1774 July 1 (Friday). Mr. Fitch of Hopkinton returning from Connecticut (whither he had been to wait on his mother) and with him his Sister Wights son John (about 13 years old). They dine here and I agree that on July 14th I will (God willing) assist him in a Fast at Hopkinton. N.B. Mr. Daniel Forbes one of the Committee of Correspondence here. Shewed him my Remarks on the Covenant etc. He desires me to let Dr. Hawes (who is another) See some of my papers concerning those Matters. At Eve Breck goes to a Military Meeting at Lt. Bakers, who I hear, is chose one of the Captains, to settle their Affairs. N.B. All those Expressions in the public News Papers which are further irritating to Authority are my continual Grief, but I would willingly, heartily, promote what ever is lawful, constitutional and consistent with Wisdom and prudence under our unhappy Circumstances, and that is our Duty under our Christian Obligations to undertake for our Relief, and for the Restoration of our privileges and Liberties, that we may again enjoy under God our wonted Peace and Harmony with Great Britain.
1774 July 2 (Saturday). Received a kind, respectful Letter from my dear Kinswoman Mrs. Elizabeth Bradford dated June 25. Capt. Bradford being then at Havre Grace Newfoundland. I rode to Southborough and Mr. Stone came hither. I went to Coll. Brighams to see Mr. John Prentice Smith who is consuming. Prayed with him. N.B. Governor Gage has issued out a Proclamation against Combinations — Assemblys for signing a solemn League and Covenant etc. I lodged at Mr. Stones.
1774 July 3 (Sunday). Preached at Southborough a. and p.m. on Hos. 9.12, last Clause, “Yea Wo,” etc. Returned at Eve. As did Mr. Stone, who preached both parts of the Day on Heb. 13.1. N.B. Young Holland a Scholar is here with Elias, and lodges here.
1774 July 4 (Monday). Holland goes to Shrewsbury. Elias goes, but returns that he may go to work, and doth go p.m. tending Hay. Mr. Whitman of Providence and Daughter, also Dr. Throops and her sister Nightinggale with them, called here. Town Meet on the Affair of signing some Draught, for the public Relief. Old Mr. Whitney and Capt. Jonas Brigham are sent to me to desire me to go and assist ‘em, by prayer and advice. Went and prayed. After prayer the Moderator (Mr. Daniel Forbes) requested me to communicate to them my Thoughts, if I had prepared something etc. I told him I had made no formal Draught: but read the Introduction and some other parts of my Remarks on the Covenant from Boston. Also what I wrote at Bottom of the Letter signed William Cooper. Sundry persons urged my tarrying and advising them with respect to what their own Committee had drawn up, but I answered that I did not care to meddle with it; for I conceived it was not safe for me to do it, Safe either for me or for them, especially by reason of the Governors Proclamation. I craved the Liberty to retire; not but that I was heartily ready and willing to improve my small Abilitys to my utmost in their service. It was asked me whether I would read their paper if it were Sent Me. I did not refuse to do that in [onelay?] for them and I said I had no desire or Intention to offend any one of them all, not the least; but intreated, and challenged the Liberty of Briton and a New Englandman: and I prayed they would not be hasty in signing every thing; I could not advise to signing any Thing Seeing there was no immediate Necessity; Boston itself had not and their meeting was adjourned to the 19th. I conceived they would know better how to conduct if they waited a while, and had better perhaps till after the proposed Congress. I observed that there was not such an Alternative as was mentioned in the Covenant, viz. of Suffering Blood-shed or slavery, unless we would withdraw Commerce with Great Britain; for by the News from Newport it appeared that their Messengers to the Congress would propose a general Address and Supplication to the King from all the Colonys jointly. Before I retired I openly declared, for the Ease and satisfaction of all their minds, that I had signed no paper of Address or Recommendation of the late Governor and that I could not but take it ill that numbers of persons had been ready to take up a Reproach against their Neighbour. When I retired, they, as I understood went on to ripen for signing, and that many did sign. Capt. B. Fay here to speak about the Private Meeting expected to be at his House tomorrow; but considering the busy season it was put by till next month. Mr. David Spofford from Townshend here, and paid Interest 15£ old Tenor and 4 Coppers for a Months Delay: and 16£ of like money principal. Mr. Caleb Harrington here. I let him know that I design to have the Pine Hill back of my House; and pray him not to interrupt me in purchase of it.
1774 July 5 (Tuesday). Read some Political pieces against passive Obediance and non-resistance. N.B. Delivered Breck 4£ Lawful Money to be sent to Samuel as part of what John borrowed of him. And I wrote to Samuel but it was not sent.
1774 July 6 (Wednesday). Deacon Stone’s and Deacon Browns Wife, from Framingham for Leicester, here and dine. Continual Reports from Boston, and all Conversations are upon the Governors Proclamation prohibiting Combinations and Covenants against Great Britain. Read various Pieces bound with Vox Populi etc.
