1781 January 1 (Monday). As we, with my Son Breck and his, Mr. Brigham etc. joined together last Evening in singing at the Conclusion of the last Year, So this Morning having so abundant Cause, we Sang Praise to the Great almighty Creator and Preserver: and I hope my Heart is Sincerely moved with Gratitude to the Universal Benefactor: begging earnestly the Pardon of all my past offences, that I may bring no old Guilt into the New Year; and I desire humbly to committ and resign all the Concernments of the Occurrences of the Year Ensuing to the Supreme, all-wise, most Mercifull Ruler of the World and our Covenant God in Jesus Christ. And may I, and all Mine be prepared for all the Events before us! That it may go well with us for Time and Eternity! Towards Night I visited Miss Susanna Fay (Ensign’s Daughter) who is sick of a Fever, and (by Desire) prayed. Received a Letter from my son Ebenezer dated December 18 at Fish Kill. Master [Fish?] here this Eve.
1781 January 2 (Tuesday). Visited old Mrs. Kelly — conversed and prayed with her. Yesterday received a Packet of 5 Letters from Mr. Moore, Three from his Children Suse, Jonathan and Sophy, which please and entertain us all. Misses Anna Brigham, Polly Howard and Nabby Martin. The first lodges here.
1781 January 3 (Wednesday). Breck had prepared to go to Boston but was disappointed by a snow storm. I was variously Occupy’d.
1781 January 4 (Thursday). Mr. Jonathan [illegible]ains junr. came, and afterwards his Uncle Squire Baker, and bought my young Oxen, for 200£ to be paid in a Month or Six weeks, according to the present Value of Money, and with Lawful Interest from this day. Mr. Adams drove away the Oxen.
1781 January 5 (Friday). Mr. Beeton came and acquainted me that his mother [illegible] and worthy Mrs. Kelly expired [illegible] about one o’Clock. A great Loss to have such pious People to be removed from us. She was doubtless one of Gods precious Jewels and [one?] who Seemed to be always in a gracious [Frame?] May it please God to awaken us who Survive to a faithful Imitation! I suppose She was almost 87 years of age. At Mr. Beetons desire I went to the burying place to shew him which is the Grave of Mr. Alex. At night came Mr. Abel Curtis (of Dartmouth) and lodged here.
1781 January 6 (Saturday). Mr. Curtis engaged in Traffick with Breck and Brigham; remains here. We who can, attend the Funeral of Mrs. Kelly (who is buryed from Mr. Beetons). I pray there with a considerable large Company. Her Grave is dug by my Direction by the Side of her Husbands, in my Ground. Mr. Curtiss tarrys [over?] the sabbath.
1781 January 7 (Sunday). I preached a.m. once more on Ps. 90.2, latter part. Mr. Curtiss and Mr. Fish dined here. P.M. formed an Exercise from my former preparations on Ps. 37.37 on Occasion of the Death of Old Mrs. Kelly. God grant it may Succeed, [especially?] with my Self! Mr. Brigham at Eve read part of Mr. Flavels 11th Sermon on Rev. 3.20. N.B. Mr. [Curtiss relates?] the Incursion of the Indians and Tories upon Royalton when [blank] were killed, [blank] Captivated. Among the last was his own Brother, Elias Curtis: He himself was one of those who hastened up to the relief of Town, on Pursuit of the Enemy; and having an Horse, brought off his Brothers Wife and [illegible] Children.
Psalm 37.37: “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
1781 January 8 (Monday). Lieut. Levi Brigham from Fitz-William. I wrote by him to my son Alex. Mr. Curtis goes on his Journey towards Newbury-Port. And my son Breck for Boston. N.B. James Cammet, a poor beggar, very religious and talkative. N.B. Josiah Brigham has undertaken to learn Latin, and comes to be at Brecks, but under his Brother Elijah’s Tuition. Town Meeting about raising [Men?].
