August 24, 1719

Cambridge, August 24,1719.  Blessed be the name of the Lord that I am Continued unto this very Day.  Nevertheless all my Backslidings from his Testimonies are commissions of So many great and heinous Sins as I have been guilty of.  The Mercy of God is Still lengthened out unto me and I receive the favours of life and Health and as I hope enjoy the day of Grace and Opportunity of getting good for My Immortall Soul; which must be first and Chiefly by Faith and Repentance.  In order to which I do profess the Faith and Belief contained in the Nicene In the Apostolick Creed.  …And according to the direction of the Sacred Word of God, and particularly According to the Direction of Mr. Robert Russell[1] have long purposed to make a Collection of First The Great Mercys That the Mighty JEHOVAH has favoured me with.  And First, In That He, at My Birth (In the Year of Christ, 1703, September the fifth on Sabbath day Morning, between Six and Seven of the Clock) Caused me to See light; and that it was not Among Pagans, nor Mahometans, nor Jews, but among Christians; and that In (Boston) a place where the Grace of God, bringing Salvation, hath Appeared; and of Religious Parents also, by whom I was well Educated; being first Sent to the reading, and in the Year 1711, to Writing, to Mr. John Cole and having continued there almost two Year (which was till the founding A Grammar free School at the North end and near My Fathers dwelling) I went to Mr. Recompence Wadsworth,[2] to learn Lattin.  This was on the twentieth of April in the Year 1713, and Mr. Wadsworth dying, Mr. John Barnard[3] (Afterwards an ordained Minister of the Church of Christ at Andover) was Settled in his place.  And October in the Year 1714 I was visited with a Low fit of Sickness beginning with a fever and attended with the Meazells, and after that with great weakness and Infirmities as also great pain, which Set me upon thinking upon what would be the Estate, the Condition of My Soul after my Dissolution, which was apprehended by all to be Nigh, often in My Mind repeating the Psalmists words Blessed is he whose Transgression is forgiven whose Sin is Covered, Heartyly wishing and praying that My many and great Iniquities might be all so pardoned and washed away in the Blood of the Lamb of God that taketh away the Sin of the World, promising allso that if God would in his great Mercy Spare my Life I would Spend it more to the Glory and praise of his great Name through his grace assisting me; and God was pleas’d to look upon my Affliction and my Pain and to remember me in my Low Estate, and the Lord Raised me from my Bed of long Sickness and Languishing renewing allso my Strength So that in the Latter end of December I went to School again and continued So doing till by the Often persuasions of the Reverend Mr. John Webb[4] and My Brother William[5] My Father Sent Me to Harvard College Cambridge where I was admitted on August 22, 1717, and had Pain,[6] Davis,[7] Champney[8] for my Chamber fellows for the first year; removing the Second I had Jenison,[9] Pierpont[10] and Wyman[11] (for my chamber fellows) In both which Years I had Mr. Hezekiah Gold[12] for my Particular friend for whose instructions advice and inculcations both in Temporalls and in Spiritualls, I Shall have occasion of praising God Throughout Eternity.  On April 19 I had Some Strivings and Motions of the holy Spirit to turn and live, and on December 27 allso  but they Soon vanished as the Morning Cloud and as the early Dew.  The Blessing of My Mother, the Advice of my Brother William, and the instructions of Mr. Webb, are I hope not quite (though I fear almost) fruitless.  That I had the Reverend Mr. John Leveret[13] for my President and Mr. Thomas Robie[14] for my Tutor is no Small blessing.  Through the deceitfullness of my heart I Neglected this work (the Collection of Mercys) to my great Shame and Sorrow till February 19, 1719/20.  When again I was awakened out of my Sleepy Security of Sin, I was roused out of my Sloth, and the awakenings of my Conscience, which had for a long time been Quiet, giving me but now and then a touch and a Small hint that I remained in my unconverted State, began afresh upon me, the Divil and my own wicked and abominably Sinfull and polluted heart persuading me that there was no hopes of Salvation lest That the Door of Mercy was Shut and the Day of Grace over — and that No man had Ba[c]kslidden or apostatized as I had done; till Barrett put me in Mind of one passage in Scripture Jer. together with the following Hosea 14.4.  I was little encouraged, utterly ashamed of my self and hating my self I resolved I would return, and that I would once more Seek to God by Prayer.  This I did, but soon grew Lookewarm Neither cold nor hot wherefore I might justly have been Spew’d out And Yet, through the Abundant, the Infinite grace and unparallel’d Mercy of the Eternal JEHOVAH I have such privileges Yet, the Lord knows how long they may be continued for there Never was any in the world So unworthy as I am


