1759 December 1 (Saturday). My Son Baldwin with us. P.M. Nahum Eager, and Nathaniel and Levi Allen here. Nahum brings the heavy Tidings that Billy is dead. A very humbling and Shocking stroke if true! The Lord fit and prepare us for what He shall please to inflict!
1759 December 2 (Sunday). Omitted Reading in Publick. Preached a.m. on Mal. 3.7 from p. 45 to 52. P.M. on Ps. 39.9. Administered the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Cousen Maynard dines here as do Deacon Tainter and his Wife. My son Baldwin with us at the Lords Table. The Air very frosty. The Night Windy and very Cold. May we fear God with whom is terrible Majesty! O that Since the Lord has favour’d me once more with Opportunity to renew my Dedication to Him at the holy Communion I may now live to His Gory and advance His Kingdom!
1759 December 3 (Monday). It is now so exceeding Cold that I am obliged to give up my Hopes of Masonry in my Kitchin this Season. Capt. Jonas Brigham, as he is to day, invites me to dine at Capt. Woods where New Commissions are to be given out. Mr. Martyn and Mr. Smith here, and putting up their Horses here, we all walk up to the place appointed. We dined there very late. Mr. Fish and Mr. Hutchinson there. N.B. Mr. Cushing was not there. I [craved?], and Mr. Martyn returned. 48 or 49 Commissions were given out. I desired the Coll. (Artemas Ward Esq.) to apprize the Men beforehand, of what the Oaths were they were going to take, and if they did not understand the Expressions used, they might have the Opportunity to Enquire into the Meaning of them. He was So good as to comply with this. The Oaths were first read over: and then he told them that if there was any one that was in any Difficulty about what was contained therein or the Phrases used, he might have it explained to him. He said there were Gentlemen present that were able to do it. But no body Answered — so that the Oaths were administered. N.B. I delivered my Hatt to Capt. Wood to keep and safely deliver to me again — but somebody took it away and I wore Capt. Woods Home. N.B. Mr. Fish and Maj. Spring give me the sorrowful Confirmations of the unhappy Fall of poor Mr. Manning at Uxbridge. Deacon Tainter Two Loads of Wood.
1759 December 4 (Tuesday). Notwithstanding the Cold I rode (my Daughter Suse with me) to the Private Meeting at the Widow Forbush’s, and at Old Deacon Forbushs, Request. There were but few there. Of men, only the Deacons and Mr. Martyn Pratt; Mr. Israel Walker of Hopkinton fell in also Occasionally. I preached on Joh. 17.4. N.B. Mr. Baldwin rode to Rutland and from Shrewsbury wrote me a Comfortable Letter that Billy was at Springfield last Saturday — but Mr. Joseph Chattuck (now of Brookfield, and who had Miss Thankfull Watson with him) by whom the Letter was brought says he is at Brookfield. N.B. I send my watch by Mr. Chattuck to Mr. Moses Peck.
1759 December 5 (Wednesday). My Son Billy (Glory and Praise to God!) came home well and dined with us. P.M. I visited at Mr. Abraham Beemans, the widow Adams’s, and Lieut. Bruce’s. Read winter Evenings Entertainment, Vol. 2 (dispatched the first Vol. some time ago).
1759 December 6 (Thursday). I received a Barrell of Flower from Brother Parkman, which Neighbour Moses Nurse brought up from Brother Samuels. Deacon Tainter another Load of Wood.
1759 December 7 (Friday). Last Night came Mr. Baldwin from Brookfield. Brings a Letter from Mr. Forb. in which he shews his great surprize and deep Grief at hearing the Hints about Mr. Manning, but is unbelieving. Wrote to Brother Samuel concerning the Death of Thomas and Return of William. Mr. Isaac Pratt leaves here 9 Johannes and four Dollars for Mr. Joseph Chaddock, which I delivered to him, and received his Receipt.
1759 December 8 (Saturday). Mr. Timothy Warrin a Load of Wood a.m. Mr. Tainter another p.m. We have thirteen in Family — and no Beef provided nor brought in except a piece Mr. Hezekiah Pratt brings to roast (he says) for Billys coming home. Our Cows give but little Milk. No body engages to get my Wood. Nor have we any Tallow. My Wife sends to Capt. Fays Wife to spare her some (for money) and she sends her an handsome present of Beef, Sewet, Tallow and a Cheese. Nor am I out of Hopes respecting other needed Articles, Since I am in the Hands of a carefull, Watchfull, faithfull, and bountful Providence. Only the Lord grant me the Faith to live to and upon Him; to hope and Trust in Him as I ought to do!
1759 December 9 (Sunday). Josiah Lock early, before Day, alarms, awakes us up, and carrys off Mrs. P________ to her Kinswomans Labour; who was delivered of a son about sun rise: but my wife did not return till Night. I omitted Reading publickly. Billy desired to give Thanks to God in the Congregation for His Goodness to him in his Return Home; and desired prayers that God would Sanctifie to him the Death of his Brother. Preached a. and p.m. on Ps. 39.9, which may God bless to Me!
