1771 October 1 (Tuesday). Mr. Peter Coffin and Polly Forbes came, and presently after Mr. William Greenough and his Nephew William, son of Deacon Thomas Greenough of Boston, going to New Haven. I rode up to the widow Smiths and dined there. Preached (according to her Request) on Ps. 41.4. She also chose the Psalm which we Sung, viz. 25 from v. 4 to the End of v. 11. I was Sorry it was so thin a meeting. As to men, but 7 I think, besides those of the House. Mr. Daniel Nurse delivered me 20£ 15/ old Tenor. I gave 8 Dollars to Lt. Baker towards buying a Yoke of Oxen for me, he owing me more than enough, with this, to pay the first payment for them. Mr. Bangs of Hardwick came from Mr. Stones of Southborough to Mr. Hannaniah Parker with a message to me, which Mr. Parker sent by his daughter to go to them in great Trouble by dangerous sickness. Whereupon I rode down at Evening, found Miss Judith very low of Cholic, Strangury etc. and Miss Joanna ill of Throat Distemper. Quilla their Negro Women, also, very low of Consumption. Prayed with them — but went with Dr. Parker to Col. Brighams and lodged there.
1771 October 2 (Wednesday). After Breakfast etc. I returned to Mr. Stones — conversed with the sick, in their Several Apartments and prayed with them, took leave. N.B. brought Dr. Owen on the Hebrews from the 6th to 10 Chapter. Visited Ensign Snow and dined there. P.M. found my Tabernacle in peace. D.G. N.B. heard of the Death of Capt. Drury of Framingham, which was last night by his Cart turning over upon him.
Death not in Framingham Vital Records.
1771 October 3 (Thursday). Mr. Nathan Fisher came and works for me in painting the outside of my House: he colours it with yellow. My Fields are exceedingly infested with Creatures — both Cattle and Hoggs, both my own and my Neighbours. My Sister Cushing and her Grand Daughter Miss Lydia here. They came from Mr. Stones. Miss Judith is living, but is dispaired of: Miss Joanna worse. Quilla much as She was. But old Madam Thatcher of Middleborough, is dead. Help Lord! When the Godly cease, and the Righteous fail! At Eve Master Taylor here — and lodges among us.
1771 October 4 (Friday). On Mr. Nurse’s mare I rode over to see old Mr. Freeland (about 94 year old). Dined there. Conversed and prayed with him. When I returned found there was fresh Dammage in my Cornfields. Fisher finishes his Paintings — paid him 40/ old Tenor.
1771 October 5 (Saturday). I rode up to Shrewsbury. Got Mr. Sumner to go with me to Mr. Jasper Stone’s to View his Horses. Agree to Send him word by next Tuesday come sennight if I have neither of his.
1771 October 6 (Sunday). Mr. Sumner Preached here on Joh. 3.14, a.m., on v. 15 p.m. I Preached at Shrewsbury on Rev. 16.15 a. and p.m. N.B. Two of the 3 Brethren of the late Capt. Drury of Framingham who was killed last week by his Cart, live in Shrewsbury and are prayed for, and the Sermons Seasonable I hope to all of us. At Eve Sister Cushing came to Mr. Sumners. Afterwards Mr. Job and his Wife visit me. I lodged there.
1771 October 7 (Monday). Early in the Morning Mr. Sumner and I rode to Mr. Morse’s where we broke Fast. N.B. A great Sow of his was mad — and they Shot her Yesterday Morning. She had bit two other of his Swine. Mr. Sumner returned home but Mr. Morse went with me to Mr. Joseph Glaziers who had a young Horse of 3 past, to sell. I agreed with him for 95£ old Tenor to be paid the first of January next without Interest. The Horse was delivered to me by Mr. Glazier in Presence of Mr. Morse and Mr. Ezra Beeman, at Mr. Beemans, and we brought him away. Dined at Mr. Morse’s, and led my Colt home. N.B. Mr. Seth Morse brought a Quarter of Beef, weighed 82 — at 3 Coppers. N.B. as I came home, I found Mr. Whitney was at Mr. Tenny’s: I wrote by him to Mr. Jasper Stone that I was Supplyed with an Horse etc. This Eve came Mr. Peter Coffin from Brookfield and with him Joshua Winter. They lodge here. N.B. Mr. Forbes writes me that his Troubles increase; 16 of the Brethren of the Church have drawn up Charges against him; and are to have a Meeting on Wednesday next. He desires me to go up.
