1776 May 1 (Wednesday). Mrs. Cullock (her husband gone to New York) Sends for me to see her little son, Elijah, who is extremely ill by a Swelling in his vitals (as apprehended) and I prayed there. Went to Northborough. Dined at Mr. Whitneys. Preached his Lecture on Mat. 26.35, former part. After Exercises was at Mr. Bass’s. Returned him his Magazine which I had borrowed. I called at Capt. Maynards to see Mrs. Amsden — but though I Spoke to her, She could not one word to me, nor could I turn her face to see me. When I came home, was informed that Mr. Coffin and his Wife came here, but pursued their Journey to Brookfield. Elijah Culluck dyed about 4 o’Clock p.m. Mr. Eli Whitney came at night to inform me that his Brother Nathaniel was dead, and to desire me to attend his Funeral on Friday.
1776 May 2 (Thursday). Went in the Morning to Mrs. Cullocks and prayed there. She desires me to attend the Funeral of her Child next Friday at 9 a.m. I Catechized at the Meeting House. 36 Boys. 32 Girls. P.M. My Son Alexander returned from Boston — the News that 30000 Troops are coming — 3 Destinations, viz. New York, Virginia and Quebec — and small Pox at Brookline etc. He leaves us to go to Leicester. Nigh sun setting came my Son Samuel, his Wife and Child.
1776 May 3 (Friday). A.M. At the Funeral of little Elijah McCullock 3 1/2 years old: and prayed. N.B. Deacon Wood was Seized Suddenly with very violent Pain, in his Brea[st?] Side; but it went over. P.M. I rode to Grafton to the Funeral of the late Mr. Nathaniel Whitney (Son of our late Mr. Nathaniel Whitney). He was taken ill last Saturday afternoon with Aguishness, upon which followed a Fever, and expired on Wednesday p.m. AEtatis [blank]. Mr. Grosvenor was there but could not speak louder than Whisper, so that I prayed. I called to See young Joseph Grout, who is better: as I did likewise to discourse with, Capt. Benjamin Fay, upon the Gloucester Affair. At Evening found my Daughter in Law Lydia, who has brought me from her Husband £7.9.6 Lawful Money or £41.1.3 old Tenor upon one of the Notes which he gave me. Also here is come James Hicks and his Brother William and lodge here. Jeremy with a View to living with me.
1776 May 4 (Saturday). I wrote to his mother at Cambridge about it. They leave us. Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlain comes to inform me that both Mr. Simeon Bellows’s Children are dead. N.B. Something he said of Mr. Ezra Bakers not coming to Meeting, unless so often as the Law requires.
1776 May 5 (Sunday). A.M. on the Fruits and Effects of Faith (the Subject which I have been upon from Rom. 3.28), but this particular Exercise from Gal. 2.20. Suse Brigham dines. P.M. on Consideration of the Deaths in the last Week I preached (in one Exercise) Discourse on Ps. 103.14. Gave a public Notice of the Funeral of Mr. Bellows’s two sons, to be tomorrow morning, 8 o’Clock. Stopped the Church and read the Letter from the first Church in Gloucester requesting Assistance in the Installment of Mr. Forbes. It laboured — divers made objections, viz. Mr. Thomas Bond, Mr. Batherick, Mr. Joseph Harrington. When the Vote was put, the Opposers went into the womens Seats: they were, Mr. Daniel Hardy, Mr. Ithamar Bellows, Mr. David Batherick, Mr. B. Tainter, Mr. Samuel Forbush, Capt. Morse, Lt. Bond, Mr. Joseph Harrington, Levi Warrin, Eli Whitney. On the other side there were 22.
1776 May 6 (Monday). We are informed that a Number of great Ships are come near to Boston, and many thousand Troops on board of them. I attended the Funeral of Mr. Bellows’s two little Boys, Asahel, of nigh 5 Years; and Eli about 7 or 8 Months. Prayed there — and visited Mr. Seth Woods’s two Sick Children: and prayed with them. Returned to Bellows’s and dined there. P.M. went in to Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlain junior to See a sick young woman, viz. Miss Lucretia Bellows of Southborough and prayed with her. Confirmation of the News so far as induces my son Samuel to hasten to Boston this afternoon. Capt. Morse here in the Evening to Speak of the public Distress, and of the Churches proceedings Yesterday. Mr. Caleb Wilder lodges here.
