1759 October 1 (Monday). Mr. Abijah Gale came to work — prepares Stuff for the Sealing my Kitchin etc. My Kinswoman, Mrs. Bradford and her sister, leave us to go to Boston. My Brother goes to Worcester; to the Adjournment of Superior Court there; and returns at Eve. My Daughter Sarah is much as She was. I rode to t’other House, and to Mr. Phinehas Maynards to get Beef and send by him a Letter to Mr. Lull of Ware River. P.M. Visit Old Mr. Fay etc.
1759 October 2 (Tuesday). Capt. Wood, young Mr. Crossman of Hopkinton and Mr. Nathaniel [Dean?] go to view my old Place. A.M. My Brother returns to Boston. P.M. I preached at Mr. Samuel Grow’s on 1 Pet. 14.6. Alexander brings home 3 Barrells of Cyder.
1759 October 3 (Wednesday). Deacon Tainters sisters, Hastings and Whitney, call here. Send by the Deacon a Letter to Mr. Draper, Printer, an Account of the Death of Rev. Mr. Rice of Sturbridge. For tis pity he Should be altogether un-noticed — and yet there is no one of the Gentlemen who were his Bearers that has done any Thing to preserve his Memory or record his Decease. At Eve I went up on some Business to Capt. Wood’s — Saw there Mr. Samuel Fay junior who tells me his wife is brought to Bed. I put him in mind of his Duty (to bring his Children to Baptism) and pray him not to delay any longer. He seems not to like my speaking to him — yet it was chiefly retired — and in soft Terms.
See SHG 8:775 for a reference to Parkman’s notice in the Boston News-Letter, Oct. 11, 1758, in which he described Rice as “a worthy, useful Man.”
1759 October 4 (Thursday). Sarah has a bad Day. God prepare both her and us for His holy Will! I am reading Sir Edwyn Sandys Europa speculum. An excellent Work!
1759 October 5 (Friday). Dr. Wilson here. He judges the Symptoms with Sarah are abated and that therefore there is more hopes.
1759 October 6 (Saturday). Dr. Gott from Boston. Din’d here. P.M. his Sister here. Three Barrells of Cyder; one of which I disposed of to Mr. or Mrs. Nurse.
1759 October 7 (Sunday). Omitted reading a.m. because I am going on with Observations on the Book and first Ch. of Job, which was read last Lords Day. Dr. Gott at Meeting but did not dine here. Mrs. Willis (a widow woman, mother of Mr. Pratt of Hopkinton) and Miss Mary Bradish did. P.M. I read Rom. 6. Preached on Gen. 1.27. I was well all Day — but at Night was Seized with Tooth-Ach and put on a Blister.
1759 October 8 (Monday). Was pritty much confined by Reason of the Ague in my Face. Sarah rides in the Chair whenever the Weather allows. Her sister Baldwin rides with her. We are not able to judge of her Case, only that She remains low. Deacon Tainter brought her up from Boston a fey Oyster in the shells — these she Eats with a good Relish when almost Nothing besides. Two of the Parish Committee viz. Lieut. Brigham and Mr. David Maynard to see whether I would have any Thing put into the warrant for a precinct Meeting. I prayed ‘em to put in the Article of setting my Sallery which they consented to.
1759 October 9 (Tuesday). Ministers Meeting at Mr. Martyns, but I am confined. Mr. Barrett having dined at Capt. Wood’s comes here late in the afternoon. Hence he goes over to Mr. Martyn’s. I have contracted for 4 Barrells and one Two Barrell Cask of Mr. William Nurse. They are brought here at Eve by the widow Smiths son.
1759 October 10 (Wednesday). I am altogether out of my Element that I can’t be among my Brethren to Day. But I hope I am better. Sarah indeed seems to be worse. The Care and Labour of the Family very heavy upon my poor Wife, Suse having gone to Marlborough yesterday with her Cousen Maynard. But they return to Day. Mr. Barrett returns, and brings me the minutes of the Meeting, which I write out from him into the Book.
