1774 September 1 (Thursday). This is the important Day of the Congress at Philadelphia. On this Occasion the people of Southborough keep a Fast. I went to assist them. Mr. Stone began with prayer. Mr. Fitch preach[ed?] on Ps. 85.4,5,6,7. P.M. Mr. Fitch prayed and I preached on Ezek. 5.5-9. May God graciously accept our Supplications and grant His Special Presence with His Servants, the Delegates from the several Governments, and Vouchsafe ‘em Direction and Instruction according to the weight and importance of the Arduous Affairs depending! Proportionable Wisdom and understanding are from Him alone. N.B. Met Capt. Ward returning from the Meeting of the County’s Committees, who met at Wor’ster on the 30th ult. who have drawn up Resolves that are to be printed. Mr. Edmund Chamberlin has Some discussion with me about a story, which Mr. Clois told his Father concerning Mr. Bridge’s defending his not signing from my advising him to stand out etc. — but which was very groundless. Mrs. Beeton carrys her Mother, who grows feeble and weak, home to their House.
1774 September 2 (Friday). This morning was ushered in with Alarms from every Quarter, to get ready and run down to Boston or Cambridge. The Contents Magazine of Powder at Winter Hill had been carryed off — namely [550?] Barrells; by Treachery; etc. This is told as the Chief Affair. 72 of our Neighbours marched from Gales (tis said) by break of Day; and others are continuely going. My young man goes armed, with them. About 5 p.m. Grafton Company, nigh 80, under Capt. Golding, march by us. N.B. Squire Whipple here. Says he is ready to sign etc. It is a Day of peculiar Anxiety and Distress! Such as we have not had — Will the Lord graciously look upon us; and grant us Deliverance — for we would hope and trust in His Name! We send for Mrs. Spring and her two Children to be here with us, while her husband is gone with the People. Breck returned from Lancaster. At Eve we have most sorrowful News that Hostilitys have commenced at Cambridge, and that Six of our people are killed; that probably Some at least may be of Westborough. Joshua Chamberlin stood next (as it is related) to one that was slain. We have many Vague accounts and indeed are left in uncertaintys about Every Thing that has occurred. Sutton soldiers — about 250, pass along by us — but after midnight are returning by reason of a Contrary Report. Mr. Zech. Hicks stops here. Breck is employed in the night to cast Bulletts. A Watch at the Meeting House to guard the Town stock etc. Some Towns, we hear, have lost much of theirs, as Dedham, Wrentham etc.
1774 September 3 (Saturday). Capt. Benjamin Fay came here between 2 and 3 o’Clock in the morn in much Concern and knew not what to do. After Light and through most of the forenoon, vague uncertain Reports. Sutton men that had gone to Deacon Wood, came back to go down the Road again. My son Breck with provisions, Bread, Meat, etc., Coats, Blanket etc., for it was rainy, rides down towards Cambridge to relieve Asa Ware, Mr. Spring, and others who were unprovided. About noon the Sutton Companys come back again and go home, Rev. Chaplin among them. So do the Grafton men. Mr. Abraham Temple relates to me, that he, having been as far as to Cambridge and himself Seen many of the Transactions, that there were no Regulars there, no Artillery, no body Slain — but that Lt. Gov. Oliver, Messrs. Danforth, Joseph Lee, Col. Phips (the high Sheriff) had resigned and promised that they would not act as Counsellors — that Mr. Samuel Winthrop computed there were about 7000 of the Country people had gathered into Cambridge on this Occasion — that it was probable, as he (Mr. Temple) conceived, that the Troubles would subside. N.B. When the Sun run low, Our Company returned (consisting of Horse and Foot about 150). With them were my Son and my young man — all without any Evil Occurrance. To God be Praise and Glory! I Suppose Capt. Maynard and those who were with him are returned also.
1774 September 4 (Sunday). Expected Mr. Taylor to preach for me for he said he would or Send his Brother if he did not go his Journey with his Brother Crosby, on Wednesday, but heard they were not going on Thursday. But he did not come, nor any body else to help me; whereas Such had been the many Engagements and interruptions of the last week that I was but in part prepared, though it was Communion Day. Read Isa. 53. Repeated a. and p.m. with Alterations Sermon on Eph. 1.7. Administered the Lords Supper. Mr. Zebulun Rice and Mrs. Maynard dined with us. P.M. I read Eph. 1.
1774 September 5 (Monday). Another Town Meeting, upon our public Difficultys — they agree to go to Worcester tomorrow, as it is expected that all other Towns of this County will, to prevent the session of the Court under the new unconstitutional Establishment — and talk of Superseding the necessity of Courts by resolving upon having as few Cases as may be, and by Choosing men from among our Selves that may judge and determine Causes. Squire Whipple and several others sign the Agreement. Mr. Webb dines with us.