1776 May 7 (Tuesday). The News that a great Fleet of Men of War and Transports, are come nigh to Boston, abates and revives –but in this fluctuation the Hearts of many are aking, and cry to God. I read Additions to Common Sense in 5 Articles.
1776 May 8 (Wednesday). Mr. [Caleb?] Harrington goes to Dr. Balls for Hay. My Team goes, and Chamberlain goes also. They bring 400 lb., 2 for each of us. Mr. [Peter?] Coffin, with his Wife (my grand daughter) came lodging last night at Worcester in their [illegible], from Brookfield and in their Way to Cape Ann. They dined here. Their Father Forbes came afterwards and Alexanders Wife and Child. They all lodged here.
1776 May 9 (Thursday). Our Company left us. Fresh News of Fleets and Armies. At Eve I asked Capt. Isaac Phillips with his Daughter, going from Boston to Grafton, where he has lived for Some time, to turn in hither and lodge: Which they complyed with, and came in and lodged accordingly.
1776 May 10 (Friday). Capt. Phillips and Daughter left us. Mr. Cornelius Waters dined with us.
1776 May 11 (Saturday). My Son Samuel came from Boston. Says, no Vessels nor Troops are come — but the people are diligently at work in fortifying Several important places, viz. Fort-Hill, the Castle, Noddles Island etc. Mrs. Hicks, waited on by her son Zechary, brings her son James to live with me till he shall be 14 Years old. D.V. They tarry here with us. Being short of Hay, am forced to send her Horse to Mr. Nurse’s. Mr. Waters and Miss Cloe Grosvenor here. Her Brother was marryed yesterday.
1776 May 12 (Sunday). Preached again further on the Fruits and Effects of Faith, carrying on the Subject begun on Rom. 3.28, but now used that Text Rom. 9.33 from p. 67 to 72. Which may God graciously Succeed! P.M. on Isa. 55.5 from p. 149 to 155. Read the Congress’s Proclamation for a General Fast through the Provinces. Read also the Petition of Mr. Thomas Knowlton for a Contribution. N.B. at noon I Stopped and consulted the Deacons of the Church and Select Men of the Town, concerning the Petition aforesaid who advised to the Reading of it.
1776 May 13 (Monday). Mrs. Hicks and her son Zachary left us. Her son James tarrys to live here, as above. Mr. Chapman, Taylor, of Hopkinton dines here. P.M. Young Mr. Aaron Hutchinson comes to See us. Breck, Sophy and Hannah go to Mr. Grosvenor’s to wait upon him as newly marryed. They Return at Evening.
1776 May 14 (Tuesday). Samuel rides to East Sudbury and to Boston. P.M. Mrs. Townsend Visits here. News Subsides — but I hear that our people are at work in fortifying.
1776 May 15 (Wednesday). Closely applyed — but after Dinner came Mr. Benjamin Thurston. Afterwards Mr. Peter Whitney — Speaks diminutively of Fasts, and as if weary of them. Tells me he had read an Answer to Common sense, and Additions — but esteems it but a weak Thing.
1776 May 16 (Thursday). Elias is at his Books again; (though we have not near done our planting) by reason of my Discourse with him lately; yet I did not expect he would have been so suddain in his Resolutions — but I have Mr. Harrington to help my young man; and have Jimmy Hicks to do what he can in waiting upon them. Mr. Benjamin Tainter junior Post Rider — desires mine and Mrs. Parkmans Company at 4 o’Clock in the Afternoon, at his Fathers House. We rode there accordingly, though extremely against my Inclination, but there was no avoiding it. I marryed them — but obstinately resisted all their Invitations to tarry to their Supper. I am informed that there is another Marriage this Evening at Mr. Barnabas Newtons of one Samuel Gardner to Sally Pierce who has lived here at Deacon Woods for Some months past.
1776 May 17 (Friday). A General Continental Fast. I preached a.m. on Isa. 184.108.40.206. P.M. used again Sermon on Ps. 20.7. Which may God graciously accept and bless!
1776 May 18 (Saturday). Though it looked like Rain, I sat out on a Journey to Mr. Frost of Mill-River, to see whether he would take my son Elias to instruct and board him. It proved a rainy Day. I called at Mr. John Tafts and was kindly entertained. Dined at Mr. Frosts, and he consented to take him, at a Dollar per Week. Young Mr. Frost consents to preach for me sabbath after Election. I returned by Mr. John Chamberlains at Hopkinton who kindly refreshed me. N.B. he gave me account of a late Mob which arose at Holliston etc. to defend two men from Constable and Sheriff. Arrived at home seasonably and Comfortably. Thanks to God for His Goodness and Protection!
