1780 May 1 (Monday). The Town met to read the Address of the Convention, with the Draught they had made of a Form of Government for this State. I understood that they read it over, and after some debating upon it, they adjourned to this day three weeks. May God the Fountain of Wisdom, grant them Knowledge and understanding. Wrote a long letter to my son Ebenezer at Morris Town, New Jersey to be ready for Col. Baldwin to carry. Billy and Lydia here yet.
1780 May 2 (Tuesday). Wrote to Mr. Quincy to the care of Breck, who goes to Boston. Sophy to Mr. Whitney’s and to the Fulling Mill at Northborough! [sic] I went to Mr. Thad. Warrin’s, his wife sick. I was lamed by a slab falling on my right Foot. A very cold damp season. Too cold for Billy and Lydia to go home. William Winchester out of Health still: Stomach ache, Lame in his Hips, and can do very little.
1780 May 3 (Wednesday). Sheep more than ordinarily Troublesome. My affairs are much perplexed. William Parkman and his Sister Lydia leave us to go to Concord. Mr. Joseph Harrington has been here, and tells that Providence had prevented the Committee of the Church that were appointed to go to Mrs. Adams, so that they went not, for Deacon Bond was too infirm to go, Mr. Davis was very ill, and confined by a Fever, or pleurisie — Mr. Harrington went, to little purpose.
1780 May 4 (Thursday). While much embarrassed and pritty lame, Stephen Batherick came within Reach, and was very much at Leisure. I hired him for 15/ per Day to be paid according to the old way, and he came and worked the afternoon. Breck returns from Boston, brings a Letter from Elias at Cambridge, concerning the Installment of Mr. Sam’l Williams heretofore of Bradford, Professor of Mathematics and experimental Philosophy — a marvelous time. At eve came Lieut. Jonathan Grout, Messrs. Eli Whitney and Jonathan Forbes, and are concerned about Brother Adams’s coming to Communion. I advised them to go and make him a visit, and after that let me know.
1780 May 5 (Friday). Old Mr. Hardy came in Warmth and inveighed against the Contribution for Mr. Whitney, because he has not asked any to be made for him. He is a very rich man, said he, and might take it as an Affront to him, except he desired it. I endeavored to inform him better, and chid him for his Rashness. Mrs. P________ visits Mr. Davis and Mr. Thad. Warrin’s Wife — both sick.
1780 May 6 (Saturday). Mr. James Dix came — but I refused to meddle at all with his Quarrells.
1780 May 7 (Sunday). None of those Brethren about Adams’s Matter, make me any Return. Preached on Ps. 133.12-3. Administered the Lord’s Supper. Mr. Adams did not stay to commune or disturb us. Mrs. Maynard dined with us. P.M. repeated sermon on 2 Cor. 8.7, expecting a Contribution, but Messrs. Belknap and Gale inform me, it is very much desired by considerable numbers that the Contribution might be deferred to another Sabbath; for as much as the Town when together last Monday were so engaged in the weighty affairs then depending unhappily forgot to mention it, and therefore were not so prepared as might be wished, and may be hoped for, if they might have further time. It was therefore deferred till next Lord’s Day — but advised that the Sermon which had been delivered might be improved as an Excitement and Preparatory thereto. N.B. As to Mr. Adams, I understand that he went away from the Communion because he was himself offended. Also Capt. John Wood’s Wife for some Reasons withdrew. At evening worship read the 2nd of Mr. Flavell’s Sermons on Rev. 3.20.
1780 May 8 (Monday). William Winchester left us to go to Ashburnham. I wrote by him to his Mother. I gave him 10 Dollars, Mr. Barnard’s Sermons to young people and on the Earthquake, and furnished him with various Things to accommodate him for his Journey. May God grant him Health and Grace! I have now neither Man nor Boy — but Billy Spring to tend Cattle and Sheep. Dr. Hawes, the Court being Dissolved, is returned; visits and dines with me.
1780 May 9 (Tuesday). Wrote to Mr. Moore. The Referees upon the Case of Capt. John Wood, versus Benj. Fay, and his Mother-in-law set here at the Meeting House. They are Judge Dorr, Tim. Pain and Joseph Wheeler, Esq. The Lawyers are, for Wood, William Stearns, Esq., and Dan’l Biglow, for the Fays, Mr. Sprague. The latter came to see me. I attended part of the p.m. A most unhappy Strife! May God pity them.
1780 May 10 (Wednesday). Attended the Court, part of the Day. Mr. Andrews delivers me a Letter from Mr. Whitney, concerning our Contribution for him, manifesting his Satisfaction in our deferring it, and how gratefully he will accept of what soever shall be afforded. Mr. Joseph Hardy was here, and was examined in order to his joining with the Church. Mr. Joseph Smith and his Wife made us a visit. Mr. Smith manifested his Desire of the Ordinance of Baptism for their Child; but I was in much Suspense about proceeding with him.
