1781 November 1 (Thursday). Mr. Forbes from Cape Ann brought Sister Champney, and dined with us. He turned back p.m. to go home, though it rained. She is to go to Upton, to her Cousin Warren’s. Josiah Brigham came to lodge and Study here under his Brother Elijah. Mrs. Harrington here and tells me the Substance of her Relation which I wrote for her. My Sight has, for some time, been impaired. Such is the Sovereign Will of God! to which may I have Grace humbly to resign, and may I be enabled to improve what is still vouchsafed me better than ever heretofore!
1781 November 2 (Friday). Sister Champney is here with us. I went to Neighbour Harringtons. I read what I had writ for her, and She (her Husband being present) consented; and at her Desire he wrote her Name.
1781 November 3 (Saturday). An Unusual wet time. I am closely engaged in my preparations. At Eve Mrs. P _______ reads to me several sermons of Mr. Orton, to the Aged.
1781 November 4 (Sunday). I preached a.m. on Rom. 13.13, repeating with proper alterations to the End of p. 30. Mr. Stone of Yarmouth was at Meeting. He dined with us (as did Mrs. Maynard) and he preached for me p.m. on Rom. 8.26. After the Exercise admitted Mrs. Harrington into the Church and propounded Enoch and Olive Rice’s Desire of Humiliation here with us, omitting the other affair (Adams’s) by reason of the weather and the present Circumstances. At Eve Mr. Stone went to Shrewsbury.
1781 November 5 (Monday). Mr. Stone called here in his way to Southborough. Spoke to him about his Septnagint and Dr. Owen of the Glory of Christ. Isaac Forbush, on Mr. Brighams Account brought a Load of Wood, most Seasonably, it being a bad snow Storm.
1781 November 6 (Tuesday). A more strict Training for shewing Arms etc. N.B. It was to have been private meeting to day at Deacon Hawes but it could not be attended, by reason of the Training. But towards Evening came Deacon Hawes, Messrs. Eli Whitney, and Joseph Harrington to ask me to procure Mr. Sanford of Medway to preach here. And after them came Capt. Morse and Capt. Fisher upon the Same Errand. I told them I did not know him, and must See and talk with him, before I could ask him. Capt. Fisher wrought himself into an immoderate Heat. May God forgive!
1781 November 7 (Wednesday). Breck and Suse, with their Child go to Boston. I wrote to [Dr. Mather?] for [Colistinus?]. At Eve Mr. Cushing and Mrs. Cotton.
1781 November 8 (Thursday). Mr. Cushing and Mrs. Cotton go to Hopkinton, and Mrs. Wood in her Chaise waits on sister Champney to the Widow Warrins in Upton. Deacon Hawes brings his Brother Coll. Benjamin to See me. He informs me that my Kinsman Parkman Bradshaw is dead. Mr. Cushing to Shrewsbury. N.B. He brought and left me Groves Vol. 1. At night we had by the News Paper the joyful Account of the Surrender of Earl Cornwallis and his Army at York Town, the Shipping Virginia, on Oct. 18 — which causes great Joy and Thanksgiving to God, etc. etc. But my Joy has Mixtures and Abatement — for when Mrs. Wood returned from Upton, she relates the unkind Reception she met with at the Widow Warrins: which was much to my Disquietment.
1781 November 9 (Friday). I wrote to Mr. Elijah Warrin of Upton, and sent it by Col. Ezra Wood (who dined here). Breck etc. returned from Boston. Capt. John Wood (whose Family is moved to [blank]) was here for a Certificat.
1781 November 10 (Saturday). So cold and Searching that I can’t comfortably go out yet have neither Man or Boy, but by Courtesy. Mr. Brigham (and his Brother Josiah) do me Kindness to look after the Creatures and chop Wood which he has caused to be brought here.
