September 1, 1736

1736 September 1 (Wednesday).  Broke fast and Spent most of the Forenoon at Mr. P____ts.  Dined with my Mother.  At Eve I was again at Mr. P____ts.  N.B. Mrs. Elizabeth Pierce and Mr. Earl there — but I retired with what Decency I could, to the Chamber.  Mrs. Hannah the Same as last Night — Not backward to discover Regard and Affection, but yet not much more Light, as to the Article of the Children.  Her behaviour very prudent and Cautious, yet very respectfull.  About 11 I returned to Brother Elias’s to my Lodging.

September 2, 1736

1736 September 2 (Thursday).  Rainy.  Mr. Gee Lecture on 2 Cor. 6.18.  Dined at Brother Samuels.  N.B. Brother William’s Second Daughter[1] married this Eve to Mr. Samuel Bradshaw of Medford.  In the Company was Mr. Hooper,[2] a Scotch Gentleman who had lately begun to preach in Boston, and greatly cryed up.  It was not So pleasant and agreeable a Time to me, as I might have hop’d and desired it to have been; but on account of the great Suspence the Affair at Mr. P____ts is left in; and on Account of the distressing illness of sister Elizabeth who grows much worse, and that Parkman is brought from College this Eve in a Chaise Sick of the Distemper.  God be graciously pleased to visit, direct and Support that afflicted Family, and vouchsafe salvation!  Mr. Webb went from the Wedding to Brother Elias’s.  I lodged at Brother Samuel’s.

[1]Sarah, daughter of William Parkman.

[2]William Hooper (d. 1767), Edinburgh 1723, minister of Boston’s West Church, 1737-1746; Trinity Church, Boston, 1747-1767.  Weis, Colonial Clergy, 110.

September 3, 1736

1736 September 3 (Friday).  Breakfast with the Bridegroom and Bride.  Dined at Brother Elias’s.  The sick no better.  Mr. Foxcrofts Lecture at Dr. Colmans on Lev. 10.3.  Instead of going up with the Ministers I turned down with Mr. Sherbourn (in whose Pew I Sat) and went directly to my Brother Samuel’s and into Mr. Pierponts.  After Tea Mrs. Hannah and I retir’d to our Chamber.  Her Conduct very admirable for a discreet, respectfull Reserve.  The old Article is the grand and only obstacle — greatly fears how she shall be able to get over it; yet will use her Endeavour that she may, and assures me that it will be no small trouble to her if she can’t: In the mean time must let me know that it is very Dark with her, nor knows she what will be the issue.  I left her between 11 and 12 and returned to lodge at Brother Elias’s.  Mrs. Storer watched with the Sick, who were still very bad.  Little Dolly[1] also complaining much of her Throat.

[1]Dolly, daughter of Elias Parkman.

September 4, 1736

1736 September 4 (Saturday).  A very Melancholly, distressed House.  Elias[1] much worse.  I perceived his Mouth and Throat to be exceeding bad — a great Bladder or Tumor upon his Swallow.  Fever very Strong.  His Mother very low.  The little Girl (his sister) confined also by her sore Throat.  Before I left the Town Brother Elias appeared in great Distress by his sons growing still worse — light-headed and confused.  Our Mother was very ill also at his House.  We parted with heavy hearts, yet confiding in the tender Compassion of our Merciful heavenly Father.  I rode to Cambridge and then to Capt. Samuel Jacksons where I found young Mr. Smith, Mr. Swan and Mr. Wakefield upon their Journey upward.  Mr. Swift rode as far as his Brother Robys.[2]  The rest of us dined at Mr. Baldwins.  Mr. Swan and Mr. Wakefield accompanyed me home and kept sabbath with me.

[1]Elias Parkman (1718-1751), Harvard 1737.  SHG, 10:223-24.

[2]Ebenezer Roby (1701-1772), Harvard 1719, physician of Sudbury, m. Sarah, dau. of Rev. John Swift (Harvard 1697) and sister of Rev. John Swift, Jr. (Harvard 1733).  SHG, 6:336-39.

September 5, 1736

1736 September 5 (Sunday).  Mr. Swan a.m. on Ps. 25.14.  P.M. on Act. 17.31.  The Company I had to day was in a very great Measure Unavoidable — and what I could by no Means choose at this Time.  For although Mr. Swan’s help was very acceptable yet Mr. Wakefield was wholly unexpected.  It proved a great interruption to the Desired Exercises of my Birth Day.  But my Soul cannot but bless the Lord and magnifie his holy Name for the wondrous Preservation granted me this remarkable Year when there has been not only so much Sickness and Death in the Country, but when there has been such an observable Hand of God upon my own Family.  See Sept. 7.

September 6, 1736

1736 September 6 (Monday).  Mr. Swan and Mr. Wakefield took leave.  N.B. greatly pestered and fatigued last night and to Day by Brothers Hogs, as my family was all last week, every Day.  Brother Hicks goes to Cambridge and leaves His Hog Unyoked — whilst David has been and continues all this while confined by his Lameness.  What he did last week was one half Day in throwing Dirt out of the Cellar.