DIURNA:  or An Account of the Remarkable Transactions of Every Day:  No. 7.  Being a Continuation of a Design form’d in the Year 1719/20, February 19th.  August 1723

[1]The English divine, of Wadhurst, Sussex.

[2](Harvard 1708).  Clifford K. Shipton, Biographical Sketches of Those Who Attended Harvard College, V (Boston, 1937), 461-463.  Subsequent reference: Sibley, V, 461-463.

[3](Harvard 1709). The minister at Andover, 1718-1757.  Sibley, V, 475-479.

[4](Harvard 1708). The minister of the New North Church of Boston, 1714-1750.  Sibley, V,463-471.

[5]Ebenezer Parkman’s eldest brother.

[6]Stephen Paine (Harvard 1721).  Sibley, VI, 510-511.

[7]Simon Davis (Harvard 1721).  Sibley, VI, 469.

[8]Joseph Champney (Harvard 1721) was Parkman’s future brother-in-law.  Sibley, VI, 437-438.

[9]Samuel Jennison (Harvard 1720).  Sibley, VI, 389-390.

[10]Thomas Pierpont (Harvard 1721).  Sibley, VI, 547-549.

[11]John Wyman (Harvard 1721).  Sibley, VI, 591.

[12](Harvard 1719).  Later the minister at Stratford, Conn.  Sibley, VI, 311-314.

[13](Harvard 1680).  John L. Sibley, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, III (Cambridge, 1885), 180-198.  Subsequent reference: Sibley, III, 180-198.

[14](Harvard 1708).  Sibley, V, 450-455.

August 1, 1723

1723 August 1 (Thursday).  I got to Cambridge by noon, return’d my Horse, paid 1/2 a Crown to Mrs. Fessenden.[1]  Mr. Bridgewater[2] was at College.  I went to Boston about 5 p.m.  Met at Barrett’s.[3]  Green[4] was absent.  Barrett pray’d first.  I read part of a Discourse from 1 Sam. 16.7, and concluded.  I lodg’d at my Fathers.

[1]Sarah Fessenden, who was licensed to sell intoxicating liquors at retail.  Lucius R. Paige, History of Cambridge (Boston, 1877), p. 22

[2]Probably Edward Bridgewater (Harvard 1718) who was in Cambridge in August, 1723.  Sibley, VI, 231-232.

[3]Samuel Barrett (1700-1772), son of Deacon Samuel Barrett of Boston.  A classmate and lifelong friend of Ebenezer Parkman.  First minister of Hopkinton.  Sibley, VI, 428-432.

[4]Joseph Green (Harvard 1720) of Boston.  Minister at Bamstable, 1725-1770.  Sibley, VI, 385-387.

August 2, 1723

1723 August 2 (Friday).  I bid farewel at home in the Morning, and walked up to Cambridge in my Boots and Spurs in order to go to Worcester.  Mr. Sturgeon[1] of Waterton (a Scotch minister) his Case pleaded to Day at the Cambridge Sessions.  I din’d at Mrs. Bordman’s.[2]  Just after Dinner in the College Yard I met with Young Mr. Thomas Rice[3] from Worcester to accompany me up there.  I prepar’d and rode away to Mr. Champney’s,[4] where with sitting, etc., we tarried till near 4 o’Clock before we Set out.  We reach’d to Lieutenant Jones’s[5] at Weston (where I lodg’d) just before Dark.

[1]‘Robert Sturgeon, minister of an independent Congregational Church, Watertown, Mass., 1721-1722.

[2]Probably Mary Bordman, who was licensed to sell liquors.