1774 July 7 (Thursday). Mr. Whitney of Northborough here and sollicits my Changing with him next sabbath. He brought me the last London Magazines for January, February and March. Messrs. Daniel Hardy, Edwards Whipple etc. here. The former is disturbed that I would not so much as read, at the late Town-Meeting, what their Committee had prepared to be signed. I gave him some Reason for my refusing: namely that I was aware that if I heard it, I must either approve or condemn it — but do which I will, I must of necessity be blamed. If I approved of their Draught, I must have exposed my Self to the resentments of Authority which I must teach all Men to avoid: for I must teach and injoin that “every soul be subject to the higher powers” — “to obey Magistrates” — as Rom. 13.1 and Tit. 3.1. If I Should dislike it, I was aware that they would not be easily turned aside notwithstanding from what they had done. I was not o’ mind to render my Self Obnoxious either way.
1774 July 8 (Friday). Wrote to my Kinswoman, Mrs. Elizabeth Bradford at Boston. Sophy to Dr. Crosby’s. Many Reports of the Forces arrived at Boston.
1774 July 9 (Saturday). Young Mr. Hutchinson going to Concord. I wrote to my son William to inform him of Mr. Charles Lawrence’s desire to buy my Land that yet remains in Ashby. Read a Letter from my Son Samuel in response to mine by Mr. Daniel Nurse — that at Boston and other Towns, they did not conform to the Governors late proclamation etc. that it was expected there would be a Congress, that they Should sit still till that was over, and then should pursue the Measures that would be agreed upon by that Body.
1774 July 10 (Sunday). I rode to Northborough and preached there a.m. on Mat. 25.10 from p. 61 to the End of p. 68. P.M. preached, by reason of the Troubles, on Isa. 10.3. Baptized Persis, of John and [blank] Wyman. Appointed a Fast there to be by divine leave, on the next Thursday. I returned at Eve. Mr. Whitney preached for me a. and p.m. on 1 Joh. 18.104.22.168.
Persis, daughter of John and Hazadiah Wyman, was born on July 5,1774; Northborough VR, 70.
1774 July 11 (Monday). Asa, though laid by on the 9th p.m., yet is at his business again today. He is mowing the rest of the Clover between the Garden and the Road. I assisted in opening the Cocks which had stood over the Sabbath. Then rode to visit the aged Mrs. Grout, who is very low. Dined there, and prayed with them. Visited also Mr. Joseph Grouts Family, who are called to Sing of Mercy of Judgment for Mrs. Grout has newly lain in, and is comfortable, but their Son Joseph is very weak again, and wasting. Breck has a large Company (Mr. Caleb Wilder and Wife, Col. Ingersol and two Daughters, Dr. Jenisons son and Daughter) who stop at the Store etc. Mr. Hutchinson brings a Letter from my son William in which he lets me know he has no further Dependence on my Land at Ashby; and he informs that all the Aggrieved Brethren in Concord Church come together to Meeting again. Blessed be God for this agreeable Reconcilement! Mrs. Keenes, Wife of Joseph Keenes, here to desire She might be put into a way of preparation for having her Child baptized. She acknowledged her low Education — but that she was baptized, for that She remembered well her being confirmed by the Bishop of Winchester.
1774 July 12 (Tuesday). [No entry.]
1774 July 13 (Wednesday). Was much employed in my Preparations for tomorrow.
1774 July 14 (Thursday). Rode over to the Fast at Hopkinton, Solemnized On Account of the present public Distresses. I began with prayer. Mr. Fitch preached a.m. on Ps. 85.9. A very suitable sermon. P.M. Mr. Fitch prayed, and I preached on Isa. 63.9.10. May God be graciously pleased to hear our Supplications and grant a gracious Answer to the fervent Requests of His people! May the Word delivered prove profitable in the highest respects! Great Numbers of other Congregations (I hear) observe this Day in the like solemn Manner. O that the Sins of our holy Things may be forgiven; and may it be such a Fast as God has chosen! The people of Hopkinton had a Meeting after the Exercises and Signed an Agreement which Capt. Thomas Mellen shewed me at Evening at Mr. Fitch’s. I returned home.
1774 July 15 (Friday). Mrs. Cushing and Mrs. Sumner from Shrewsbury, made us a Visit and dined here. As did Mr. Caleb Wilder of Mendon, and his Wife. In mid-afternoon came My Son Samuel and his Wife, with their Child, from Boston.
1774 July 16 (Saturday). Received from Mr. Fitch of Hopkinton a Copy of their Agreement Signed the 14th. Company very frequently interrupting I can have but too little time for my preparations. Yet attend as I can thereto.
1774 July 17 (Sunday). Both my son and Daughter with us. I Read Mic. 7. By what I wrote for Expounding which, and with assistance from Sermon on Mic. 7.9, I formed the a.m. Exercise. Elias brought in one Forsdick, a Scholar from Mr. Goddards, to dine with us. Miss Suse Brigham dines also. P.M. Read Ps. 77.and preached on Isa. 63.9.10. The Exercises were long, both a. and p.m., So that I became faint and weary. May God accept and add His Blessing!