September 8, 1736

1736 September 8 (Wednesday).  David erects the Old Table Leaf into a [Tray?] Table, makes it his forenoon work.  P.M. he cut Stalks, but it was with pain and trouble and therefore hindrance.  The Eclipse of the Moon at Night was an entertaining work of God to behold.  N.B. Some white Frost last night and great likelihood to Night by the great Cold of this Eve.

September 9, 1736

1736 September 9 (Thursday).  Frost this Morning again.  Lecture to the Young people and to Children instead of Catechizing, on 1 King 18.12.  The Exercise considerably well attended but I think not so many of our own people, or So many from other Towns.  David at Business again, cutting Stalks, but with Some Complaint of his Leg.  Old Mr. Maynard here at Eve — here late.  Obliged to leave him [to Brothers?] Rice and retire to Bed.  Neighbour Cornelius Cook’s[1] youngest Child dangerously bad with the Distemper.  N.B. a Third, and a very great Frost.

[1]Cornelius Cook, blacksmith of Westborough.

September 13, 1736

1736 September 13 (Monday).  Being in great Concern about Brother Elias’s Family, his wife and only son especially, whom I left dangerously ill (See Sept. 4) and hearing nothing but by Jesse Maynard which was that Elias was not Dead, but that he was nigh or altogether as bad as ever, I took my Horse and rode to Marlborough to see if there was any Letter at the Colonel’s for me, or any News from College or Boston by Mr. Caleb Rice or by Marlborough preacher; but hearing nothing of them to relieve my oppressed Mind (except what I met with from Deacon [Feveryear?[1]] and Cous. Langdon[2] whom I met at Sudbury) I proceeded to Cambridge (not without some Desire also (I confess) to see somebody else).  From Cambridge I proceeded still, to Boston where my Brother received Me with great Joy and Thanks for my tender Sympathy and Concern for them in their Distressing Troubles.  Through the Wondrous Goodness of God My Mother was about again —Sister was much revived, her Cough abated etc.  And Elias not only alive, but relieved and able to set up, though very weak and feeble yet: John Tyley far recovered.  Glory to our Almighty Healer!  O that this might prove especially to my Nephew devoted to public service an happy Seasoning etc.  And then what a vast and incomparable Benefit shall both He and we reap by this Dispensation.  God grant it may be so!  I Spent the latter part of the Evening with Mrs. H.B. till about 11, and then returned and lodged at Brother Elias’s.  N.B. both the state of my mind as I was riding this Journey, and what befell me upon it.  And First, whilst upon my Journey; when I Could, I employed my Mind not only upon the Troubles of my Brother, but upon my own, and upon that weighty Affair which I was left in the greatest Suspence about, when I left Mrs. H.B. last: And I very earnestly and importunately besought God, the Great Ruler of the World, and Disposer of all our Circumstances And in whose Hands are the Hearts of all Persons whosoever, that it would please Him to vouchsafe me Guidance and Direction, and would succeed and prosper me, as He did Jacob[3] when he went forth from Home upon such an Errand as this; that it might please God to behold the Desolate Condition I am in, and the broken State of My Family; and that if it might be his Will to grant Me another Partner, he would be pleased to furnish Such an one for me, conduct me to Her, and grant me Success — and that if the Person I was designing to visit Should be such an one as might be a Blessing to me and to my bereaved Family, and to the Flock of God in Westborough and Should prove a Fellow-Helper and my Companion in the Kingdom and Patience of Jesus Christ, that then it might please God to remove the Difficultys <and discouragements> in my Way and give me prosperity; and incline her to Me, and enable her to overcome her Discouragements.  And if God Should please, whether with this person or with whomsoever, to make my Life Comfortable again So as that I may again attend to my Ministerial Duty with some freeness and Delight — Then I would humbly, but solemnly engage that, by his Grace assisting me, all that Comfort and pleasure, all that Delight and Satisfaction, and all the Advantages I may reap by such Success granted Me by God, shall be improved to His Glory, and to the Benefit of his people to the Spiritual and Eternal Welfare of my own soul, and to the highest Good of my Family — In short, that, as Jacobs Vow ran, Then the Lord shall be my God[4] — that is, I shall look upon my self as under a New and peculiar Obligation to acknowledge Him as Such.  Now after this I remark Secondly, What befell me upon This.  1.) That Evening I was much puzzled and perplexed by what means I Should keep from endangering my whole Design this Evening which would be likely to be lost if I Should meet with Company at Mr. P__  t’s and be obliged to engage with them I Should be disappointed in my Design of improving my few Minutes left me — for fatigued with my Journey I could not sit up late after they were gone — But God favoured me in bringing Mrs. H________ her Self to the Door, who immediately conducted me up into our Chamber.  Several Circumstances of this Event, made it appear to me a Special Favour of Divine Providence.  2.) Although I had no greater Encouragement this Evening if so much, as when I left Mrs. H________ the last Journey — And I was almost ready to resolve that these retired and Special visits and Addresses must be concluded.  Yet the Next Day,

[1]Grafton Feveryeare of Boston’s Second or “Old North Church”; Worthley, Inventory, 58.