1780 May 11 (Thursday). The Pleading finished last night about 10 o’clock. The Judges are together a.m. and draw up their Determination. P.M. Judge Dorr here. N.B. Send my Letter to Mr. Moore by Master Crosby, going to Boston, to be left at Gill’s Office for conveyance. Pamela Cooledge of Ashburnham came to live here. Mrs. Hardy, wife of Mr. Joseph.
1780 May 12 (Friday). It is but a Melancholly Time with me. Nothing at all doing in my Husbandry, having neither Man nor Boy to assist me. The weather is indeed cold, and the season backward. Mr. Thomas Adams of Medfield came to see me and lodges here.
1780 May 13 (Saturday). Mr. Adams wants my Volume of Chubb’s Tracts in 4to. He gives me Dr. Brown Languith’s Modern Theory and Practice of Physick; Dr. Goodman’s Penitent Pardon. Judge Hale’s Contemplations, part 3, with his Life, and Mr. Durham on Scandal. Besides Chubb, he has Dennis’s Advancement and Reformation of Modern Poetry, and leaves me two Pamphlets, viz: Dr. Cardogan on the Gout etc. and Mr. S. Webster’s two Discourses on Infant Baptism. He promises Dr. Owen on Spiritual Mindedness: for which he takes with him Dr. Bray’s Bibliotheca Parochialis. Further I lent him Cornelius Agrippa of the Vanity of the Sciences. To be sent to my son Samuel Boston. Mrs. [sic] Harrington here p.m. Makes Return of their Visit to Mrs. Adams, and gives me a Paper signed by her, and the Committee.
1780 May 14 (Sunday). Although I have attempted something in preparation for today’s Exercises, yet had so many interruptions and avocations, that I was obliged to lay it by, and preached on Mat. 5.7 a. and p.m. N.B. After the forenoon Exercise, I read some parts of Mr. Whitney’s Letter to me on the 8th to the Congregation. Appointed a Church Meeting to be the 30th. P.M. A Contribution for Rev. Peter Whitney. At eve read Flavel on Rev. 3.20, Sermon III.
1780 May 15 (Monday). Deacon Wood here to count the Contribution made yesterday. It was in Notes 262£, in Money (including 5 Pistareens), 175. In all to Mr. Whitney 438£. There was also a number of Dollars which were included in a paper directed to the Selectmen, for the Benefit of the poor Cripple John Forbes.
1780 May 16 (Tuesday). I rode to Mr. Fessenden to try to put out my Sheep, but in Vain. I dined there. P.M. rode over the Mr. Whitney’s and conveyed the Contribution which we made for him in Money and Notes, and took his Receipt. I delivered him Six Books as my own Contribution, viz. Calvin’s Harmony, Morning Exercise, Pierce’s Sinner inplead, Claggett’s Abuse of Grace, Butler’s Sermons, Bradbury and Pike on Trinity. Went to Mr. Wood’s the Clothier. Returned at eve. Stephen Batherick works here.
1780 May 17 (Wednesday). I keep Stephen in planting in the Beeton Field. P.M. went to Mr. Levi Warrin’s, obtained easily of him to bear my Message to Mr. Daniel Adams concerning the Church Meeting to be next Tuesday come Sennight at the Meeting House 2 p.m. oc.
1780 May 18 (Thursday). Stephen still works for me in planting various Things, and Mending the fences etc. Went with him to the Island, to shew him what was most necessary — but at night goes home. P.M. Elias came up from Cambridge, with Josiah Brigham. The last brings a Letter from my son Samuel concerning William Parkman of Boston (son of Nat.) his proposal to buy out the several Heirs to the Mansion House etc. Cousen Maynard made us a Visit, and drank Tea here. My Friend, Col. Joseph Buckminster of Framingham was buryed.
1780 May 19 (Friday). A very Cloudy Day. It rained some part of Morning, when it held up it not only remained very cloudy, but from about 10 a.m. it grew very dark — the Obscurity increased. By about 11 it was too dark to read unless at the Window — by 12, I could not read anywhere in the House — We were forced to dine by Candle Light. It was very awfull and surprising. Through divine Goodness the Light gradually returned and I wrote this before two. Before Night, I find that the unusual Darkness has given general Surprise. At eve went to Supper at Breck’s, on agreeable Haddock. The Night was exceeding dark, insomuch that the Committee which sat at Deacon Woods, on the Affair of the Form of Government could not without Difficulty find their way home. Several of them did not get home at all.
1780 May 20 (Saturday). I am concerned for my Neighbor Thad. Warrin, who is so behindhand in his Business. I have offered him my Cattle and plow — and I have said so much to him to persuade him that he uses them today.