1774 September 6 (Tuesday). A great Company march with staves and Fife, under Capt. Maynard, to Worcester. Mr. Cornelius Waters from Dartmouth College dines with us. Read Considerations on the present measures with the Colonies.
1774 September 7 (Wednesday). Breck gives me account that yesterday there assembled at Worcester 4722 Persons who were in arrangements under their particular Heads, leading each Town, but without Arms: Those Heads treated with the Judges and other Officers of the Court. The Court House was filled with Committees of Correspondence from each Town; and the Door fastened and guarded. The court walked from Haywoods Tavern to the Court House between the Ranks, with their Hatts off; and then back; a Paper being Read, Signifying that they would Endeavor etc. — but this not Satisfying, another was drawn, and Read Promising that they would not Sit etc. in that or any other Court — under the new Regulation by the late Acts of Parliament. I dont understand that there was any Disorder. The List stands thus,
Palmer — 38
Uxbridge — 156
Harvard — 103
Sutton — 500
Rutland — 150
Oxford Troop — 40
Athol — 51
Western — 100
N. Shrewsbury 100
Winchendon — 45
S. Shrewsbury 135
New Braintry 140
Chauxitt — 200
Oxford — 80
Douglass — 130
Oakham — 50
Grafton — 210
Petersham — 70
Holden — 100
Paxton — 80
Upton — 100
N.B. This, except Worcester and Spencer, is the order in which the Companys Stood from the Court House and Southward, viz. Uxbridge first, Westborough Second etc. A few companys had Arms. Breck tells me also that those Gentlemen and others in the Town of Worcester who Signed an Address to Gov. Hutchinson before his going away, Signed a Recantation, which was read to the multitudes. Tis Said the people behaved with Silence, Decency and in good Order. Read Considerations of the late Measures of Parliament.
1774 September 8 (Thursday). Visit at Mr. Joseph Grouts. His son very low, but his mind in proper Exercise. Prayed there. Rode to Mr. D. Nurse’s and Mr. Childs to bespeak Cyder, which is very Scarce. P.M. rode to See old Lt. Bruce under his Cancer. Prayed there. N.B. While I was there Mrs. Beeton with her son and Team, removed her mothers Goods to their House.
1774 September 9 (Friday). Letter from Mr. Cushing concerning Ashby Land. Mr. Thomas Temple brought another from his wife.
1774 September 10 (Saturday). Yesterday a Deserter from the Army was Shott; as Samuel writes. Elias home.
1774 September 11 (Sunday). Read Zeph. Ch. 1, and delivered an Exercise for the forenoon upon it. Mr. Webb dined here. Read p.m. Col. 1. P.M. went with Sermon on Eph. 1.7 from page 16 to 28. And may God graciously accompany the Word delivered with His efficacious Blessing! A Letter from Samuel.
1774 September 12 (Monday). Elias goes up to Mr. Goddards to fetch his Books. Miss Hannah Fish here and dines with us. Mr. Webb leaves the Town. Visit Miss Hephz. Ward at Mr. Hannaniah Parkers, She being in Trouble of mind respecting her salvation. Visit old Mrs. Kelly at her son Beetons. Another Town Meeting about the publick Affairs, and state of the Province.
1774 September 13 (Tuesday). Elias goes to School to Mr. Cornelius Waters who keeps at the Bond School House, but lodges at Mr. Levi Warrins, where Elias is allowed to study. I attend to my preparations.
1774 September 14 (Wednesday). Mrs. P________ visits old Mrs. Kelly and at Capt. Maynards. I in my preparations. N.B. Asa in going to chop wood at the Ministerial Lot, sees Mr. Beeton who denys him Leave to cart through his place. My Son Breck sees Mr. Fessenden, who yields that we may pass through his.
1774 September 15 (Thursday). Breck setts out before Day for Salem. I am closely applyed in my preparations and this Evening desire seriously to Observe the great Goodness, Mercy and Longsuffering of God towards me a most unworthy Creature, in supporting me to the Close of another Year of my (alas!) too unprofitable Life. I would render to Him my most hearty Thanks for the preservations and [salvations?] and for the Favours and Bountys vouchsafed me through the Year: and I desire to be deeply humbled before God on the Account of the many Sins I have been guilty of imploring Forgiveness through Jesus Christ and Grace to prepare for the morrow.
1774 September 16 (Friday). This Day begins (through the Lords Longsuffering) my 72d Year. Spent it in Retirement. Jejun. and Prec. Vid. Natal.
1774 September 17 (Saturday). Closely applyed to my preparations. P.M. Came my Kinsman Bradshaw and with him my Granddaughter Molly (daughter of my Son Ebenezer) whom he has marryed. They have been to Providence to dispose of Potash and buy Goods — and to Stoughtonham to visit his Parents etc. Breck returns, having been to Boston as well as to Salem — tells me of the works which the regulars are carrying on at Boston Neck etc.