1771 October 8 (Tuesday). This Day was appointed to cutt up, cart and husk my Corn, but it had rained in the Night, was cloudy this Morn, and drizzly Sometimes in the Day that we deferred the Corn gathering but my Fields are more and more invaded by my own Cattle. A very great Affliction to me. Coffin etc. left us.
1771 October 9 (Wednesday). It was So great a Storm Night and Morn that we could not husk. Cattle and Hogs very troublesome. But, What is peculiarly distressing is my Wife’s Lameness — which is advancing: the sore runs exceedingly. May the Lord Sanctify it to us and prepare us for His holy Will. We received from Daughter Cushing dated Oct. 1: I wrote by Mr. Arnold going to Fitchbourg, an Answer thereto. At night Mr. Eli Whitney having been at Boston informs me that he saw Sophy there.
1771 October 10 (Thursday). My Fields are so infested with Cattle and Hogs that we were forced to go and begin to Cut up the Island Field — but the Rain beat them off of my Corn.
1771 October 11 (Friday). The weather being good, my Hands resolutely Set to the Cutting up of my Corn. Deacon Wood sent a Team and his hired Man. P.M. a great many more came. They brought it in and husked it out. Mr. Stone sent Peter (his Son) to call me to see Miss Judith before she expires. I left my Study, my pressing affairs, and went. She was alive and had her Reason — conversed a little. Said (as heretofore) Death was terrible. Discoursed with Miss Joanna and with poor Wasting Quilla. Prayed with them and returned. N.B. In going, my new Horse Stumbled, fell, and brought me down, but through Gods great Goodness, received no great Hurt. D.G. N.B. I left here my Daughter in Law, Lydia, and her Lydia, who came up from Concord to see us and I found here Joshua Winter who in a Chaise which Samuel had provided, brought up Sophy from Boston. My Kinswoman, Mrs. Winter, wrote me an Answer to my Letter to her concerning the Death of her Polly Langdon.
1771 October 12 (Saturday). Joshua Winter goes to Brookfield. I was grievously exercised at times with pain in my Stomach and Bowels so that I was not able to do much in my Study — but was forced to regard the necessary and unavoidable Affairs abroad. After Such a tumultuous husking — this was a great interruption, though I did not pretend to work, but to oversee it. P.M. a Storm threatening and my 3 Youths incapable to Secure the Corn and Husks, I was obliged to go to Mr. Nurse’s and Warrins for help. Mr. Aaron Lamb and Sherbiah Fay came and assisted; also Mr. Thaddeus Warrin for an Hour or more, in sorting and carrying in Corn etc.
1771 October 13 (Sunday). Read neither a. nor p.m., being much indisposed with pain and Laxness; but went to Meeting, and endeavoured to entertain them with some part of my Discourses on Phil. 3.20. My wife is so poorly She does not got to Meeting. N.B. When I appointed the Lecture I urged the people to attend thereon.
1771 October 14 (Monday). Lt. Baker has bought a Pair of young Cattle for me of 4 past, which cost me 70£ old tenor. The Chaise Sophy rode up in must be returned tomorrow, but I know not how. It causes me some perplexity. Went to Dr. Hawes on that account.
