December 26, 1738

1738 December 26 (Tuesday).  A little after 4 in the morning my Wife call’d Me up by her extreme pains prevailing upon her and changing into signs of Travail.  I rode over to Deacon Forbush’s[1] and brought her over as our midwife.  Sister Hicks, old Mrs. Knowlton, Mrs. Whipple, Mrs. Hephzibath Maynard,[2] Mrs. Byles and Mrs. Rogers were call’d and brought and stay’d all Day and Night.  The Weather Moderate and ple[a]sant.

[1]Jonathan Forbush.

[2]Wife of Captain John Maynard.

December 8, 1746

1746 December 8 (Monday).  Deacon Forbush here to ask me to go over to his son Solomon Woods there have been an odd Occurrence there, for when Mrs. Woods had lain in and got Joanna Fay from Southborough to Nurse her, on the Fourth Day the Nurse (an unmarried, Young Woman) falls into Travail and was deliver’d of a Child.  Yesterday morning it dy’d — and they who were nearly Concern’d would now have me Visit her and be at the Funeral. I went accordingly — talk’d with the Girl who seem’d penitent but would not tell who was the Father of her Child. After Prayer I return’d to Lieutenant Tainters and thence to Captain Bakers.  N.B. My wife rode with me as far as Captain Bakers and waited there till I came. We Supped there. N.B. Young Men’s Society met this Evening at old Mr. Maynards to settle their accounts etc.

December 13, 1748

1748 December 13 (Tuesday).  Rain a.m.  Clear’d off p.m. So that I Set out on a Journey to Boston.  Call’d at Mr. Stone’s — his wife ill.  Proceeded to Framingham.  Mr. Bridge[1] and wife from Home.  By means of one Isaac Clark I was conducted to Mr. Thomas Stone’s who marry’d Mrs. Betty Andrew of Cambridge — and by this Time it was So far in the Evening that I lodg’d there.  N.B. Said Isaac Clarks wife daughter of Mr. Stone separated from her husband, and residing there.

[1]The Reverend Mr. Matthew Bridge of Framingham.

December 8, 1751

1751 December 8 (Sunday).  Bright and Cold.  Read Numb. 25.  Preach’d a.m. on Mat. 19.6.  Patty Pannell din’d here.  P.M. read Rom. 15.  Preach’d a Sermon I now added to that made on Occasion of my Daughter Elizabeths Baptism upon Mal. 3.17.  At the Close of it read from passages in the Boston Gazett or Weekly Journal No 1655.[1]

[1]Evidently Parkman read all or part of a moralizing piece that appeared under the title “From a late Magazine.”

December 18, 1752

1752 December 18 (Monday).  At the Funeral of Ebenezer Pierce.  A Sorrowful Time!  This Death Seems to be much lamented.  Many more attended it than I expected because of the fears of the people are under of being Seiz’d with the Same Fever.  Mrs. Pierce and their Daughter Hannah lies sick yet.  O might these Providences issue in the divine Glory, and their, and all our highest Good!  And especially may our young people be Suitably awaken’d, and abiding Impressions be made upon them hereby!  Alexander to School to Captain Maynards.

December 7, 1769

1769 December 7 (Thursday).  After midnight returned.  I apprehend she is under power of hysteric Affections, as well as of a strong pleuretic Fever.  Wrote to Mr. Fleming, printer, to desist sending Mr. Daniel Forbes’s paper, etc.  Visit Mr. Gale’s Daughter Sarah who is ill of a Fever.  Prayed with her, dined there.  Visit at Mr. Beemans whose Children have been sick.  Visit the Widow Adams, and Mrs. Andrews, who treats me very generously, drank Tea there, etc., etc.

December 22, 1773

1773 December 22 (Wednesday).  Rose early and rode to Mr. Jacob Gibs’s.  I found it an House of great Distress.  Another Child, a Daughter in her 14th year, dyed this morning; and a Sixth is taken ill, and is grown bad in the manner of the rest.  Mr. Stone and Mr. Fitch, after a while came, and we went through the Exercises.  Mr. Fitch began with prayer.  Mr. Stone preached a seasonable, useful sermon on Lam. 3.39, “Why doth the living Man complain” etc.?  I prayed afternoon and stood between the living and the Dead to plead etc.  I preached on 2 Sam. 24.14.15.  O that God would hear and answer.  We were entertained after Exercises at Mr. Bemis’s, who was one of the Sufferers.  None that have been taken by the Distemper in the Neighbourhood, have lived.  In returning at Eve, called at Several of my Westborough Neighbours — Chamberlin, Bellows’s etc.

December 4, 1781

1781 December 4 (Tuesday).  Benjamin Bowman came to live here to take Care of my Cattle, chop Wood, make the Fires, etc., and to learn to write, Cypher.  P.M. I preached at Mr. Gale’s on Phil. 1.21 to p. 15.  Very few there.  Only Mr. Daniel Stockwell and about half a dozen Women, besides those who belonged to the House, and Mr. Brigham with my Daughter from my own House.