[3]Thomas Rice (1701/2-1785).

[4]Samuel Champney, Sr., Parkman’s future father-in-law.

[5]Lieutenant Josiah Jones, one of the founders of the town of Weston.

August 3, 1723

1723 August 3 (Saturday).  In the Morning about 8 (having been Kindly entertain’d) I again Set out for Mr. Jenison’s[1] where I had appointed to Meet Mr. Rice, From thence I had more Company, viz. Mr. Golding[2] (brother to Mrs. Jenison).[3]  We set out about 10.  We stop’d at Sundry Taverns (which particularly I do not remember) before we got to Mr. Bricks[4] of Marlborough; here I was well received though I never was in the least acquainted with the Gentleman til now.  N.B. we arriv’d here by 1/4 after one and Set out between 3 and 4, having stop’d Twice or Thrice more, jolted and tired, I entered Lieutenant Lee’s[5] house at Worcester where I was Kindly received by Deacon Haywood,[6] etc.  With Pains in my Head and a Sore Throat I went to Bed.

[1]William Jennison (1676-1744) of Sudbury.  Later he moved to Worcester and became Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.

[2]Either Windsor Golding (b. 1675) or Thomas Golding (b. 1678).

[3]Elizabeth (Golding) Jennison (1673-1756).

[4]Reverend Robert Breck (1682-1731), (Harvard 1700).  Minister at Marlborough, 1704-1731.  Sibley, IV, 515-518.

[5]Lieutenant Henry Lee.

[6]Daniel Heywood (1695-1773).  An early settler of Worcester, selectman for 20 years, and an officer in an early military company.  William Lincoln, History of Worcester (Worcester, 1837), p. 42.

August 4, 1723

1723 August 4 (Sunday).  In the Morning I was much Better, but my Sore Throat continued.  I preach’d all Day on 1 Sam. 16.7.  I din’d at Deacon Haywoods.  I was obliged to retire to finish my Sermon at Noon Time.  Sundry Persons (as Mr. Flagg,[1] etc.) came in to see me in the Evening.

[1]Either Benjamin Flagg (1662-1741) or his son Captain Benjamin Flagg (1690-1751).

August 5, 1723

1723 August 5 (Monday).  Towards Night to my Great Joy and Reviving came Colonel Winthrop[1] and Colonel Minot,[2] and with them Mr. Adam Winthrop[3] of College.

[1]Colonel Adam Winthrop (1676-1743), (Harvard 1694), Councillor of the Province.  Sibley, IV, 209-214.

[2]Colonel Stephen Minot (1662-1732).  Justice and selectman of Boston.

[3]Adam Winthrop (1706-1744), (Harvard 1724).  Son of Colonel Winthrop.  Sibley, VII, 446-447.

August 6, 1723

1723 August 6 (Tuesday).  Prayers and Breakfast Ended we took pleasant walks to See the Farms those Gentlemen had in the Town.  While the Colonels and Lieutenant Lee were further Engaged about their Particular Country Managery, Mr. Winthrop, Mr. Flagg and I walk’d to a fine Brook and Fish’d.  We Caught Salmon-Trouts, etc.  These were very well taken; and we din’d richly on them, Colonel Minot himself dressing them.  According to my own Assignation, there came the same young Mr. Rice that accompanyed me up, with purpose this Afternoon to go over to Sutton to visit Mr. McKinstry.[1]  Thus I was obliged to leave this good Company and take my Ride, and we made no other Stop than at Mr. Rice’s Lodging, a little.  We did not gain Mr. McKinstry’s House till just Dark, though twas counted but 6 Miles.  I found them in good Health, and I was well Entertained.  Here I lodged very pleasantly, (considering, ____________).  [Word crossed out.]

[1]Reverend John McKinstry (1677-1754).  First minister of Sutton, Mass.  William A. Benedict and Hiram A. Tracy, History of Sutton (Worcester, 1878), pp. 691-693.