1771 October 15 (Tuesday). Rode to Mr. Whitney’s to Breakfast. Thence to Ministers Meeting at Bolton. There came Rev. Messrs. Loring, Smith, Harrington, Morse, Bridge and Whitney. Conversation was chiefly on Mr. Goss’s Case. N.B. a Court held to day, at Shrewsbury at which Mr. Phips is plaintiff against Ebenezer Bailey, Defendant for beating him. Venerable Mr. Loring delivered a Concio on Gen. 47.9, “few and evil etc.” N.B. We signed a Correction of the Draught made by the Association last meeting. It respects the Number of the Brethren of the Church in Bolton who discharged Mr. Goss, there not being (according to Mr. Goss’s account) a Majority of them. I returned as far as Mr. Whitneys, and it raining, I lodged there.
1771 October 16 (Wednesday). Borrowed of Mr. Whitney the Works of Mr. Thomas Gouge. Returned home. Mrs. P. tells me she has Sent the Chaise to Boston by Mr. Thomas Temple. That Mr. Zebulun Rice’s Wife has been here, and says her Brother Forbes has gained his Point, and his ministerial Rights are Secured. P.M. Deacon Burnap of Hopkinton came, and with him Mr. Fitch a Candidate who preaches there. Mr. Bowman of Oxford here, his Wife also, her Mother and sister came.
Elijah Fitch (1746-1788), Harvard 1765, was ordained at Hopkinton, Jan. 15, 1772; SHG 16:156-58.
1771 October 17 (Thursday). Have understood that Ensign Fays Wife has bled a great deal, and that it has continued ever since last Saturday Night. I made a Visit to her. She asked me to pray with her. I enquired for her Husband? It was answered that he was gone from home. I conversed and prayed with her. When I came away she Still (by her daughter Maynard) desired my Prayers. Mr. Sumner came. Dined here. Preached for me a very Seasonable Lecture sermon on 2 Cor. 13.5, Prove your own.
1771 October 18 (Friday). Sophy rides my new Horse to Capt. Maynards. He is Shod behind by Mr. Beeton. She returns in Safety. Old Mrs. Tabitha Hardy of Brookfield here. Desires Dismission from our Church to Mr. Forbes’s. At Eve came my Son Ebenezer and his Daughter Molly — and with them Miss Esther Watson, and lodge here.
1771 October 19 (Saturday). Mr. Zebulun Rice here and dined with us. Am informed that Mrs. Barrett at Hopkinton is Speechless.
1771 October 20 (Sunday). I again Omitt Reading a. and p.m. because of the Other Dutys of the Day. Preached on Heb. 6.19. P.M. went on in repeating from Phil. 3.20. Mrs. Tabitha Hardy, Mrs. Maynard and her son Gott. Also Mr. Zebulun Rice’s Wife of Brookfield. As Mrs. Hardy had requested of me to lay her own and her Husbands Desire to be dismissed, before the Church, So I did; Obtained it, and delivered Certificat of it to her: for I prepared what I could of it beforehand.
1771 October 21 (Monday). Mr. Seth Bullard and his Wife (who was heretofore Mr. Jonas Twitchells Widow) in their Journey to Sutton call and dine here. Alexander goes down to Framingham to carry back his wife, She having been to visit her Father Brown in his Sickness. I rode down to Southborough to See Mr. Stones Family again. But on my way heard that Miss Judith was dead. When I got there Mr. Stone informed me that She expired in the morning, the Sun about an Hour high. May God Sanctify the heavy stroke! I returned home in the Evening. Have heard that Mrs. Barrett dyed on Saturday Evening.
1771 October 22 (Tuesday). Very early in the Morning came Mr. Thomas Walker of Hopkinton to desire me to attend her Funeral to Day. Mr. Tainter killed an Hog for me. Weighed 9 Score and 11 lbs. I went to console my poor bereaved Brother. Deacon Woods wife took mine into her Chair and carryed her over, and She dined at Lt. John Woods. But I dined at Mr. Barretts. I prayed and Mr. Bucknam, Prentice, Frost, Hutchinson, and Willard were the other Pall-Bearers. Capt. Thomas Mellen, Capt. Joseph Mellen and others, under-Bearers. Mr. Barrett went to the Grave, and held up wonderfully. After the Funeral Mrs. P________ returned home, but Mrs. Cotton prevailed upon me to go to Capt. Clarks because both he and his wife were ill. I lodged there.