1781 November 11 (Sunday). I thought it best to preach on Ps. 124, esp. v. l, 6, 8, on account of the Surrender of Earl Cornwallis and the British Army etc. to General Washington Oct. 18. Notice also was taken of the divine Goodness to the Church and to me, these 57 years. At Eve Mr. B. read in Flavels Fountain of Life — and prayed. Mrs. P______ read to Me Mr. Job Ortons sermon to the Old.
1781 November 12 (Monday). The Town Meeting to consider my Sallery and Wood. I committ the Matter to God and desire to resign to His sovereign Will! Breck came from the Meeting and informs me that Capt. Fisher was inveighing against me in a long and bitter Invective charging me with Tyranny in that I would not suffer the people to hear Mr. Sanford — whereas I had only Answered that I hoped they would not impose on me the Hardship of asking a man to preach for me that I had never seen, and heard was Erroneous. I went to the Meeting House, and endeavoured to reply. The moderator was Ensign Aaron Warrin who related what the Town had voted, viz. 35 Cord of Wood, but as to Addition to my yearly Sallery (which was another Article in their Warrant) The Town did not grant it. To which I replyed that I had not asked any addition, but I depended upon their making the 55£ good, as is promised in the Call. Altercations arose again about Mr. Sanfords preaching but Capt. Maynard asked the Moderator whether that was in the Warrant? which was a Check, and I took leave.
1781 November 13 (Tuesday). I preached at the private Meeting at Deacon Hawes on Philip. 1.21, which may God please to prosper! Next Meeting to be at Mr. Gales. At home I found Capt. Solomon Allen of Northampton, and his wife, who lodge here. He brings a letter from my son Elias, dated the 10th. Capt. Morse here, at Eve and appears very friendly.
1781 November 14 (Wednesday). Capt. Allen and his wife proceed on their Journey to Boston. Town Meeting again; but adjourn still. Miss Eunice Fish here, brings a Letter from her Brother Elijah Warrin in reply to mine by Col. Ezra Wood. She lodges here. Her Horse kept here.
1781 November 15 (Thursday). I wrote a Memorandum to Mr. Warrin on his own Letter and Sent it back to him, by her. Mr. Thomas Kendal came and lodges here.
1781 November 16 (Friday). Mr. Kendal — Mr. Foster of New-Braintree dine here. They Spend part of the Afternoon here, and towards Eve Mr. Brigham went with Mr. Foster to Capt. Jonas Brighams. Mr. Kendall here. At Eve Mr. Abijah Gale came in and said he had a Message from the Town to me, viz. Their Burdens being so very heavy, they would be glad to know whether if the Town shall pay me this years Sallery at the Time, and according to its value when it was granted, I shall be willing to accept of half the last years Sallery (none of it being yet paid) now, and take Security for the other half with Interest from the time it was due, until paid? My Answer to Mr. Gale (my son Breck and Pamela Coollege were present) was this — “With proper Respects to the Town, let them know, That Since the Glorious God has wrought Such wonderfull Things for us, and granted us thus to triumph over our Enemies, We ought to manifest our hearty Gratitude to Him, by all ways possible; and particularly by Works of Righteousness, Mercy and Compassion to one another. And as to the proposal and Request of the Town, abovesaid, I consent to Shew the Town all the Compassion I can under my present Circumstances, having been obliged to plunge deeply into Debt for a great while; But this is upon Condition that if I am, upon my trying, unable to undergo it, then the Town on their part, shall shew Compassion to me, and shall afford me Relief.”
1781 November 17 (Saturday). Mr. Kendal tarrys and I ask him to preach.
1781 November 18 (Sunday). Mr. Kendall preached a. and p.m. on Joh. 10.8. Mrs. Maynard dined here. At Eve K. repeated the Heads of his Sermon. N.B. finished Mr. Job Ortons Sermons to the Aged.
1781 November 19 (Monday). Mr. K. toward Eve goes up to Deacon Woods (where I sent his Horse last Saturday) and he tarried there over the night. Judge Baker at his Brothers when I was there.
1781 November 20 (Tuesday). Deacon Wood sends to me to know whether Mr. Kendal may not preach at his House to day? I consent. P.M. he preached on 2 Pet. 1.19 to a crowd’d Throng. At Night I rode to Lt. Levi Warrins and marryed Robert Whiteman to Susanna Devine.
