September 1, 1775

1775 September 1 (Friday).  John was so low in the Night that I rose a little after 2 o’Clock this morning.  Can do but little in my study as the Troubles of my Family increase, for Breck is also confined, and my Avocations and Interruptions by various means increased.  My Neighbour Harringtons Wife grows worse.  N.B. Another Company of Soldiers, an hundred under Command of Capt. Robert Cluggedge from Bedford, on the upper part of Pensylvania, marching, and waggons attending them.  The Junior Mr. Levi Brighams Wife, from FitzWilliam, comes in, having Sprained her Ankle.  Elijah Brigham here also.  The latter Stays and watches with John.  N.B. John having got some Sleep, has been somewhat more Comfortable this afternoon, so that I read to him some part of Scudders daily walk.  And in the Eve was better.  Thanks to God.

September 2, 1775

1775 September 2 (Saturday).  John has Slept sometimes; but 3 times has bled at the Nose.  Richard Aspinwall, an Invalid of Cressop [torn] Company, came in and gave me Account of the Country he and these last Companys came from.  He himself from [M] illsburg on [torn] Ohio.  Lt. Joseph Baker calls, and informs me [torn] this Morning 4 o’Clock, deceased the Rev. Mr. Bridge [of] Framingham; came up from the Camp last Mon[day] and dyed of the Distemper.  May the Lord Sanctifie [torn] me that I may be ready also! in such a Way and su[ch] Hour as we [think?][torn] the son of man comes [torn] May [torn] Ministers watch — be faithful, fruitful, and found so [torn].  But O that God would Pity the bereaved Flock and Family, the [sor]rowful Widow especially to Support and Comfort her, and the Children [torn].  O what a bitter Cup this of Death!  I went to [see?] [torn] Neighbour Caleb Harrington his wife and Children bad with the Dis[torn].  I prayed with them.  N.B. was Sent for, because Mr. H. gr[torn].

September 4, 1775

1775 September 4 (Monday).  Nathaniel Chamberlain has watched with John, who still continues at the very Gate of Death, yet is upheld.  N.B. One Mr. Isaac Wybird and his Wife, newly out of Boston and going to Grafton.  I enquire concerning my Kinsman Elias, who has not got out of Boston himself but was last week, accompanying to the Ferry his Father and Mother (Coverly) in their going to Charleston.  My Son William came from Concord — and towards Night returned.  I visited a Number of sick — viz. Mr. Elijah Hardys Wife and Child sick of the Camp Distemper.  Prayed with them and dined there.  Called at Deacon Woods, his Matty ill — Miss Nabby Woods — Mr. Jonathan Forbes with a Fever — at Ensign Fays, his Wife and Daughter Sarah — at Neighbour Harringtons — visit old Mrs. Sarah Forbush and prayed there.  Went also to Mr. Solomon Bathericks, who has a Fever.  No body comes to watch.  Mrs. P. sitts up.

September 5, 1775

1775 September 5 (Tuesday).  John has had a worrying, restless night.  Breck who has been confined for 8 Days, goes to his shop to day.  I visited Mr[s?]. Belknap who is very bad; as is Mr. Joseph’s Child.  Prayed with them as I did at my Neighbour Harringtons.  Their Child nigh Death.  P.M. visit at Deacon Woods to see Matty.  Mr. Ware ill of a fever [illegible] the same House.  Prayed with them.  Called at Mr. Springs.  [torn] little Son much recovered: before this time Mr. Caleb Harringtons Child has departed;[1] and Mrs. P. laid it out.  [torn] Brigham (who has lived here ever since last [blank]) watches with John to night.

[1]Caleb Harrington of Waltham mar. Sarah Miller, 3 May 1774; Westborough Vital Records, 166.  Although the birth and death of this child are not recorded in the WVR, the births of eight subsequent Harrington children are recorded.

September 6, 1775

1775 September [6?] (Wednesday).  [torn] remains in the like low Condition, but sleeps somewhat [torn] in the late times.  Mr. Jonathan Forbes Wife here on Examination.  [torn] Life of Mr. Whitefield by Dr. John Gillies.  My Son John h[torn] had [torn] Rest (as Eli Harrington that watched [torn]) but yet I think he looses Grou[torn] [weaker?] than ever I knew him [torn]uick, and attended with a trembl[torn] when he lifts them up [torn] I prayed.  I took leave; and [borrowing?] [torn]Horse rode over to see Mrs. Martyn before she dyes.  When I arrived there Mr. Whitney was praying.  After prayer I endeavoured to Converse with her, but it was difficult because She could hardly hear what was Said; and through her own weakness she Could Speak but very little; and therefore I could discover very little of her state or Frame.  N.B. her son Michael was there; and her Sister Witt was also come to See her.  Note further that Mrs. Whitney yesterday brought him another Daughter.  I bid Adieu to Mrs. Martyn with Solemnity.  I returned at Eve: Hear that Madam Woods (as She has been commonly called) heretofore wife of my old, generous Friend, Coll. Benjamin Woods of Marlborough, dyed lately of an Apoplectic fit, or a Disorder of that kind; and was buryed yesterday.[1]  O that God would prepare me for Sudden Death!