August 8, 1723

1723 August 8 (Thursday).  There was a Raising of an House, a Suiting Diversion for Mr. Rice, while Mr. McKinstry, his wife and I took a Ride to Oxford to See Mr. Cambell.[1]  This is Six Miles and 1/2.  This was very diverting, and I found Mrs. Cambel[2] in pretty Good Humour.  We had a good Contrivance in or going to a Water Melon house, for Mrs. Cambel must ride upon the Easyest-going horse which was Mr. McKinstry’s, and So my old Friend must ride with me.  This was a lucky Stroke to bring me an opportunity to discourse of Matters and things formerly in Requests.  She was more Contented with her Irish Mate than I expected to find her.  She said he was a good-natur’d Soul indeed, and She wanted Nothing on Earth but to be a little nearer her Friends.  She Desir’d I would come and live at Worcester, etc.  Mr. McKinstry, his Wife and I returned to Sutton just about Dark.  N.B. We pray’d in the Family by Turns.

[1]Reverend John Campbell (1691-1761), first minister of the First Congregational Church, Oxford, Mass., 1721-1761.  George F. Daniels, History of Oxford (Oxford, 1892), pp. 49-52.

[2]Esther Whittle, Wheatly, or Whately of Boston, who married the Reverend Mr. Campbell, Feb. 6, 1722.  Daniels, Oxford, p.426.

August 9, 1723

1723 August 9 (Friday).  Returned to Worcester.  We call’d to See Captain Jones[1] but he was not at home.  Here I had the Information by a Dispensation of Providence in the Burning of the House of Captain Keys[2] of Shrewsbury with 3 of his Sons and Two workmen finishing the house in it.  It broke out about Midnight.  I visited Mr. Gershom Rice[3] (the Man that first Invited me up) and Thence Strait home.  Old Mr. Gray[4] and Mr. Flagg were to see me.  Lieutenant Lee being gone to Boston, It was very lonely During his Absence, for he was Sociable.

[1]Captain Nathaniel Jones.

[2]Captain John Keyes (1675-1768).  The three sons were Solomon, John and Stephen.  The carpenter’s apprentices were Abiel Bragg and William Oakes.  See The Boston News-Letter, Aug. 15, 1723.

[3]Gershom Rice (1666-1768), the second settler of Worcester, who arrived m 1715.  Lincoln, Worcester, pp. 40-41.

[4]John Gray, an early proprietor.

August 11, 1723

1723 August 11 (Sunday).  I preached all Day.  Din’d as before at Deacon Haywoods.  As I returned home I had the Benefit of very Heavenly Conversation from old Mr. Gray.  Mr. Flagg was with me all the Evening.  We had News by a Post that rode through the Town to day that a Number of Indians were coming to Scout from Canada to those out Towns under the Command of one Captain Nathaniel.

August 12, 1723

1723 August 12 (Monday).  Lieutenant Rice[1] call’d to See me to Day.  I went over to Mr. Grays.  At Night Sundry Men of the Town, viz. Lieutenant Rice and his Brother James, The Two Deacons, viz. Haywood and Mores,[2] Mr. Flagg and Mr. Joseph Dana together with my Landlord, Lieutenant Lee (just return’d from Boston) treated with me about Settling as their minister, etc.  I fix’d Tomorrow to be the Day for my returning to Boston.  It was very Late when they Left me.

[1]Gershom Rice, Jr. (1696-1781).

[2]Nathaniel Moore, third settler of Worcester, from Sudbury.

August 14, 1723

1723 August 14 (Wednesday).  Mr. Lee was very much disturbed for the Same Reason; took his Horse and Rode away to know the Cause.  He did not return till after Dinner.  But he told me he had Secured my Journey, and about 3 o’Clock p.m. came Mr. James Rice with a very good horse, and we rode away about 4.  He related many Particulars of the Story of Mr. Gardiner,[1] who had been dismissed from them — his Innocence, etc.  We reach’d Marlborough at the Close of the Day.  We met with Mr. Breck in the Street.  He asked me into his house and to Lodge with him, but that would obstruct our getting down Time enough for Lecture the next Day.  We Thank’d him for his Expressions of Kindness, remounted and rode along for Sudbury.  It was too late to gain the Town.  We stop’d at David How’s Tavern,[2] and having Eaten part of a Fryed Gosling for supper, prayed, etc., we repair’d to repose.  N.B. This was the first Time that I ever Lodged in a Tavern on the Road.