1759 October 11 (Thursday). Mr. Thomas Frost here and mowes Bushes. Mrs. Martyn and Mrs. Minot with her youngest Child, here. We can’t tell whether Sarah goes backward or forward. Mrs. Rice sends me 3 Barrells more of Cyder. William Pierce here — I admonished him for his Drinking too hard and he seems to thank me. At Night I grew a great deal worse. Go to bed ill with a sore Mouth. Fear there is much Canker. I have considerable Fever.
1759 October 12 (Friday). I have worried through a bad night, but rise better this morning. Neighbour Frost again on the Bushes, but interrupted a.m. by Rain. Helps in boiling and filling up Cyder — a two Barrell Cask. Mr. Hall and wife dine here in their returning home. I am able (through divine Mercy) to do a great deal more to day than I expected. Blessed be God for it!
1759 October 13 (Saturday). We have the Joyfull News that Quebeck is taken by the English; which we impatiently long to have confirmed. Dr. Wilson here and dined with me. He says, Sarah, upon the whole, is better. He visits Mr. Isaac Johnson of Southborough who has a sore Hand.
1759 October 14 (Sunday). I felt but poorly but I forced the best Leg foremost and went to the House of the Lord that we might praise Him for His wonderful Works which He has wrought for His people. Did not read a.m. because it had been read already and I was still making observations upon it, viz. Job 1. P.M. though I had partly prepared on another subject (the Loss of the Image of God) yet I threw it aside to deliver something upon the Great and Joyful Occasion of taking Quebeck. What I delivered was on 1 Chron. 22.214.171.124. Indeed with New Introduction and frequent Alterations. By Reason of my Illness I omitted reading publickly p.m. I don’t know but twas too hard for me. At night by [sic] right Arm below my elbow was Rheumatic. I put on another Blister. May God be gracious and merciful to me!
1759 October 15 (Monday). Though it was a stormy and Wet Day, Yet Venerable Loring and Brother Stone made me a kind Visit in my Confinement. They Changed yesterday, and by those Means were together. Mr. Loring Speaks as he apprehended his Death was near — and therefore told me he was come to desire me, together with Brother Stone, that if he left behind him any Special Papers, we would be so friendly as to take Care of them. After my grateful Return to him for this peculiar Token of his undeserved Esteem, and humble Engagement as God Should enable, to comply with his Request, if the Sovereign of our Life Should so order it that I Should out-live him, Brother Stone asked him whether it would not be best for him to leave some Writing, whereby it might be known, that he had desired this of us? And so that We might be able to receive ‘em? He replyed, be Sure — he Should take Care to do that. Mr. Stone went home at Eve. Mr. L________ tarried and lodged. I was worse to Day than Yesterday.
1759 October 16 (Tuesday). Mr. Loring took his Leave of us: and as if he was never to see us more. Sarah the best Day she has had since she came home. D.G. I was not so well — am confined to the House. The storm cleared off but twas very Cold. Mr. Benjamin How at Eve brings yesterdays News, confirming it that Quebec is ours. N.B. A Great Day of rejoicing in Boston. Mr. Cooper preaches.
1759 October 17 (Wednesday). Am Worse, as to the Fever which attends me, and Pains in my Limbs; [betokening?] Rheumatism. I send Alexander to Dr. Wilson at Mr. Isaac Johnsons — but he has gone. I grow worse still at Night — lay on a great Blister on my left Arm.
1759 October 18 (Thursday). The worst Night I have had yet — Fever, pain in my stomach, causing Difficult Breathing. Have some sense of the Dealings of God with me. D.G. I look to Him through Jesus Christ. Alexander goes to the Doctors early — comes with him before Noon. P.M. he gives me a vomit — Epicac. mixt Turbith. Worked 5 Times up with Nothing downward. Deacon Tainter and son with Team, Capt. Wood and Neighbour Zebulun Rice, Joseph and Jonathan Grout gathered and brought up my Island Corn, and with Others to Assist husked it out.