[1]Not in Marlborough Vital Records.

September 8, 1775

1775 September 8 (Friday).  Mrs. P__________ watched with John, and rose at 4 in the Morning.  He continually decays, yet lives.  Who knows what God designs?  Mr. Asa Rice of Northborough brought me a Letter from Capt. Michael Martyn Acquainting me that his [honoured?] Mother departed this Life this Morning 2 o’Clock, that her Funeral is to be tomorrow at 1 o’Clock, and that it is desired I would attend as a Bearer.  Mr. [Stone?] to whom Mr. Rice was going with the like Message [illegible] and they both dined with us.  P.M. I attended the Funeral of Mr. Joseph Grouts youngest Child.[1]  When I returned [found] Bowen and his wife, also Miss Nancy Wilder, here.  [torn] Bowen takes a Saddle of my son Johns Make.  [Paid?] I suppose 10 Dollars.  At Eve came Mr. Phinehas [Forbush?] to inform me that his son Elijahs Child is dead and [torn] had appointed tomorrow P.M. for the funeral — whereas [torn] sent them word by Lt. Hazzleton and also distinctly by [torn] promised they would faithfully bear it to [torn] for to morrow after noon [torn] they must not appoint the burying [torn] for it was dead as they came along, sent the like by Dr. Ba[torn].  I told [torn]


She being [torn] Woods — discoursed and prayed with her.  Moses Brigham watches with John.

[1]Lucy, daughter of Joseph and Sarah Grout, was b. July 6, 1774; d. Sept. 7, 1775; Westborough Vital Records, 241.

September 9, 1775

1775 September 9 (Saturday).  John, though he seemed to the Watcher, to have had a tolerable Night, yet he had grievous Turns of Coughing; and he thought it is probable he should die in one of those Fits of Coughing (but yet no bleeding for some time).  Moses Brigham singularly kind in procuring and fetching his Mothers Chaise and Horse for me to ride to Northborough.  Hannah rode with me to Mrs. Martyns Funeral.  Rev. Messrs. Smith, Morse, Goss, Sumner, Whitney, and I were Bearers.  It was also my part to pray.  May I be duly impressed with it, and have Grace to improve it!  John so bad that not only Stephen Maynard but Mrs. P________ also watches this night, it having been conceived that a little after noon he was struck with Death, was delirious and in [torn] Sweats.

September 10, 1775

1775 September 10 (Sunday).  John lives


Preached a.m. on Ps. 43


the Cup which my F. hath given me to drink etc.[1] to p. 10 with some part of Sermon on Mat. 26.39, viz. p. 13.14.  Which O that I might suitably apply!  I am now brought to the Tryal.  Neighbour Newton comes to watch.  John ceased to breathe at 10 Minutes past 10 o’Clock at night.  An End!  behold, an End is come![2]

[1]John 18.11: “Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into thy sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”

[2]Death not recorded in the Westborough Vital Records

September 11, 1775

1775 September 11 (Monday).  Neighbour Newton and his wife were here with the Corps through the last night, laying it out etc.  We are preparing for the sorrowful work of burying.  Mr. Fisher makes the Coffin, and Mr. Thaddeus Warrin undertakes to dig the Grave.  I writ[torn] a Number of Letters to my Children.  Mr. Newton carrys Messages to Brookfield.  Capt. Maynard to Concord.

September 12, 1775

1775 September 12 (Tuesday).  I [visit?] divers of the Sick, viz. Mr. Jonathan Childs wife.  Prayed with her.  Dined there.  [torn] Miss Sally Pierce and prayed with her.  At Mr. [illegible] Townsends [torn] Belknap dyed last Night.[1]  A gracious good Woman, a great Loss!  [torn] Ebenezer came.  [illegible], an Indian Boy from Mr. Forbes’s, with him.  [torn] drooping, and has a bad Cough.  Fear what the Event may be.

[1]Not in Westborough Vital Records.