[1]Andrew Gardner (Harvard 1712), first minister of Worcester, 1719-1722.  Sibley, V, 638-641.

[2]The Wayside Inn of Longfellow fame, in Sudbury, built by David Howe in the early 18th century.  Alfred S. Hudson, History of Sudbury (Sudbury, 1889), pp. 59I-599.

August 15, 1723

1723 August 15 (Thursday).  Very Early we prepared (viz. by Prayers, Eating, etc.), and Set out.  Stop’d at Jenisons.[1]  We call’d again at Willsons,[2] and next at Warham William’s,[3] who had been Sick very lately.  We din’d at Each’s.  Thence to Boston, But at Charleston Mr. Rice parted with me.  I invited him home with me, but he had Business for an avocation.  At home I found My Sister Elius[4] (as we Sometimes call her) with a Child that was born the Fourth of this Instant.  We Miss’d of being at Lecture, but I walked up to Mr. Edwards’s Shop to hear the News, and see my Friends.  At Night our Society Met at Barretts, at which I first pray’d and Mr. Eliot[5] Discoursed from James 1.5, and I Concluded.  Thence I went to my Father’s where I Lodged.

[1]Also in Sudbury.

[2]Probably Nathaniel Willson in Sudbury.

[3]Reverend Warham Williams of Waltham (Harvard 1719).  Sibley, VI, 361-364.

[4]Elizabeth (Weld) Parkman, wife of Ebenezer’s brother Elias.  The child was Elizabeth.

[5]Jacob Eliot of Boston (Harvard 1720), minister of the Third Church, Lebanon, Conn., 1729-1766.  Sibley, VI, 380-382.

August 16, 1723

1723 August 16 (Friday).  Mr. Barrett and Mr. Rice (My Companion down) came to See me; and they acquainted me with the Sad Story of Mr. Willard[1] and Four Children of Mr. Stevens[2] of Rutland taken Yesterday by the Indians.  In the Close of the Day I walked to Cambridge.

[1]Reverend Joseph Willard, while out hunting game, was killed by the Indians, Aug. 14, 1723.  Sibley, VII, 650-651.

[2]Deacon Joseph Stevens.  On Aug. 14,1723, two sons, Samuel and Joseph, were killed, and two others, Phinehas and Isaac, were taken captive.  Francis E. Blake, Rutland & the Indian Troubles of 1723-1730 (Worcester, 1886), p. 7.

August 17, 1723

1723 August 17 (Saturday).  Being Saturday, Mrs. Elizabeth Nutting[1] and I rode to Concord.  We baited at Muzzie’s[2] at Lexington.  Our visit was to Major Prescot;[3] where we were well received.  I had a Note in the Evening to preach all Day tomorrow from Mr. Whiting. [4] But though press’d very hard by the Major and Madame also to Comply, I wholly and vigorously Deny’d.

[1]Mrs. Jonathan Nutting of Cambridge.

[2]Benjamin Muzzy (1680-1764).

[3]Jonathan Prescott of Concord.

[4]Reverend John Whiting of Concord (Harvard 1700).  Sibley, IV, 532-535.

August 19, 1723

1723 August 19 (Monday).  This Day Everything was managed Suitably to the Relation they bore to each and their own Figure.  In the Afternoon we concluded to go back, and the Horse balked.  We (though with Some Difficulty through the Immoderate Kicking) mounted and rode about a Mile, when we met with Sir Sparhawk,[1] by whose Earnest Desire we went back to Major Prescots and remain’d another Night.

[1]Deacon Nathaniel Sparhawk, a selectman of Lexington.  [Correction: This would have been John Sparhawk (1702-1747), Harvard 1723.  Sibley, 7:258-59.]