1774 September 18 (Sunday). Read Zeph. 2. Preached again on Eph. 1.7. P.M. read Eph. 2. Preached on Ps. 110.3 to page 22. A young schollar from Mr. Goddards, [blank] Wilkins, dined here.
1774 September 19 (Monday). Elias not well a.m., goes to School p.m. Mr. Bradshaw and his Wife left us in the Morning to return to N. Braintree. Rev. Joseph Willard of Mendon visits me. Dines here. Desires me to Change with him Oct. 2. I consent (D.V.). A Letter from my son Cushing, giving account of a gathering of people to the Tavern in Ashburnham and causing great Trouble to several worthy persons, viz. Squire Wilder and Deacon Willard; also to another Willard; Mr. C________ himself but narrowly escaping. Young Mr. Hutchinson, come from Bedford, informs that last Eve and this Morning there was gathering of people from Several Towns to Watertown, here they expected a Body of Regulars would come to carry off the Great Guns which had been moved there from Charlestown — but the Regulars which were in motion did not go to Waterton but to Dorchester neck, to entrench that important place.
1774 September 20 (Tuesday). The Committees of Correspondence meet by adjournment at Worcester. P.M. Messrs. Aaron Hutchinson and Pope of [illegible], made me a Visit. The former went to Mendon, the latter tarried here.
1774 September 21 (Wednesday). Early, and to Breakfast, came my son and Daughter Baldwin; and with them one Mrs. Livermore. My Daughter tarrys with us; the others proceed on their Journey towards Boston. Mr. Pope took leave. At Eve came Rev. Mr. Samuel Langton of York on his Journey to Farmingtown in Connecticut and lodged here.
1774 September 22 (Thursday). Mr. Langton proceeds on his Journey. My son Alexander and his Brother Gleason here and dine. Alex has been to Boston and is returning home.
1774 September 23 (Friday). My Daughter Baldwin with us, and not well.
1774 September 24 (Saturday). Capt. Baldwin and his Daughter Betsy came from Weston and dined late, here. His Wife so well as to go with her Husband and Daughter, I hope they may get as far as Alexanders.
1774 September 25 (Sunday). Read Zeph. 3. Preached a.m. on Judg. 2.10. Miss Suse Brigham dined here. P.M. Read Titus 1. Preached on Eph. 1.7, the last Clause. The Lord accept of my (as I hope) Sincere Fervency! Pardon my Pride and vain Glory, and all the sins of my holy Things; and grant Success!
1774 September 26 (Monday). In the morning went to Mr. Moses Nurse’s, and had Discourse with Mr. Nathan Kenny, who is in Glooms Still, and much to be pityed! I dined by Desire, at Mr. Seth Morse’s (to day Captain) and Master Waters, and others with me. P.M. The Company under Capt. Morse, and the Company under Capt. Edmund Brigham, met at the Meeting House and trained. By formal Request I marched to them and prayed with them. N.B. Master Waters walked with me. N.B. A Number of Boys under their Capt. Moses Warrin, trained also and behaved agreeably. After Viewing them Mr. Waters and Master [blank] May, the other school-master, were here, and, with others drank Coffee. Mr. Thomas Twitchell paid me £30 old Tenor.
1774 September 27 (Tuesday). A.M. Visit Miss Sally Gale, who wastes. Praid with her and the rather at the request of her Grandmother, who has been for some years confined from Public Exercises. In returning had the Company of John Walker, son of the late Mr. John Walker of Boston, but who was never marryed. P.M. Miss Sally Wilder, returning from Mendon to Lancaster, is brought in here. Breck accompanys her home. At Eve came in young Mr. Hutchinson from Boston. Afterwards Mr. Hall of Sutton and Mr. Grosvenor, of Grafton, returning from Ministers Meeting at Hopkinton, call in to See me. Mr. Hall informs that the Council at Chauxcitt last Week, broke up and were dissolved, without doing any thing to purpose, on their difficult Affairs. For which I heartily grieve. May the Lord pity their miserable state!
1774 September 28 (Wednesday). The two Mrs. Martyns made us a Visit — and returned. At Eve came my Daughter in law, Kezia. She came from Framingham, acquaints me with their distressed Circumstances by reason of John Southgate’s Demands upon them. She lodges here.
1774 September 29 (Thursday). Town Meeting to put them Selves into Order, in their Military. Kezia returned home. N.B. I heard there was a Letter come to them from Boston, concerning a Resolve and vote, denying the Regulars Supplys of stuff etc. to build Barracks in that Town — with which there were also alarming Reports — upon which I went to the Meeting to inform my Self, and manifest my Concern for the publick Safety, and was respectfully received. When I came out had discourse with Capt. Maynard about Beetons refusing my Team to go through his land etc. He promises he will take Care etc.
1774 September 30 (Friday). Visit Young Joseph Grout, and pray with him. P.M. Write to Mr. David Spafford — to Dr. Dunsmore etc. Thus ends another month. “So teach me, Lord, to Number etc.”