1759 December 10 (Monday). Got Mr. Joseph Baker to go to Mr. Jonah Warrins and view a Young Beeve. Mr. Baker returns that it is not good Beef, nor can he advise me to have her. I conform to his Judgment and Send him a Negative. At Evening Mr. Joseph Wood of Hopkinton here. His Bus’ness with me was upon the Affair of Kenebecks. 30 of this Parish, 8 of Hopkinton, and 12 of Holliston being about to petition for a Township there, and heard I was either one of the Committee of that grand Propriety, or at least a proprietor; whereas both were Mistakes. N.B. Alexander and Breck thrashed Rye.
1759 December 11 (Tuesday). I made a Visit to Cousen Maynard, in her New Circumstances and dined with her, she Sitting at Table. The Captain not there. Visit Mr. Ebenezer Rice and Agree about the Hay. N.B. Ebbe sick of a fever. Visit at Mr. Nathan Maynards. At Eve Mr. B. Tainter and wife here. Mr. Forb. came from Brookfield and lodged here. Send by Mr. Edwards Whipple for my Watch at Mr. Pecks, Boston. N.B. That Mr. Goddard of Grafton who brought me the News of Thomas’s Death Nov. 19, is this Day buryed at Cambridge.
1759 December 12 (Wednesday). Little Jeduthun having had from some Days a bad swelling under his Chin, it broke this Morning and run: we hope to his great Relief. His Mother has been poulticing it several Days. Mr. Adonijah Rice broke and dressed out almost 6 pound of Flax for us. Mr. Forb. and he dine here. P.M. [blank] Batchellour comes and brings my Hatt that was taken away from Capt. Woods on the 3d and he informs me it was Mr. Robert Taft of Upton who undesignedly took it away, and did not mind that he had Such an Hatt till the next sabbath. Mr. Forb. goes to Visit his Father.
1759 December 13 (Thursday). I rode to Mr. Daniel Forb. and seeing Persis Crosby there, and near her Time, yet neither marryed nor published, I had some further discourse with her. I dined at Ensign now Lieutenant Harringtons. My son Forb. I hear is gone to Upton, and Uxbridge to See Mr. Manning. I visited Monsieur LeBlanc. At Eve Deacon Tainter came to see me to discourse about the still sorrowful Condition of the people of North-Sutton; he having been lately at Mr. Welmans and at his sons. The Deacon wants I Should write to him, that he may’nt be stiff with his Antagonist, nor make such sharp Remarks upon their Letters to him. But I fear my engaging in it will make the matter worse. At Eve the Widow of the late Mr. Noah How was here and I delivered to her her Husbands Will.
1759 December 14 (Friday). Mr. Edwards Whipple brings my Watch from Mr. Peck of Boston and paid him 25/ old Tenor for what he did in cleaning etc. P.M. Mr. Forb. returned and gave me an Account of poor Mr. Manning. And find by him that though he has been foolishly free with the woman, yet that he had not lain with her but that She acknowledges to him she is with Child by another Man. Blessed be God, that He has granted such Measure of His restraining Grace to him! But alas! That the poor man has been so left, and so beguiled! And that there is so great Dishonour to Religion on his Account! Mr. Forb. takes with him Dr. Edwards Theol. Reform. and Dr. Doddridge’s 6th Vol. of Family Instructor.
1759 December 15 (Saturday). Sorrowful News of the Death of Mr. Thomas Ball of Brookfield, at Waltham, by the Wheel of his Cart running over him. May God prepare me for sudden Death! Besides the Account given by Mr. Gale who din’d with us, my Son Baldwin (who returned from Boston, and came nigh sunsetting) confirmed it; and Said he saw the Corps.
1759 December 16 (Sunday). A Cold Day. I omitted public Reading forenoon and afternoon. Preached a.m. on 1 Sam. 3.18, last Clause, only as a decent Introduction to another Exercise on the Subject of Resignation and Submission under Affliction. P.M. On the Occasion of Mr. Thomas Balls Sudden Death I repeated a sermon on 1 Cor., former part. [“Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.”] At Eve read Mr. Eliots sermon on Ps. 126, Oct. 25 last.
Andrew Eliot, A sermon preached October 25th. 1759. Being a day of public thanksgiving appointed by authority, for the success of the British arms this year; especially in the reduction of Quebec, the capital of Canada (Boston: Daniel and John Kneeland, 1759; Evans 8343)
1759 December 17 (Monday). After a great deal of Debate with my Son Baldwin respecting the Terms of Billys living with him; in which I manifested my great dissatisfaction with Mr. B.’s having the Wages of this last year as he had of the year before. My backwardness to comply with the Proposal to me to bind him unless, he might at least be made equal with the other ‘Prentice that did go out in the service (viz. Daniel Wyman) upon Billys consenting if he would pay for a Gun for him, and being desirous to be bound, Mr. B. paying him now in Cash all his Extra Wages as his Clerk, the Indentures were filled up and Signed reciprocally. These Things were not accomplished till after noon. Then Cold as it was Mr. B., my Daughter and their son took leave to go as far as they could upon their Journey to Brookfield. N.B. They went in a New Chair which he had bought last week. Mr. William Nurse came p.m. and I went over to Neighbour Moses Nurse to settle the Affair of the Barrells which I had of his Uncle and those which he had of me. I made a Visit to Mrs. Rolf in her loneliness. At Eve came Brother Hicks, who tarryed with us. N.B. He is going down with a Petition to the Commissioners about Land Bank Affair again. I oblige him with drawing it over for him; and hope his being further assessed will be prevented.