1774 July 18 (Monday). My Son and his Wife and Child leave us, to return to Boston. I Send by him Dr. Newton on the prophecys, to Mr. West of Needham; my watch to Mr. Cranch, and some Relief to Cousen Bradford. Benjamin Clark troubled with pain in his stomach and lies by from Day to Day. The Town Met again on the Article of Signing the Engagement to break off the Commercial Dealings with Great Britain. They Send their Committee to Me to let me see what they have drawn up; and if I pleased in Order to my Signing it. I sent my Regards to the Town, with my Request, that it might be suffered in my Hands a little while for my Review, and I will make them Some Return before or at their next Meeting. Breck paints the Sign of blue Anchor for Deacon Wood.
1774 July 19 (Tuesday). Mr. John Prentice Smith dyed this morning at Southborough. I read Dr. [illegible] tons Julian. Mrs. Whitmore came to Springs.
1774 July 20 (Wednesday). Attend to my preparations. Nigh Sun Setting went (according to Request) to Mr. Springs, to Visit their Mother, Mrs. Whitmore. N.B. I understand that Mr. Brimmer of Boston is at Deacon Woods, with prizers of Mr. John Woods part of that Farm, setting it off to said Brimmer. I perceive by the public papers that Mr. Samuel Hunt formerly our Neighbour at Boston, Aged 85; and that Sir William Johnson, of Johnson-Hall, above Albany, and Superintendant of Indian Affairs; are dead. May it please God effectually to admonish me of my own Dissolution! We have begun the Rye Harvest; and are much favoured with good Weather. God be praised for it. May God grant to me to remember the Great Harvest at the End of the world! That I may prepare for it!
1774 July 21 (Thursday). Am engaged in my Study — O for the gracious Assistance of the divine Spirit for who is Sufficient for these Things? P.M. a Number of young women from Mr. Edmund Brighams and Mr. Gales visit etc. here.
1774 July 22 (Friday). Breck goes to Lancaster to carry John Saddle Trees etc. I send a Letter by him to Mr. Spofford of Townshend to bring my Money which he yet owes.
1774 July 23 (Saturday). Breck returns, and brings a Letter from my Daughter Cushing. Breck relates what John met with from a Thief who, lodging in the Same Chamber at Mr. Locks Tavern in Lancaster, picked his Baskets and carryed away two Pocket Books — but he has recovered them and the Thief is put into Worcester Jayl.
1774 July 24 (Sunday). Read Nahum 1. Preached on Exod. 14.13. Administered the Lords Supper. P.M. read Ps. 80. Preached on Mic. 7.9. Will the Lord graciously accept us and bless us! Mrs. Maynard dined here, as did [Perkins?] Bridge, and young Forsdick. At Eve came in Mr. Grosvenor, who had changed with Mr. Fitch the Day past. He Supposes Mr. Fitch has read to Grafton Church and Congregation his acceptance of their Call.
1774 July 25 (Monday). Was at Deacon Woods. I find he is under many Troubles and Difficultys by reason of his son John. Mr. Fitch returns to Hopkinton by us, and calls here. He Yesterday read Mr. Grosvenors answer at Supra. Mrs. Whitmore and her Daughter make us a Visit p.m. Mr. Whitney and Mr. Bass were here.
1774 July 26 (Tuesday). Visit Old Mrs. Grout and pray with her. Visit Joseph Grout junior and pray with him. Dine at Mr. Elijah Hardys. Visit Mr. Twitchel (Constable). He delivers me 40£ 14.4 old Tenor. At Benajah Brighams and at old Mr. Phineas Hardys. Old Mrs. Kelly goes with her Daughter Beeton to their House.
1774 July 27 (Wednesday). Was So indisposed I could not freely go on with my studys. Hear that Lt. Bruce’s Cancer has eat through his Cheek, and that magots are taken out from it. The purulent Matter runs down into his Dish, and hardly to be Separated from his Food. A deplorable Case! God be praised I am preserved from such Evil! May God Support him and prepare him for His holy Will! Dr. Hawes and his Wife p.m. — drink Chocolat (instead of Tea). The Doctor brought the Towns Agreement and left it.
1774 July 28 (Thursday). Transcribed the Towns Agreement for my own use. I cannot, as it is, like it: It is ill draughted. I made an Extract from my Account of the captivating the 4 Rices, to be inserted in Governor Hutchinsons History. P.M. visit Lt. Bruce and his wife: discoursed and prayed with them. His Cancer has so prevailed that it is a sad spectacle!
1774 July 29 (Friday). Sent by Mrs. Whitmore (who goes to Milton to day) to Mr. Thomas Hutchinson for the Memoirs of Phil. de Comines translated: and sent him my Account of the Captivating of the 4 Rices. Sim. Harry, a Free Negro, came (according to Agreement), and mowes with Asa and John McCullock, at the Interval, for me. Mrs. Kelly returned from Beetons.
1774 July 30 (Saturday). [No entry.]
1774 July 31 (Sunday). Read Nahum 2. Preached on Micah 7.9 from p. 16 to the End. P.M. Read Zeph. 3. Preached on Isa. 3.9, part 2d. Would Committ my feeble Endeavors to a gracious and Merciful God, on whom all Success depends.