July 4, 1726

1726 July 4 (Monday).  I rode away to Mr. Brecks,[1] who acquainted me with what was done last association.  Especially referring to Mr. McKinstrys[2] Cause, and Mr. Barretts[3] with Mr. How.  Thence I rode to Mr. Woods.  Thence to Mr. Cooks where I din’d on fry’d Pigeons.  Thence to Livermores, from whence to Father Champney’s.[4]  My Journey hither was very Tedious but I proceeded to Boston.  Through my illness I was very much tired.  Brother John,[5] I was informed was ready to sail for Dublin in a vessel belonging to the Family.  Brother Alexanders[6] wife Last week was Delivered of a Daughter.[7]

[1]Reverend Robert Breck of Marlborough.

[2]Reverend John McKinstry of Sutton. Benedict and Tracey, Sutton, pp. 32-35.

[3]Reverend Samuel Barrett of Hopkinton.

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

[5]Parkman’s brother-in-law, John Tyley.

[6]Parkman’s older brother, Alexander.

[7]Esther Parkman, born June 29, 1726.

July 5, 1726

1726 July 5 (Tuesday).  I was about various Concerns but I was very faint and incapable of Business.  I was at Mather Byles’s[1] and he show’d me (at my Request) his Poem to Mr. Dowding on his Verses of Eternity, Sent in a Letter to Sir Byles.  This Poem was published in the Courant No. _____.[2]  He repeated his own and Mr. Adams’s[3] Poems on Captain Winslow[4] deceas’d with all which I was very well pleas’d.  I was at various places but I was not well in Either.  I was very much afflicted with the Oppressions at my Stomach.  I was with Dr. [Louis] Dalhonde.

[1]Mather Byles (Harvard 1725), poet, humorist, minister of the Hollis St. Church, Boston, 1732-1776.  Sibley, VII, 464-493.  For information on Byles’ poetry see the Introduction by C. Lennart Carlson in the 1940 facsimile edition of Byles’ Poems on Several Occasions (Boston, 1744).

[2]The New England Courant, No. 237, published in Boston.  Dowding may have been Joseph, b. 1702.

[3]John Adams (Harvard 1721), poet, minister and classmate of Parkman.  Sibley, VI, 424-427.

[4]Captain Josiah Winslow (Harvard 1721) was the commander of a fort on St. George’s River in Maine, and was killed in an Indian engagement April 30, 1724.  Sibley, VI, 587-589.  Byles’ poem was printed in his Poems on Several Occasions (Boston, 1744), and Adams’ in his Poems on Several Occasions (Boston, 1745).

July 6, 1726

1726 July 6 (Wednesday).  Commencement.  I was much of a stranger at College, but my indispositions much prevented my making my Observations.  The Batchelours had their Degrees in the Meeting house in the Morning.  But there was so much rain at noon that the masters Disputations were in College-Hall and their Degrees given them in the Afternoon.  I was at Sir Bridghams[1] Chamber at Dinner but I was not fit for any Conversation through my Lifelessness.  I was desir’d by Mr. Barrett to Meet here with our Association upon Mr. McKinstrys Cause, But no body came.  Mr. Breck led me to Sir Saltonstalls[2] Chamber where there being little Company I had most Quiet.  It was a very rainy Time which kept the Town full of People, full of Jollitys and no one knows what.  At Night having borrowed a Large Sturdy Coat I ventured over to Father Champney’s but it was very wet, uncomfortable.  Here was Cousin Dorcas Bows[3] and Susan Champney.[4]  We lodg’d Comfortably.  But a little after midnight Mrs. Jerusha Fairweather and Mrs. Mary Gain Came over.  I was awoke but they concluded I was asleep, and therefore I was never Troubled.

[1]James Bridgham (Harvard 1726).  Sibley, VIII, 7-10.

[2]Nathaniel Saltonstall (Harvard 1727).  Sibley, VIII, 263-265.

[3]Mrs. Parkman’s cousin.

[4]Susanna Champney, daughter of Joseph Champney, and Mrs. Parkman’s cousin.

July 7, 1726

1726 July 7 (Thursday).  In the Morn I found that Two Young Gentlemen had waited upon the forementioned Ladies but Despairing of Room in the House, never Enquir’d and roll’d into the Barn.  Yet one was Sir Clark[1] one of the Orators; the other Mr. Woodbridge,[2] son of Governor Woodbridge[3] of the Asiento Company in the West Indies.  It was Dark weather but pleasant Company particularly Mrs. Gains, with whom I chiefly confin’d my Conversation.  About Ten I return’d over to the Town.  I met Mrs. Porter who had just before had a turn of Illness and was coming out of Colledge to take the Air.  She Desir’d me to walk with her.  I embraced the opportunity, and (with her Sister, Two Miss Charnocks[4] and their Gentlemen Mr. Baxter[5] and Mr. Baker[6]) we walk’d round the Common, a long walk for an ill Man and a woman but half reviv’d.  We lodged Safe at Sir Balch’s[7] and I bid them Adieu for I was Oblig’d to hasten to Boston, to finish the Rest of my Business.  I did so and Returned back to Cambridge.  I waited on Sir Clark, and gave up the Cause.  I retir’d to Father Champneys again and was much Diverted by the Facetious Company of Mrs. Gain.