1759 October 19 (Friday). Had a very bad Night last, the worst of any yet, this sickness. It was by reason of the Fever, and a most terrible oppression at my stomack, which gave me great pain in drawing my Breath — held me for 2 Hours in the Dead of Night, but either by taking a Portion of Polychriston, or putting on Rie Cakes, to my [Face?], or rather by the merciful Hand of God with them, I was greatly relieved, and about one o’Clock could lie on my right side and went to sleep for some time. But still it was a tedious Night. This morning Alexander went again to Dr. Wilson to acquaint him with what had occurred, and to desire another Visit. Deacon Tainter here a.m. I write to young Mr. Dorr, to desire him to preach for me next Lords Day; and Deacon undertakes to carry it. I feel exceeding poorly to Day, and wait the Will of God! The Doctor came, judges with me that there are Pripneumonic sumptions. He takes away about 5 ounces, or not more he thinks than 6, of Blood. Orders a Blister on my left side, and leaves me to take plentifully of Volatiles. [60?] Drops every three or 4 ho. He desires Counsel — Dr. Morse of Sutton — and Dr. Hemingway of Framingham. I obtained Neighbour Hezekiah Pratt to go for the former. No body goes for the latter. I somewhat dreaded the Night — but
1759 October 20 (Saturday). Through the divine Mercy I had considerable rest, though fever, pain etc. The Peripneum. symptoms much abated. D.G. And feel somewhat comfortable. Deacon Tainter brings Letter from Mr. Dorr that he is engaged for next Lords Day. But will come the soonest he can. P.M. Dr. Morse and Dr. Wilson here and dine. Neighbour Pratt with them. The Doctors retire and consult: they advise to go on in the Course I am in, except if the Symptoms of Peripneum. return, to renew Bleeding. Mr. N. Whitney here. Mrs. Lucy Forb. kindly helps us p.m. But the main matter Is God with Me!
1759 October 21 (Sunday). A sorrowful Sabbath yet I felt somewhat Comfortable for one so ill. No meeting at this Meeting House. Suse rides with Alexander in our old Chair to Mr. Martyn’s Meeting. He preached on Heb. 6.1-9 and on Mat. 13.44. O might I and each of us who are detained from the Sanctuary have our Hearts there, and enjoy communion with them that we may also have a Blessing thence. Not a good Night and Sarah poorly.
1759 October 22 (Monday). Mr. Barrett and Dr. Wilson dined here. Mr. Martyn came p.m. I felt stronger and livelier to Day. D.G. Mr. Barrett pray’d with us. N.B. The Doctor informs that Master Nathaniel [sic] Stone of Southborough is sick. Sarah is not quite so ill as yesterday. N.B. our Changes!
The Precinct met upon the Affair of settling my Sallery, or doing as they used to. I wrote a paper — but was obliged to break it off abruptly. Sent it by Deacon Bond — told him to let them know if they Should proceed again to Vote against my Request, it would look to me as if they took me at a great Disadvantage, being I was now sick and unable to hold any Contest — had rather in that Case they would adjourn that there might be a more fair Opportunity. Yet at night came in a Number who told me what they had done, and that it was as last Year, viz. 500£ old Tenor and I take Care of getting my Wood my self. The men were Messrs. Phinehas Hardy (who was moderator of the Meeting), David Maynard and Brother Ebenezer Maynard, Cornelius Biglow, Richard Barns, and D. Batheric. Deacon Tainter had striven to get my Corn Field behind the Meeting House together but others would not exert themselves as he — he got one Load to the place for husking — but Rain came upon it in the Night.
Upon the whole, I desire to take a humble Notice of the holy Hand of God upon me and my Circumstances. Do endeavour to possess my soul in patience, and committ my self to him that judgeth righteously.
1759 October 23 (Tuesday). I had a poor Night, feverish etc. A poor Day followed. Could read or write but very little. At Night my wife sent by Deacon Tainter to Boston. Sarah mends again. D.G.