1776 May 19 (Sunday). Preached at Northborough. Texts the Same as Fast Day. But Success depends on God alone. N.B. At Eve called to see Mrs. Amsden at Capt. Maynards but she could not speak to me. Mr. Whitney preached for me on Phil. 4.6.
1776 May 20 (Monday). Town Meeting to choose a Representative. Previous to it Messrs. Haskill, Ebenezer Chamberlain and Eli Whitney came as being Committee of Inspection, and brought a Declaration etc. appointed by the General Court. This I at once complyed with Signing. Capt. Maynard chose Representative.
1776 May 21 (Tuesday). Elias went to Mill-River. Reckoned with Breck and paid him the Ballance.
1776 May 22 (Wednesday). Fisher a.m. Whitewashing the West Room. Harrington p.m. the East. Breck sets out for Weathersfield. P.M. Mr. Fitch makes us a kind visit. We have Alarming News from Quebeck. God prepare us for His sovereign will!
1776 May 23 (Thursday). [No entry.]
1776 May 24 (Friday). President Daggett of New Haven, on his Journey from Boston home, came in to see me and dined here. I was much refreshed by his Company. Thankful Warrin, widow of the late Timothy Warrin junior deceased and Daughter of the late Noah How, was here a Second time to discourse with me in order to her making a Confession and owning the Covenant. Mr. Abijah Gale came with an Order from Mr. Nichol of Monson, to receive the Contribution made for him. I delivered it accordingly and took his receipt for it.
1776 May 25 (Saturday). I was in full Expectation of Mr. Moore, and that he would preach for me tomorrow; but I was utterly disappointed; he came not. Mr. Thomas Knowlton came and received the late Contribution of this people for him; for which I have his Receipt, viz. for £4.16.10. Breck returned from Weathersfield.
1776 May 26 (Sunday). Very much disappointed that Mr. Moore did not come. I was very little prepared. Preached what I had formerly on Isa. 55.5 both a. and p.m. from page 155 to p. 167. N.B. propounded the Widow Thankful Warrin, for Humiliation and Owning the Covenant.
1776 May 27 (Monday). P.M. Mr. Joseph Appleton from Brookfield, and who has received a Call to settle there; and Isaac Baldwin, came here and lodged.
1776 May 28 (Tuesday). Mr. Appleton and Isaac Baldwin left us to go to Ipswich and Byfield; Isaac to go to School there. I undertook my Journey to Gloucester. Called at Mr. Stones — Mr. Bowens — Mrs. Bridges at Framingham. Rode to Newtown and lodged at Mr. Pidgeon’s.
1776 May 29 (Wednesday). Young Mr. Pidgeon waited on me, with Chaise and Horse, to Watertown, where the Assembly meets. Mr. Samuel West preached on Tit. 3.1. Dined publickly at the Widow Coollidges. P.M. the Convention met there; at which I attended after the Moderator was chosen — viz. Mr. James Chandler of Rowley. At Eve returned to Mr. Pidgions. Mr. Moore came there and lodged with me.
1776 May 30 (Thursday). Attended the Convention. Mr. Cook of Menotamy preached on [blank]. A Collection was made for Ministers Widows. Adjourned to the School House. I prayed at the Conclusion. Dined at Mr. Thomas Russells, Taylor, at Watertown. P.M. Messrs. Moore and Cushing rode with me to Boston. This is the first time of my going to this miserable place Since last Election time. [We went to Fort-Hill, Beacon Hill etc. Was at Mrs. Surcombs.] Visit divers others; my Friends and Relatives — as Coarser, Oliver etc. Lodged at my Kinswoman Bradfords. We put up our Horses at the Sign of the Yankee Hen. Lodged (and Mr. Moore with me) at Cousen Bradfords; She and Several Children being returned to Town.
[Marginal notation: N.B. What is within Crotchets[?] was (I believe) on the next Morning.]
1776 May 31 (Friday). Took a View of the Fortifications on various Eminences. Went to Charlestown; in Ruins — to Bunker-Hill, Winter-Hill, Prospect-Hill. Parted with my dear sons in Law. Rode to Mr. Turells, and was there refreshed, though late for Dinner. T. Appleton came here. I rode to my Kinsman Briant at Stoneham. Lodged there. N.B. Was received with great Joy; and was entertained generously.