1771 October 23 (Wednesday). I went from Capt. Clarks to Dr. Wilsons, and So from thence to Mr. Stone’s to attend the Funeral of his Daughter. In my way my young Horse Stumbled and I fell, my left Foot was so under the Horse as to hurt me much: but through divine Goodness, he did not roll over me. Blessed be God for this Deliverance. I dined at Mr. Stones, as did a Number of Ministers besides. Miss Joanna was better, and among us. I prayed at this Funeral also. Messrs. Smith, Mat. Bridge, Sumner, Josiah Bridge, and Dr. Parker and I were Pall-Bearers — and 4 young men under Bearers. I understand that Drs. Hemingway, Parker, and Curtis had opened her, and found an Obstruction between the Colon and Rectum; by which means there had not been Vent for 28 Days. They drew up an account of it for the publick. [See the first page of the supplement to the Massachusetts Gazette, 31 Oct. 1771, for what Shipton calls “a remarkable account of the autopsy.”] I returned at even. Alexander and his Wife had been here yesterday in their return home to Leicester.
1771 October 24 (Thursday). Am much afflicted with my Lameness. But having promised Mr. Tainter to go to his House at even I went there and marryed Joseph McCulloch and Sarah Spring.
1771 October 25 (Friday). Finished the XVIth Volume of the world displayed. And spent some part of the Day on the useful writings of the Excellent Mr. Thomas Gouge.
1771 October 26 (Saturday). Mr. Stone of Yarmouth here. My Foot I hope a little better. Master Taylor also calls here, with some Account of his going to the Spring at Stafford. I rode to Southborough and lodge there. Joseph counts his time out this Evening.
1771 October 27 (Sunday). I preached at Southborough on Occasion of the Death of the late Miss Judith Stone. A.M. on Eccl. XII.1. P.M. on Heb. 2.15. Young Mr. Stone of Yarmouth preached for me a. and p.m. on 1 Joh. 1.9. I lodged with him at his Fathers.
1771 October 28 (Monday). In returning home called to See Miss Bulah Bent, and her Brother and Sisters; called also at Ensign Snows; and at Mr. Adonijah Rice’s, his wife having lately born him twins, Daughters. Joseph Chamberlin and his Brother Nathan came this morning from Hopkinton to work for me — Thrashing etc. At Eve Deacon Wood and his Brother John here. They acquaint me with Mr. Barretts Inclining and wishes to have me there next sabbath to administer the Lords Supper. But I Shall wait for other Notice than this.
1771 October 29 (Tuesday). P.M. rode to Mr. Gleasons, but in vain; he was not at home. I visited at Mr. Gershom Brighams. Called at Widow Smiths and at old Mr. Nurse’s. Mr. Daniel Nurse paid me in full of what he was appointed to collect of my Sallery. When I came home, found here Rev. Emerson of Concord and he lodged here. N.B. He tells me they are to call another Councill.
1771 October 30 (Wednesday). Mr. Emerson leaves us to go home. Mr. Schoff, who came from Ashbournham lodged here also the most of the night but before Day he was gone. Mrs. P________ goes to Capt. Maynards — but returns at Eve. Joseph Chamberlin leaves us. I have paid him 9 Dollars and including one at Election time, 10 Dollars. He wanted no more now.
1771 October 31 (Thursday). Mr. Schoff came on his Return home; and by him I wrote an answer to Mr. Cushing concerning Mrs. Winchesters Desire of buying a Cow of me which is in Mr. Cushings Possession.