1759 October 24 (Wednesday). Another feverish, disquieted Night. Mr. David Witt of Brookfield here and informs that Last Saturday Night Mr. Forb. returned home. Mr. Samuel Williams made me a visit p.m. He seems concerned about his soul. At night came my Kinswoman Mrs. Wilkins of Sonhegan and two of her sons: John and Daniel. We were so ill and so full we could not without Difficulty lodge them. Mrs. Wilkins lodged here but I sent her sons to Capt. Woods. My Kinswomans Company, though Joyfull to me, proved too much for me. I had a very feverish and uncomfortable night. Both the Young Children were ill and troublesome in the Night — I mean Hannah and Jeduthun.
1759 October 25 (Thursday). Mrs. Wilkins and her sons broke fast here and then went up to Grafton to go to Meeting there. Lucy, Alexander and John to Mr. Martyns Meeting, it being Publick Thanksgiving for taking Quebeck, but I am as a broken Instrument and sorrowfully laid by! But I endeavour to Praise God with all my Heart. May the Lord be pleased graciously to accept out Offerings. And may we never forget our Obligations. O when shall the strong Holds of [satan?] in our souls be destroyed and when shall we obtain complete victory over our spiritual Foes! O Glorious Con[queror?] and Saviour hasten that illustrious Time! At Eve Nahum Eager came to See his Mistress, Baldwin.
1759 October 26 (Friday). I have had a better Night of Sleep — and yet have so sweated etc. that I rise this Morning both fe[e]ble and trembling. Mr. Batheric and his son here to cut up the rest of my Indian Corn, behind the Meeting House. Mr. Smith came to see me, dined here — prayed with us. Dr. Wilson to see me. From what I feel to Day, I am more in fear of a relaxtion and that it may not soon go off. At Evening was a Strange Sight. Esq. Baker came to see me, with Mr. Nathaniel Whitney. The Squires coming is the more observable because he has not made me any Thing of a Visit, these several Years. Mr. Phinehas Hardy here in order to his going to Mendon for Mr. Dorr to preach next sabbath.
1759 October 27 (Saturday). Through the divine Goodness I feel better this Morning than I have a good while. D.G. I Send by Mr. Phinehas Hardy, a Letter I wrote yesterday to Mr. Dorr junior to come and preach for me to morrow. P.M. they came; and Mr. Dorr lodges here. My Daughter Sarah is better — but I am my Self very much at a Stay; being feverish and weak.
1759 October 28 (Sunday). The Sabbath is the Queen of Days: May it ever be my souls Delight! I bless God that though I can’t go to meeting my self here is a Servant of God to preach in my Stead, and therefore both my Family and Flock may have the Benefit of Gods Word. Mr. Dorr preaches a.m. and p.m. on Mat. 3.1.2. Capt. Maynards Wife dines here. I feel but poorly Still, but I pray God who has heretofore relieved me, to grant his divine Compassions towards me! I sat up too late this Evening and had but a poor Night — but especially by reason of the little Children Hannah and Jeduthun, that are very troublesome, having bad Laxes. Mr. Dorr lodges here.
1759 October 29 (Monday). Mr. Dorr left us. Persis Rice assists my Wife and dines here. Mr. Zebulun Rice in the Name of the Committee lay in with Mr. Dorr to come and preach again if they need. P.[M.] Messrs. Fish and Manning visit me. The former prays: the Latter delivers me a Letter from Mr. Forbush inclosing his Letter to his people at the Time that I preached the Lecture in Brookfield. Mr. Biglow brought 6 Barrells which he has made for me. At Eve Rev. Mr. Campbell but pursues his Journey downward.
1759 October 30 (Tuesday). Deacon Tainter at Evening tells me Nahum Ball (son of the late Mr. James Ball) AEt. 29 dyed yesterday. I am still poorly.
1759 October 31 (Wednesday). Master Fessenden — he tells us young Mr. Nathaniel [sic] Stone of Southborough is dead — a most sorrowful stroke! The Lord support my dear Brother under this heavy Dispensation! I am still feverish and confined to the House: and have not comfortable Nights. Mr. Cordwell, his wife and Miss Ruth Hicks here.