1781 November 21 (Wednesday). Mr. Kendal — and lodges here. Deacon Fisher of Franklin makes me a visit at Evening.
1781 November 22 (Thursday). Though Cold I rode to Mr. Daniel Nurse’s and marryed Moses Warrin to Priscilla Nurse. Mr. Kendall still among us (and writes on Account of 2 women disordered by Strange Preaching) and at Deacon Woods, where they are turning his Coat for him.
1781 November 23 (Friday). Mr. K. left us at Eve to go to Mr. Mathis’s at Southborough, and designs to be in the way to preach at Hopkinton.
1781 November 24 (Saturday). [No entry.]
1781 November 25 (Sunday). Though I had prepared a Sermon for p.m., Yet my a.m. (which was on Rom. 13.13) was so closely connected with the next pages, that I was obliged to go on in the afternoon upon the same subject. And may a gracious God pardon and succeed! Mrs. Maynard dined here. After Meeting Mr. Richard Martyn of Canada in Connecticut, was with us and drank Tea here. In the Eve Mr. Brigham read in Mr. Flavels Fountain of Life. Mrs. P_____ read Mr. Grove’s Sermon. N.B. I did not stop the Church to day because there were few members at Meeting, it was a dark, Cold Day, neither was Mr. Adams (as I was told) there.
1781 November 26 (Monday). Mr. Brigham is desired by Several to take their Sons to instruct them. He has already his Brother Josiah. Ensign Aaron Warrin wants his son Abijah should come (and he is come to day); Lieut. Jonathan Grout is earnest to have his son come; Benjamin Bowman is expected to come to live with me this Winter to look after my Cattle and chop Wood, hoping to get Learning withal: and Mr. Thaddeus Warrin is here and requests that his John may come to Mr. Brigham to School — all which coming upon me with without our being prepared for it, is too difficult. Mr. D. Adams’s Witnesses are examined by Col. Jonathan Ward, at Mr. Gales. Mr. Brigham is gone to Concord to assist my son Samuel in selling his Conant Farm there.
1781 November 27 (Tuesday). I Suppose my son Samuel this Day sets up his House and Farm at Concord at Vendue. I am destitute of Help abroad, but Breck goes to the Barn and Josiah and Abijah cut wood for us: but the Wood is Mr. Brighams — for none has been yet brought me, though mine has been gone this great while. N.B. Breck changes an Hogshead in my Cellar and puts in an Iron-bound one, instead of mine.
1781 November 28 (Wednesday). Rode to Mr. Solomon Bathericks, to enquire after Wood. I went to Lieut. Parkers, who is returned home from the Camp. I proceeded to Capt. Maynards and dined there. P.M. to the Widow Dolly Maynards, where I spoke to Mrs. Adams, to give her suitable Caution and Charge. I visited at Mr. Benjamin Hows and especially at Mr. Ben Warrins whose Wife has been a long time confined — only Whispers — I prayed there. Was at Mr. Fessendens and at Capt. Godfry’s.
1781 November 29 (Thursday). Mr. Thomas Whitney came to acquaint me that Mr. Reuben Maynards wife is delivered of Twins, that one is dead, and desire my Assistance in burying it tomorrow. Mr. Whitney answers an Enquiry I made (by Occasion) namely, How far he would go in reconciliation with Neighbour B. Fay? He answered and I wrote it — read it to him and he acknowledged it.
1781 November 30 (Friday). Rode to see Mr. Phinehas Hardys Wife: thence to Mr. Joseph Hardys, and to Mr. John Fays, where I dined. P.M. to Mr. R. Maynards and stood between the Living and the dead, to pray with the few that were there. I went also to Mr. Childs, who has two Children Sick — I prayed by them — and went to Mr. Gershom Brighams. N.B. A German there, of Brunswick. Master S. Crosby lodged here. Six Load of Wood came.