June 12, 1760

1760 June 12 (Thursday).  Mr. Ebenezer Rice having told me last Evening that Neighbour Barny Newton seemed (as he thought) to incline to let me have the forementioned piece of land (for Rice had writ to him, of my Saying I had bespoke it, and challenged the Refusal of it, which he could not deny; and therefore would induce Newton to yield it up to me), I therefore went up to Barney to know his Mind but found him utterly inflexible.  I told him that Since I had done every thing that was in my power fairly to obtain it; by bespeaking it of Rice, who promised me (to my best remembrance) the Refusal of it and by ingenuously asking him (Said Newton) but a little while agoe, whether he was willing I Should buy it of Rice, to which he consented without any word to the Contrary, then for him to go Secretly and without any Mention of me, and desire Rice to Sell it to him, was an unhandsome, Underhand Trading which he could not Vindicate; nor would he be willing any Man Should Serve him so; nay it carryed in it injustice (taking advantage of Mr. Rice’s Infirmity in forgetting that he had promised the Land to me), and I added I did not know how he could reasonably expect a Blessing upon it.  But he remained unmoved by all I could say to him.  I let him know further that it was wrong to induce Rice to give him a Deed of as much again Land as it could be thought he had there; and by those means Strive to extend and stretch his Bounds into the public Road, as I perceived they had made Bounds actually in the high way, if the high way were (as doubtless it is) 4 Rods Wide.  But he said he should Set up his Fence, a Wall, where his Deed had given him — that is, to those Bounds.  I went over to my other House, Mr. Ebenezer Rice, his Wife and Family now going off in order to their Voiage to Annapolis.  Took Solemn Leave and renewed my Charge and Counsel to them both.  N.B. he greatly wondered at Barny Newton that he would be so unmanly as to hold the Scrap of Land — which he Said he was convinced he had given me the promise of: and As to the Quantity he said he had told Newton and the Squire, who wrote the Deed, that he was Sure there was no Such Quantity there: that as they must call it something he let it go So, because of the words, “be the same more or less,” for the Squire said, it could do no harm to call it So.  Whereas (as I told Mr. Rice) it would be likely to do this Harm, that it would be apt to make Newton Strain hard to get as near to that Quantity as he could and might induce him to Strain out further than he Should do; as there was reason to fear he had done already.  And Rice Answered that he feared it was so.  Mrs. Rice (and I Suppose the two little Girls) rode in my Chair.  Mr. Parker drove — to go to Sudbury.  P.M. I attended and Solemnized the Marriage of Mr. William Crosman of Hopkinton to Miss Susanna Newton, at Capt. Woods, his Wife having brought her up.  I returned home sometime before Sun set.