1780 May 21 (Sunday). On account of the late unusual Phenomenon, I read a.m. Amos 5 and preach on v. 126.96.36.199.8. Messrs. Brigham and Hazeltine dined here. P.M. I went on in Repeating Sermon on Mat. 3.10 from page 9 with some Omissions. At Eve read latter part of Mr. Flavells Third Sermon on Rev. 3.20, which may God graciously bless to us!
1780 May 22 (Monday). Mr. Joseph Hardy here with his Relation, which requires many alterations. Esq. Baker, Mr. Batherick and Mr. Joseph Harrington came to me from the Town Meeting, to desire me to go with them to pray with them and give them my Advice, they being assembled upon the very important Affair of the Plan of Government. Went and prayed and joined with them in voting. Voted the Bill of Rights — Voted the Introduction of the first part on Government — voted Article I, then adjourned. Elias studys Anatomy.
1780 May 23 (Tuesday). Mr. Elijah Brigham in Squire Baker’s Chaise, waits on Mrs. Parkman to Boston. I wrote to my son Samuel my Consent to my Kinsman William Parkman’s having, for reasonable price, my Right in that which was my late Honored Mother’s House.
1780 May 24 (Wednesday). I met with the Town on the Adjournment. N.B. Strenuously insist that the Governor shall not only declare himself of the Christian Religion, but a Protestant. It was obtained to have the Word Protestant inserted; the Vote had two against it, Capt. Fisher and Mr. Hananiah Parker.
1780 May 25 (Thursday). Mr. Joseph Hardy’s Wife here, and have so many Corrections to make, that it was necessary to transcribe it. This I did for her. Elias is reading Chesselden’s Anatomy. Mr. Elijah Brigham returns from Boston and Says Mrs. P________ had a good Journey. N.B. I found that my son Breck is a FREE MASON.
1780 May 26 (Friday). I discover also that my son Sam is — that Capt. Elias and that Coll. Baldwin are. N.B. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences formed, constituted And Made a Body politic and Corporate by an act of the General Assembly of this State, at their present Sessions. The Names of the Members are published in todays Spy. It is matter of Joy to me! But it was also of Surprise, as I cant trace its Conception nor Author, nor [Fantors?] the characters, Qualifications, Duty, Immunitys, and Emoluments.
1780 May 27 (Saturday). [No entry.]
1780 May 28 (Sunday). Read a.m. Zech. X with some Exposition of it. Preached on Amos 8.9, p.m. on Mat. 3.10. Read in the Evening part of Mr. Flavell’s 3rd and 4th Sermon on Rev. 3.20.
1780 May 29 (Monday). Rec’d a Letter from Rev. Whitney to request me to dine with him and to attend the Raising a New House for him. In riding over there met with Mr. McCarty — he was going to Boston. But turned about and went with me to Northborough. Mr. Stone came also. We dined at Mrs. Briggs, and there Supped. Mr. Maccarty went to Boston. Mr. Stone and I went to the Raising. I prayed and gave the Psalm (Ps. 127). Mr. Stone made the last prayer. No Evil occurrence. Blessed be God! Mr. Elijah Brigham was my Company home. An Excellent Frame, and a great Company.
1780 May 30 (Tuesday). A.M. Assist the Selectmen in forming their Return to the Convention, with the Exceptions and Alterations. P.M. Attended the Church Meeting. Opened it with Prayer. The first Affair was that of Sister Persis Adams, wife of Mr. Daniel Adams who was present; but her Husband, though notified seasonably by a Messenger, sent on purpose by the Pastor to him, to acquaint with the Meeting, for what, when and where, did not come. This caused us to defer the Hearing any Complaint against him, till we might have accuser and accused Face to Face! Act. 25.16. The Church Meeting, as it relates to this Controversie, is adjourned to the last Monday in August next, at 2 p.m. The other Matter on which we met, was to choose two Deacons: and chose Dr. James Hawes for one, and Br. Jonathan Child for the other by 17 Votes — the rest scattering. The Doctor desired leave to take so weighty a Concern into Consideration. The other denyed and again refused, but he was urged to consider of it, and not be too resolute in Denying. The Meeting concluded with prayer and the Blessing. Mr. Cushing came from Shrewsbury (from Ashburnham yesterday) and lodged here. Has two Horses, one for Mrs. Cotton to ride upon.
1780 May 31 (Wednesday). I have writ a letter to Mrs. P________ and Dr. Hawes was to have carryed it, but he went too early this morning for it to reach him. However Mr. Lemuel Grosvenor and his Sister called here in their way to Boston, and took it. We had a cheerful and good Day — praising God for his Goodness to his People in continuing our Liberties and Privileges and Oppt’y the Day for the Exercising them, and supplicating the Divine Presence with the People in their Solemn Assembly; and the Ministers in their Convention. Elias rode over to Hopkinton to wait upon Mrs. Cotton, but she was not well eno’ to come today. Elias brings me from Mr. Barrett’s the illustrated Sir Francis Bacon’s Advancement of Learning. A Book of Stupendous Fame!