August 20, 1723

1723 August 20 (Tuesday).  Mr. Sparhawk, according to Appointment, came to us in the Morning and we remounted; and coming to the house where Mrs. Nutting was, Mr. Whiting came up to us, and passing his Compliment, told us he was Glad to Meet such Company, etc.  He rode with us.  We came to Lexington, baited, and left Sir Sparhawk.  But Mr. Whiting was our Pleasant Company to the Top of an eminent Hill in a Farm of his, whence we had one of the most Delightfull Prospects that ever I had in my Life.  From this Hill we Sunk a little to a Country House — into which this Good Gentleman Conducted us and bid us Welcome.  Here we din’d and thence rode with very good Speed till we were obliged to Stop at an House upon Cambridge Common, being overtaken with a heavy Shower of Rain.  But we reach’d home before Night.  I went back to College and Lodged there.

August 21, 1723

1723 August 21 (Wednesday).  In the Morning came Mr. Shattuck[1] of Westborough to Invite me to preach in That Town.  After a Pause of about an hour and Debating with him, I agreed; and took an Horse that he Said he had brought Down; and rode down to Boston to prepare for going with him.  There were Three Score Mohawks arrived at Boston just before Noon.  I returned to Cambridge and rode over to Champneys[2] where my Horse was taken care of.  N.B. Mr. Shattuck was sent over to Mr. Champney to Inquire for me.

[1]Isaac Shattuck.

[2]Samuel Champney, Parkman’s father-in-law.

August 22, 1723

1723 August 22 (Thursday).  I Set away for Larnard’s[1] at Waterton where I had appointed to meet with Mr. Shattuck at 12 o’Clock.  He was not Come.  I Sat down and waited for him till he came.  We began our Journey from this Tavern about 1/2 after 12; to Mr. Willsons where by Two.  Thence at 1/2 after Two to Mr. Swift’s[2] by 4.  Thence at 5 to My assign’d Landlords, Mr. Maynard’s[3] by dark.  Prayers Ended I went to my Bed and Lodged (with Mr. Chandler of Concord, a House Carpenter, at work in finishing the Meeting house) very comfortably.

[1]Thomas Learned, tavern keeper.

[2]Reverend John Swift of Framingham (Harvard 1697).  Sibley, IV, 387-390.

[3]David Maynard, an original settler at Westborough.  A manuscript volume of Westborough Church Records, kept by Ebenezer Parkman and later ministers, is preserved by the Westborough Historical Society.  At the beginning of this Parkman made a list of the first settlers of the town.  The list is printed in Heman P. DeForest and Edward C. Bates, History of Westborough (Westborough, 1891), p. 4.

August 26, 1723

[1723 August?] 26.  I was sent for in the Evening to visit a sick Young Woman at Mr. Tomlin’s.[1]  I went and pray’d with her.


[No date.]  I walked to the Meeting House with a Pistol in my Hand by reason of Danger of the Indians.  When I return’d was much affrighted with the Sight of an Indian as I suppos’d; but drawing nigher I perceiv’d it was my Landlord.  In the afternoon about 4 o’Clock, there was an Alarm in the North and people hastened with their Arms, But it came to little.

[1]Deacon Isaac Tomlin.

August 27, 1723

1723 August 27 (Tuesday).  My Landlord having borrowed me an horse (of his Neighbour Mr. David How) Mr. Ward and I rode away.  We first call’d at Mr. Woods[1] but he was not at home.  We rode to Mr. Barretts Lodgings but he was not there.  We rested a While Smoak’d, etc., and took our Horses and went out to Meet him.  Mr. Wood was riding with his Wife.  Mr. Barrett we Saw, and brought Them home.  I Lodg’d with Mr. Barrett.  I had his very Strong Pressures to take up with Westburgh, etc.

[1]Captain John Wood of Hopkinton.

August 30, 1723

1723 August 30 (Friday).  Read Dr. Prideaux[1] and Spectators.  Visit divers Neighbors.  See Ammi Printer at Captain Fay’s.[2]

[1]Humphrey Prideaux, D.D. (1648-1724), Scots scholar.  The work may have been The Old and New Testament Connected, in the History of the Jews and Neighboring Nations (London, 1716-1718), 2 vols.

[2]Captain John Fay, town Clerk of Westborough.  See George H. Johnson, Fay Family Tree (Columbus, 1913).