[1]William Clark (Harvard 1726), later a Boston physician and political writer.  Sibley, VIII, 12-19.

[2]Benjamin Woodbridge (Harvard 1728).  Sibley, VIII, 533-535.

[3]Judge Dudley Woodbridge of Barbados.

[4]Elizabeth and Mary, daughters of John and Mary Charnock of Cambridge or Boston.

[5]Joseph Baxter (Harvard 1724). Sibley, VII, 304-305.

[6]Thomas Baker (Harvard 1724).  Sibley, VII, 294-295.

[7]William Batch (Harvard 1724).  Sibley, VII, 296-304.

July 8, 1726

1726 July 8 (Friday).  About Ten (as I remember) I took horse for home, Mother Champney[1] being with me.  I was become much better and my Journey was Much Easier than I (fearfully) Expected it would be.  We came home very Safely.  (Deo Optimo Salvatori Gratas quam plurimas.)  Asher Rice had been here at work (Mowing).  When I had been at home sometime and had Contented my Self with my appointment with Mr. Cushing to Change.  I was Surpriz’d to hear that his Arm was very bad and he gone or going to Narragansett, upon which I was driven to Compose Discourses for Sabbath Day.  But I was in a flutter and could write but four lines.  I Examined myself concerning my Negligence.  I considered my Journey as Necessary to seek advice touching my Health; that I had no Opportunity or Strength; and the Divine Providence intervening and removing the means of my assistance I had the more Solid grounds to proceed to Entreat the Divine Help.

[1]Mrs. Samuel Champney, Parkman’s mother-in-law.

July 10, 1726

1726 July 10 (Sunday).  I preach’d all Day upon Jer. 4.14.  My Wife was Taken with a shivering and Trembling while in the afternoon Exercise, but Showed nothing to me till I was come out of meeting, when She walked very Slow and look’d more pale and sunk than I had ever seen heron any occasion that I remember.  But she made a shift to get home and then grew somewhat better.  I concluded it to be issue proceeding from the Procidantia Uteri which she had been Troubled with.  This accident put us upon Weaning the Child which this Night began.

July 11, 1726

1726 July 11 (Monday).  I went out to see my Hay; Mr. Rice[1] came to see me and he with my own people (Two of them) got it into Cock.  The Boy, first with me and then the men, poled it in, there being appearance of foul Weather nigh, and the cocks standing round the Barn, very Easy at hand.  Now and in the next Morning together we carry’d in above Thirty.

[1]Asher Rice of Westborough.

July 12, 1726

1726 July 12 (Tuesday).  My Wife Rode with me to Mr. Cushings whose arm Continues very Stiff and Troublesome.  Yet Patient Job was good Company.  What a favour of heaven to have the mind Stock’d with wise, with Divine Principles whereby it is fortify’d and kept Even.  My Wife Seem’d to have a comfortable Time, and I made my Observations upon the Pleasure she seem’d to take in this Ride.  Yet I understood afterwards that while at Mr. Cushings She was not very well.

July 16, 1726

1726 July 16 (Saturday).  My Barley Secur’d by Neighbor Maynard and his son.  Molly was much indispos’d and I sent Yesterday to Marlborough for Mrs. Williams but she was not there.  To Day I sent Hannah Peterson to her house, but she sent me Reasons she thought Sufficient for her not coming.  We were very low at the news my wife being oppress’d with Every illness:  The Procidentia, etc., the turning of her Milk, Her Mouth Obstructed, pain in her Breast, and great pain and weakness in Every part.

