go to Crown Point.

[1]Joshua Smith, the physician of Shrewsbury.

September 26, 1755

1755 September 26 (Friday).  A Great Frost last Night.  Mr. Thomas Stoddard promoted to be a Captain of a Company going to Crown Point, was here and his son Boardman with him.  N.B. I Sent home the Three Universal Magazines[1] by him, which I borrow’d of Esquire Steel[2] of Leicester.  Exceedingly encumber’d and Disappointed with respect to my design’d Kitchin — no Timber comes from Joslins as I expected — and my Field which I broke up in June — can’t get the Fencing Stuff.  My Son Ebenezer, instead of bringing Stuff here as I expected, goes to work for Mr. How without saying a word to me of it, which greatly disappoints and troubles me.  Brother Hicks returns from Boston and lodges here.  Another Frosty night.

[1]Published in London beginning in June, 1747.  Booksellers in Boston often advertised it for sale.

[2]Thomas Steel (Harvard 1730) was a businessman who served as town clerk and representative.  In 1756 he was appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Worcester County.  See Washburn, Leicester, pp. 179-180, and Sibley, VIII, 783-785.

September 28, 1755

1755 September 28 (Sunday).  I tarried till after midnight — got home between one and two o’Clock — was but poorly Capable of preaching.  Yet I went through the Service of the forenoon reading 2 Sam. 20.  Preach’d on Luke 2.25.  P.M. read part of the Chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew.  Read with some alterations and additions Number 2 of my Expositions.  More than 16 Requests for Prayers — about half of them respecting those who went to Crown Point.  Contribution for Mr. Jesse Maynard of the northside.