1781 January 9 (Tuesday). Would have Visited old Mr. Morse of Hopkinton but it was too rough and cold for me to endure it. At Eve Snow.
1781 January 10 (Wednesday). Mr. David Kellogg’s Ordination at Framingham. I could not attend by reason of the Foul Weather and my great fear that it would be too hard for me. May they have the presence of the glorious Head of the Church and grant an happy Issue! I Spent my time in Communion with them: and hope for a Share with them in the Blessings dispensed.
1781 January 11 (Thursday). It being moderate Weather, I rode to old Mr. Seth Morse’s and found him very weak and low. I discoursed and pray’d with him — dined there. Deacon Burnet was there also. I called to See Mr. John Kelly. I returned home. Mr. Hazzletine waited on Mrs. Baker here this Evening. Breck from Boston. He tells me my Kinswoman Mrs. Elizabeth Corser is marryed; also Mrs. Coverly.
1781 January 12 (Friday). Mr. Isaac Ruggles brings back the Order I had given him upon Mr. Nathan Maynard Constable; and I gave him another Order upon Mr. Barnabus Newton, Treasurer; for the Same sum, viz. 75£. Mr. Elijah Force was with him, and to him I offered 50 Dollars, before Witnesses, namely, Mr. Ruggles aforesaid, and Mr. Beriah Ware, who was present, and also Pamela Coolledge. But he would not take it unless I would give him 4 sh. I offered to pay him in Rye; But Still he would not take it — unless I would give him a Bushel. I must give him two Yards of Tow-Cloth. My Wife interposed and said she would make it for him. I asked him whether I did ever promise him Tow Cloth? He Said, No: I did not. But That would satisfie. I required to know what in Money, would content him? He said 70 Dollars. I was not willing to give him so great a price for one Days work, and would rather give him tow-Cloth, if I knew of what kind. He said, Such as was strong and fit for a Blacksmiths Trowzers or shirts to work in. Thus we parted. Ruggles and Pamela were witnesses of what we said.
[1781 January 13? (Saturday)]. Mr. Caleb Wilder of Ashburnham at Supper with us. Miss Polly Howard has been here assisting both Suse and Sophy in Quilting Several Bed Quilts. At Evening came Mr. Daniel Adams with Another Letter to be communicated to the Church.
1781 January 14 (Sunday). Delivered a.m. another sermon on Eccl. 12.13 but omitted p. 15, 16 and p.m. on Ps. 37.37 to p. 22. Mrs. Maynard dined here. Stopped the Church and read Mr. Adams Letter, given me last Eve. There being few Members present and a Cold Stormy time and so lately received it was left to further Consideration. At Eve Mr. Brigham read in Mr. Flavel, Rev. 3.20, sermon 11.
1781 January 15 (Monday). Miss Polly works here. Mr. Gravenor dined here, having preached at Marlborough. I began a Letter to Mr. Daniel Adams.
1781 January 16 (Tuesday). Am much confined by the rugged, cold, windy season: but through divine Goodness have Health, Fuel and many other Mercys. D.G. Settled Accounts with Breck and Comp. and have paid [blank]. A Number of women here to help Sophy quilt. Miss Mindwell and Anna Brigham all day. Mrs. Graves and Mrs. Nichols came p.m. Benjamin Wood rode to Mr. Samuel Allens to carry Six Leggs of Pork to be baconed: and brought home a Piece of woollen Cloth for my wearing, from Capt. Maynards: being [blank] yards. N.B. This Day Soldiers are invited by the two Captains, to repair to Deacon Woods, that they may enlist into the service. I have gone through what I chiefly want to read in Vol. 5 of Biographical Dictionary — Wish so illustrious Examples may profit me! Miss Polly — Several Women to help Sophy in her Quilting, viz. two sisters Mindwell and Anne Brigham, all Day, and Mrs. Nichols and Mrs. Graves p.m. and Eve.
1781 January 17 (Wednesday). Miss Polly still here. I read variously.
1781 January 18 (Thursday). Sophy finished her tedious work of Quilting; and Miss Polly ceases. Josiah Brigham preparing to come to study and lodge here.