1759 December 18 (Tuesday). Squire Baker goes to Boston to meet two others, Messrs. Daniel Miller and Joseph Wood, a Committee of the Petitioners of this Town, Hopkinton and Holliston, for a Township on Kennebeck River. I wrote by Brother Hicks (who left us this Morning) to my Brother Samuel if it lies in his Power, to further their Petition.
1759 December 19 (Wednesday). Billy rides my Mare to Rutland, and is from Thence to go to Brookfield designing to return to me again in a Short time, to Spend his Month here which is given him in his Indenture.
1759 December 20 (Thursday). Had a brief word with Mr. Samuel Fay junior as he was going with his Whirry to Boston. Deacon Tainter came and killed a Sow for me, and at night brought Salt, cut it up and Salted it down. She weighed Seven score and 15 pound. N.B. Mr. Francis Whipple here and dined with us. Alexander and Breck have been thrashing Rye. They now thrash Oates. They write ‘o Nights. I finish Vol. 2 of Winter Evening Entertainment.
1759 December 21 (Friday). Mr. Hall and Dr. Morse of Sutton in their return from Boston, call here. Brother Hicks at Night and lodges here.
1759 December 22 (Saturday). Brother Hicks leaves us to go home. Breck begins again to learn the Accidence.
1759 December 23 (Sunday). Omitted public Reading, by reason of the Shortness and Severity of the Season. Preached a.m. on Job 14, former part. P.M. repeated with Additions sermon on 1 Cor. 15.34, from p. 10 to the End, omitting in p. 15 and 16. And O that I my Self might be quickened and excited by divine almighty Grace! N.B. Capt. Foster now of Durham, dined here.
1759 December 24 (Monday). Mr. Moses Brigham brings another Load of Wood and offers to get me 10 Cord at 20/ a Cord. (We commonly mean old Tenor when we do not Specifie Lawful Money.) And I take him up at this. I read a.m. part of Mr. Pyke and Mr. Howards Cases of Conscience. P.M. Prideaux Connections. In the Evening I have the Boys.
1759 December 25 (Tuesday). Deacon Tainter, according to his kind offer came with his Sleigh or Whirrey with two Horses, to wait on me and my Daughter Sarah to Marlborough. But he had the Frenchman Le Blanc, with him to carry him to Marlborough likewise. We all dined, though late, at Mr. Smiths — and thence rode to Mrs. Woods (Nanny), to Mrs. Speakmans, but no body at home. We went to Mr. Henry Barns’s. Sarah delivers Mrs. Barns 8£ old Tenor for a Green Grogram Gown for her Mother. Mr. Barns is gone to Boston. Master Wheeler and Mrs. Speakman, old Mrs. Arbuthnot and Mrs. Instant were there. I borrowed Dr. Moss’s sermons Vol. 1 of Mrs. Speakman: and of Mr. Smith the London Magazine from Oct. 1758 to April last. N.B. Neither Le Blanc, who went to Marlborough to trade, nor Mrs. Barns who trades with him and many other Customers who come to her shop, keep the Feast of the Nativity as they ought (in my judgment) to do, considering their profession.
1759 December 26 (Wednesday). Dean Moss and Magazines. Capt. Jonathan Ward of Southborough, here and dines with us.
1759 December 27 (Thursday). Five geese and some Fowls by Mr. Joseph Baker to Boston for us. Deacon Bond here, desires me to preach at his House next Tuesday; Family Meeting.
1759 December 28 (Friday). Mr. Jonathan Fays wife p.m. to be examined in order to joining to the Church and tarrys till 8 o’Clock to my great Interruption, though I am glad of any ones coming upon this Account and rejoice in her Accomplishments. Wish they may be truely sanctifyed.
1759 December 29 (Saturday). Billy returns at Eve from Brookfield on my Mare.
1759 December 30 (Sunday). Omitted the Public Reading it being very Cold. Preached a. and p.m. on Job. 14.1. Deacon Forb. and his Daughter (the Widow Forb.), Mrs. Chase dined here. At Eve read to the Congregation a Letter from Mr. Jonathan Morse of Shrewsbury, who was lately burnt out; containing his Request for a Contribution. N.B. It was recommended by Mr. Cushing. N.B. Mr. Jonathan Fays wife was propounded.
1759 December 31 (Monday). Precinct Meeting to call in Debts. Mr. Moses Nurse delivers me Six pounds old Tenor for his uncle William Nurse. Daniel Forb. junior desires me to go to his Fathers House and Marry him to Persis Crosby — which I did. Called at Blanc’s. At Eve the Committee of the Precinct, and other persons here. They advise to comply with Mr. Jonathan Morse’s Petititon for Contribution — though they do not respecting Mr. Ebenezer Sadlers. The Year Ends with some serious Reflections.