September 13, 1775

1775 September 13 (Wednesday).  [torn]ning attend the Funeral of Mrs. Belknap so far as to go to the [torn] pray there.  My Son Ebenezer went with me.  Mr. Forbes [torn] (having been to Dr. [Pope?] at Mendon about her Breast) came, as did William [torn] and Daughter LydiaAlexander, his Wife and young Child — Samuel with his [torn] — Mr. Whitney came also and dined with us.  Mr. Stone came [torn] before [the procession?].  The following young Men were Bearers [torn] Uriah Brigham [torn] Thomas Stone, Benjamin [Tainter?] junior, Jonathan Fay, Samuel [torn] and Stephen Maynard.  Thus we go through the mournful work of [torn]ing our Dead.  May God almighty Support and comfort us!  And [torn] I be Ever mindful of and preparing for my own Decease! [torn] Forbes and his Wife and [illegible] [marginal notation: their sister Baldwin]  But Ebenezer went to Deacon Bonds.  B[torn] and his Wife and Daughter (though Evening) sat out for home.  Alexander [torn] and Child left us for Leicester, and Samuel [illegible] greatly obliged to Capt. Maynard [illegible]


the          and same which


his Wife also was exceeding kind in Coming, and not only taking her Aunts Care in the Kitchin upon her, but labouring [illegible] there — (though there were Mrs. Spring, Mrs. Hannah Warrin, Mrs. Mary Crosby, and Suse Brigham (there) besides).  When therefore I saw that her son, Samuel Brigham, was dropt from being a Bearer, I was surprized and grieved.  My Daughter Baldwin tarrys with us.

September 14, 1775

1775 September 14 (Thursday).  Mr. Forbes, his Wife and [illegible] left us and are going to Cape AnnEbenezer goes home.  N.B. wrote by him to Samuel Brigham and Sent him the Allens Alarm,[1] which I had given my Son JohnBreck and Elijah Brigham are gone to [Harwich?] I am informed that Jabez Snow, the grandson of Ensign Snow, is dead.[2]  I visited Molly [Warrin?] and prayed with her.  She is very [illegible] and [exceedingly to be pittyed?].

[1]Joseph Alleine (1634-1668), An Alarm to Unconverted Sinners (Boston, 1703; Evans 39,390).  There were at least eight subsequent editions before 1775.

[2]Jabez, son of Jabez, Jr., and Hannah Snow, b. Mar. 31, 1770; d. Sept. 13, 1775; Westborough Vital Records, 94, 253.

September 16, 1775

1775 September 16 (Saturday).  I was taken ill with [grip?]– which obliged me to [deny?] going to the Buryal of Mrs. Mary Warrin


I              to get Mr. Fitch of


Mr. Nathaniel Whitney


The poor Woman was         her Birth.


She was in her 56th year.  She had but low attainments but


seemed         desired to be Saved by




Esq. and his Lady, on their Journey to Brookfield.


too poorly to [enjoy their?] Company or attend upon

September 17, 1775

1775 September 17 (Sunday).  Have had a poor Night.


I could a


and P.M. on Job 23[1]


know of.  I thank God for the Assistance of His  Holy


O that I might be           and prepared


Mr. Grosvenor came from


to day, and called to See us.  Tells us that


very ill with Dysentery      Another


viz. Mr. Joseph [Belknaps?] only Son of about 9 months old.[2]

[1]Job 23 begins, “Then Job answered and said, Even to-day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.”)

[2]Joseph, son of Joseph and Esther Belknap, was bapt. Nov. 27, 1774; Westborough Vital Records, 16.  Another son Joseph was bapt. May 17, 1778; ibid.

September 19, 1775

1775 September 19 (Tuesday).


Carryed Suse


Brigham home to her Father.   Paid Suse three Dollars.


I went to Ministers Meeting at Marlborough.  I was chose Moderator and prayed.  The Conversation was upon the General Distresses, viz. by the Warr, and by the terrible Dysentery.  N.B. In Marlborough Four have been buryed in a Day; three times this has occurred, and nineteen have been buryed in a week.  The Ministers were agreed to recommend our keeping Fasts in our respective Parishes.  In returning, I called to see Old Coll. Williams who has lost his Wife, son William and his Daughter Abigail, by Death;[1] also their Maid, and a Traveller — all five of them dyed there of late, and a young Child Sick at this time.  Sorrowfull [Dispensations?] indeed!  I went in also to see old Mrs. Beeman, who is very feeble, yet can go about.  Breck returned from Norwich.  One Gilbert with him, who carrys a Letter from me to Mr. Moore.

[1]Elizabeth, wife of Col. Abraham Williams, d. 9 Aug. 1775, in 71st year; Marlborough Vital Records, 400.  William d. 1 Aug. 1775; ibid., 401.  Abigail, dau.  of Col. Abraham and Elizabeth, d. 28 July 1775, in 40th yr.; ibid., 400.

September 21, 1775

1775 September 21 (Thursday).  Visit Mr. Ithamar Bellows Wife and Grand child, exercised with the Distemper, and prayed with them.  Was at Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlain juniors.  At Eve Mr. Daniel Chamberlain and his Wife were here with their Relations.  At parting I told them that I should admitt them (with the Churchs Consent) into the Church as it had been from the Beginning and no otherwise (that is, with no regard to the late Vote passed about negative etc.) and asked them whether they [torn] so?  They answered that they did and expected no otherwise.  Mr. Jonathan Forbes came also with [his?] [torn].