1781 January 19 (Friday). I wrote a short Letter to Mr. Daniel Adams, and he received it at the Store.
1781 January 20 (Saturday). Mr. Brigham at my desire, asked Mr. Adams at the Shop to come up to the House. I had Opportunity with him and endeavoured to improve it, with all the Tenderness I could: but to very little Effect. I had transcribed the Letter of yesterday, corrected and added to it; and desired to change this for that, but he was not willing to oblige me. I read to him my larger Answer to his last Letter; and would fain have said or done what would or might reasonably have satisfyed him; but he went away disquieted notwithstanding.
1781 January 21 (Sunday). A stormy Day. Few at Meeting. Preach a.m. on Ps. 37.37. I had prepared another sermon but was obliged to defer it, and preached p.m. on Ezek. 48.35, last Clause, to p. 9 mid. Mr. Brigham in the Eve Flavel.
1781 January 22 (Monday). Mr. Josiah Brigham comes here to my back Chamber to lodge and to study: and John Wood goes to the Colonels to write etc. At Eve came Messrs. Batheric, Gale, Child and two Grouts, on Mr. Adams Letter.
1781 January 23 (Tuesday). Read Several of the Meditations in Mr. William Crawfords Dying Thoughts. May they prove quickening and instructing to me!
1781 January 24 (Wednesday). Mr. Brigham is trying to obtain a large Sleigh to ride in to Springfield, and I am sollicited to go likewise: but I apprehend my self too infirm to undertake such a Journey at this rigorous season.
1781 January 25 (Thursday). A sleigh is provided and Tackling for two Horses by Mr. Brigham. Mrs. P____ and Sophy are preparing to go to Springfield.
1781 January 26 (Friday). They set out on their Journey to Brookfield first. Mr. Josiah is studying here, and Mr. Brigham desires me to hear his Brother say his Lessons, in his absence. Which I undertake, and accordingly hear him. My Family now is but small. N.B. I have Sent a short Salutation to my aged Brother Ruggles of New Braintry, per Mr. Brigham.
1781 January 27 (Saturday). Mr. Hazletine came up to my Chamber with (verbal) Order from Mr. Samuel Barrett to deliver him Mr. Barretts 3 Vols. of Mr. Henrys Exposition, viz. the 3d, 4th and 6th, also the History of England Folio — and says he has bought them with a great many more Books, of Mr. Barrett — and he carryed them off, though to my great Regretting and Disappointment.
1781 January 28 (Sunday). I had prepared to preach on one part of the Day, on Ps. 20.5 to encourage young Men and others to go out against our cruel Invaders — but it was exceeding difficult getting to Meeting, and I expected but few Hearers; (Yet there did come some Number in sleighs and on Horses). I preached a. and p.m. on Ezek. 48.35, last Clause. Which may God graciously bless to us! N.B. poor John McCullock is dead! Notes from survivors desiring prayers, Shewed that they had good Ground to conclude it was true. At Evening I read a Meditation of Mr. William Crawfords dying Thoughts.
1781 January 29 (Monday). Mr. Solomon Miller came to work for me in getting out Flax. He fetches the Doctors. Break and breaks. He also swingles a little — about 4 pounds. He lodges here. I lament the sorrowful Fall of his unhappy Daughter Sally, who besides her other Vices has fallen into the gross Sin of Fornication, and this with another of the Children of the Covenant, Joshua Twitchel! May God pitty our giddy Youth and grant them the Grace to repent! Mr. Gale visits me with a spare Rib.
1781 January 30 (Tuesday). It proves foul weather, and so unfit for Flax that Mr. Miller returns home. Capt. Fisher makes a Visit — dines here. He has many Enquirys about various Scriptures — seems much affected with the Difficultys of the Town.
1781 January 31 (Wednesday). Capt. Maynard came and brought a Spare Rib, but did not See me.