July 17, 1726

1726 July 17 (Sunday).  My Wife rose out of Bed but exceeding ill, bound together with her Excessive pains; came down; I’m afraid took Some Air at the Door; grew much worse.  I got her up Stairs in order to go to Bed again, but she almost swoon’d away.  Recovering a little from her faintings, She demonstrated to us that she was in grievous agonies.  She undress’d and with the Tenderest Help [of] her Mother and myself She was assisted to Bed.  But Every maladie was Enraged, by Every weakness and discouragement left almost Lifeless.  I walked a little in the Room, her mother holding in one hand her hand, her other laid upon her Head.  I cast my Eyes now and then upon her and Concluded she was drowsing, but I went to her to look upon her, and Spoke to her.  Receiving no kind of Return Her Mother put her hand to her mouth.  I urg’d Some Testification or sign, but none being given; but she lay in a profound stillness when as though had hitherto been vigorously strugling Her Teeth were set, her Limbs Cold, her Eyes Distorted, and very Little Life any where perceptible, when her Mother gave me the word that She was Dying.  How I felt outgoes Description.  I hastened the Maid to Mrs. Forbush.  My Wife Lay for the space of 3 quarters of or altogether an hour I suppose in such a Condition.  O Dismal Hour, wherein the Struggle with my heart for her Division was like the Rending the Soul from the Body!  It was truly a most gloomy Time!  Mrs. Forbush came just when She spoke, a Galbunum Plaister was taken off which was too strong for her.  Something was given her and She Revid’d a little but Continued in the Last Extremitys.  It was a Reprieve but it Seem’d a Short one.  We Expected we must be Rent asunder this Day!  It grew more and more Intollerable!  I was full of prayers and anon I had Some Hope.  I grew more Confirmed in Hope.  It brought fresh to my Mind all the Bitter Sufferings of her Dark friday, Ever long, about nine Months before, wherein I had the Same prospects. The Salvations of God then, strengthened my Trust in him.  She became more sensible.  We Encouraged ourselves in the Lord and He show’d us his Mercy.  While We have any being let us praise the Lord!  It grew very Late, but Leaving her under the Divine Protection, and to the care of Mrs. Forbush and Madame Maynard I repair’d to the House of God.  Our Devotions, if they were fervent, they were short.  Mrs. Peterson came and by various Applications she grew more Easy.  I was full of Thankfullness and went again to the public worship, Mrs. Bayles tarrying with her.  Our Text a.m. and p.m. was Jer. 4.14.  She continued extream bad.  I sent Daniel Hardy[1] to Mr. Barrett.  Mrs. Peterson watch’d.  I have almost utterly forgot what became of me that night.  (Now I recollect.)  Mr. Barrett came.  He said and did very little.  He gave us an account of what Mrs. Whitcomb had sent.  He gave us better Balsom of Fennel for her violent Fever, gave her some Tent wine.[2]  He pray’d with us.  We lodg’d together.

[1]Of Westborough.

[2]A deep red wine of low alcoholic content obtained chiefly from Spain.

July 19, 1726

1726 July 19 (Tuesday).  Molly grew worse by a vomiting flux; the Morning very grievous.  I sent Phinehas Hardy[1] to Mr. Barrett who sent us Some plaisters and more Tent.  She was somewhat better in the Afternoon; by various Applications the Flux Stay’d till night.  Mrs. Thurston[2] watch’d.  These Dayes I could do little besides reading Mr. Shepherds Sincere Convert[3] and Dr. Edward’s Exercitations Critic. Philosoph. Historic Theog. on Some S.S.  Martha Becom an Indian came.[4]

[1]Of Westborough.

[2]Mrs. Joseph Thurston of Westborough.

[3]Thomas Shepherd, The Sincere Convert, Discovering the Small Number of True Believers, and the Great Difficulty of Saving Conversion (Cambridge, 1664).

[4]One of the works of John Edwards, D.D. (1637-1716), the English divine.  Parkman possessed several of the books of Edwards.  See DeForest and Bates, Westborough, pp. 73-75.  [Addition to Walett’s footnote: John Edwards, Exercitations Critical, Philosophical, Historical, Theological: on Several Important Places in the Writings of the Old and New Testament.  In Two Parts (London, 1702).]

July 20, 1726

1726 July 20 (Wednesday).  And this morning Joshua Misco[1] and his Squa howed my Corn.  I went in the Afternoon to seek Labourers.  At Peres Rice’s[2] was one Stearns[3] of Sutton, who was full of inconsistance about the Affairs of Mr. McKinstry and the Doctrines he had delivered.  When I came home my wife had been (tho’ without any the least Reason) very much affrighted with the Indians, and full fear of what they might do.  And yet there was no greater peace and good Temper than they Demonstrated and went away soberly to their Lodging in the neighborhood.  She was not well pleas’d with her Mother; and left with me Notwithstanding Necessity call’d me forth; and I took a Season when Company was with her.  But the Weakness of her Body brought strange apprehensions in the mind.

[1]One of the Indian proprietors of Hassanamisco.

[2]Perez Rice of Westborough.

[3]Either Ebenezer Stoms or Samuel Stearns.

July 30, 1726

1726 July 30 (Saturday).  The frequent showers so Engaged Everyone about his Corn and Hay that it was no Easy matter to Obtain Help.  It was with great Difficulty I got Neighbor Clark and his son to Shock my grain, which having layn long in the Field in all weathers and a threatening storm nigh, I was Restless till the Grain my Chief Dependance was upon [was] Secur’d.  Shall I note here the Answers given by Two persons that my wife remark’d when she sent to Neighbor Clarks for assistance.  Neighbor Clarks grain was upon Spoil and he was reaping it.  He had Many (I think Ten) load of Hay that had been very long in cock in the Meadows and must be Tho’t to be rotting.  Himself lame in his hand, besides his common lameness in his Leggs.  His Son, who was all his Help, had hurt his ancle, and therefore he directed the messinger to ask Neighbor Maynard who had his own, his sons David, Jesse, Josham, Jonathan and Ebenezer’s Help, though one or Two of the last were not like the others.  His Business in Good forwardness.  He [Maynard] Replys when my Grass and Corn will move into my Barn without hands I’ll leave it to Help Mr. Parkman — not before.  The Messenger returns to Neighbor Clark.  He answers what shall I do?  My own is really Suffering and Everything is backward for want of a Team, for I have none and can get none, But he is Labouring for our Souls and why Shall I refuse? and came away.