September 22, 1775

1775 September 22 (Friday).  Breck to Lancaster about Johns Affairs.  [torn] [yesterday morning] dyed Mr. Elijah Hardys Daughter Hannah, past 6 years old;[1][torn] dyed his son Ephraim Brigham in his 11th.[2]  This Day they were [buryed?] in one [grave?] and in one Coffin.  I attended, and prayed — though it was very rainy.  [torn] of their Children still, little [Prudence?], of nigh 6 years, is also thought to be dying.  [torn] the God of infinite Compassion Show them His [torn] and Mercy!  Hear that Mr. Solomon Miller [torn]ld of Six years lies dead:[3]  and that Mr. [Fishers?] Family are greatly distressed.  That Miss[torn] of 22, has expired; and divers others of them [crossed out] are sick.

[1]Hannah, dau. of Elijah and Martha Hardy, b. June 20, 1769; d. Sept. 20, 1775; Westborough Vital Records, 57, 241.

[2]Ephraim Brigham Hardy, son of Elijah and Martha Hardy, d. Sept. 20, 1775; Westborough Vital Records, 241.

[3]Loas, dau. of Solomon and Mary, b. Oct. 12, 1769; d. Sept. 23, 1775; Westborough Vital Records, 75, 247.

September 24, 1775

1775 September 24 (Sunday).  Preached a. and P.M. on Mat. 25.39, last Clause.  Hear that a fourth Child of Mr. Elijah Hardy is dead.[1]  At noon time I stopped the Church and proposed to turn our next [Lecture?] into a Fast.  They freely voted it.  P.M. laid it before the Congregation, and they all, Church and Congregation, [illegible] lifted up their Hands.

[1]Prudence, dau.  of Elijah and Martha Hardy, b. Jan. 26, 1771; d. Sept. 23, 1775; Westborough Vital Records, 58, 241.

September 27, 1775

1775 September 27 (Wednesday).  According to the Agreement of Church and people, we kept this Day as a Day of Fasting and Prayer.  A.M. I opened the Solemnity with Prayer.  Mr. Stone preached an excellent Sermon on Job 1.21.  P.M. Mr. Stone prayed, and I preached.  Text was Rev. 6.8.  May god be pleased to pardon, hear and accept us!  N.B. Mr. Simon Bellows’ Child, Mary, of 3 years was buryed this Morning — but I could not attend upon it.[1]  I hear that old Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlain prayed at the House of mourning.

[1]Molly, dau. of Simeon and Rebecca Bellows, b. July 20, 1773; d. Sept. 25, 1775; Westborough Vital Records, 18, 229

September 28, 1775

1775 September 28 (Thursday).  Old Mr. Batherick came requesting earnestly that I would visit his son Solomon’s wife, Miriam.  I went — found her greatly exercised in Mind — very humble — says she is wil[ling?] to be damned if God requires it.  Prayed with them and composed [them?] in some Measure.  Thence proceeded to Southborough Fast.  Mr. Stone prayed.  Mr. Smith preached on Ps. 146.4[?].  P.M. Mr. Bowen prayed.  I preached on Micah [6.?].  O that it might be to the divine Acceptance!  and that God would pardon the Iniquitys of our holy Things!  In my returning I called at Mr. Ithamar Bellows to see his Wife, [and prayed?].

September 29, 1775

1775 September 29 (Friday).  Mr. James Foster Condy[1] here and dined with us.  Breck returned from Providence, whither he went on the 27th.  I rode up to Mr. William Nurse’s hoping to see Zerviah but She expired before I got there.[2]  Prayed with the survivors.  Mrs. Cotton and her Neice, Miss Polly Clark, waited on by young [Billy?], were here, and tarried over night.  Lent Elijah Brigham my Salmons Geography.  Visit Mrs. Miriam Batherick again and prayed there, and Miss Ann Maynard at Mr. Parkers and prayed.  Sister Cushing came to see us in her way home from Southborough.

[1]Son of Jeremiah Condy, Harvard 1726 (1709-1768), minister of the First Baptist Church of Boston.

[2]Zerviah, sister of Daniell Nurs, d. Sept. 29, 1775; Westborough Vital Records, 249.

September 30, 1775

1775 September 30 (Saturday).  Mr. Ithamar Bellows’ Wife dyed yesterday — about 49 years old.[1]  She is buryed to day.  I attended and prayed.  Was not well.  Went to bed early, unable to attend Family Exercises.

[1]Ithemer Bellows mar. Ruth Johnson of Southborough, int. May 23, 1773; Westborough Vital Records, 123.  Ruth, wife of Ithemar Bellows, d. Sept. 29, 1775; Westborough Vital Records, 229.