[2]Edward Langdon.

[3]Genesis 28.

[4]Genesis 28:20-21.

September 14, 1736

1736 September 14th (Tuesday).  (and by the way a most rainy Time), After I had drank a Dish of Tea <together> with Madam P____t and had Spent a Secret Minute with Mr. P_____t upon the Affair, So difficult and utterly discouraging as it now seemed to be, I Say after these Things, when I was with Mrs. H________ in the foresaid Chamber, I found a great deal of Reason to quiet my Self and patiently wait upon Divine Providence Still.  She made such prudent Discoverys of her mind and Inclinations — that for the present it gives me much Satisfaction.  And I would not fail to take notice of the Good Hand of God upon me thus far.  About 11 is commonly the time of my returning.  Lodged again at Brother Elias’s.

September 15, 1736

1736 September 15 (Wednesday).  Mr. John Tucker having proved utterly unfaithfull to his promise to come up to me to set my Pump to rights, I went to him this Morning and he renewed his Engagement to me that he would not fail to be with me in a Day or Two.  I rode to Cambridge and dined there; and thence to Marlborough to Dr. Gott’s and lodged There.  N.B. Mr. Billings, of Westborough my Company from Baldwin’s; for he had been at the General Meeting of Petitioners at Concord, who waited upon the General Courts Committee for granting and laying out Townships.  He brings but a very discouraging account of their proceedings.

September 19, 1736

1736 September 19 (Sunday).  Through my Discomposures yesterday and the Day before I was prevented finishing (or near it) one of my Exercises, and therefore was obliged to repeat Sermon on 1 Pet. 2.11 a.m. but preached on Luk. 19.42 p.m.  O that God would accompany these awakening Things with his Almighty Blessing, that we may not add to the wretched Number who Neglect and despise their Day and the Things of their Peace, and provoke God to hide them from their Eyes!

September 22, 1736

1736 September 22 (Wednesday).  Mr. Joseph Stretton came from Marlborough with Mr. Ephraim Brighams Request to visit and pray with them at the Funeral of their Only Child[1] — and I went with him.  N.B. As I went to Marlborough I visited Aaron and Samuel Hardys Familys, whose Children, especially the Latter’s, were sick of the Distemper.  Called at Coll. Wards and Mr. Amsdens as I returned in the Evening.  Very Cool Evening.  N.B. David and [Ebenezer?] Maynard digging stones.

[1]Hannah, dau. of Ephraim and Hannah Brigham, b. Mar. 26, 1732; d. Sept. 21, 1736 (MVR, 40, 348).

September 23, 1736

1736 September 23 (Thursday).  A great Frost last night.  Mr. Beriah Rice’s Wife[1] and Ruth Bradish[2] (the latter but 14 Years of age last May) both here to Joyn with the Church.  David Gate Stuff — p.m. winter Apples.

[1] Beriah Rice mar. Mary Goodenow, Jan. 6, 1731 (WVR, 199); she was admitted to the Westborough church, Oct. 10, 1736 (WCR, 44); he was admitted, May 30, 1742 (WCR, 62); they were dismissed to the Upton church, May 26, 1751 (WCR, 89).

[2]Ruth, daughter of James and Dameris Braddish, b. May 7, 1722 (WVR, 24); she was admitted to the Westborough church, Sept. 2, 1739 (WCR, 55).

September 28, 1736

1736 September 28 (Tuesday).  Mr. Haven and I set out for New Medfield though in the Rain.  Deacon Rice and his son Josiah[1] overtook us upon the Road.  Mr. Haven because the Rain continued, went to Mr. Goddards of Leicester, but we (with Mr. Cushing) to Richardsons and thence up to New Medfield — got there Comfortably in the Evening about 7 or 8 o’Clock, and had very Comfortable Lodging in that New Place.

[1]Josiah, son of Calleb and Mary Rice, b.  Dec. 30, 1700 (MVR, 157).

September 29, 1736

1736 September 29 (Wednesday).  We went from our Lodging up to Mr. Fisk’s, where the Council was to meet.  Here we formed into an Ecclesiastical Council.  Mr. Campbel Moderator and Mr. Bridgham scribe.  N.B. Mr. Baxter of Medfield could not come by Reason of the Distemper in that Town: nor did Mr. Cheney[1] of Brookfield come till it was very late.  Mr. Rice was Examined by the Moderator and his Qualifyedness voted.  The Church was gathered and signed their Covenant.  They as a Church voted Mr. Rice their Pastor.  When we went to the Meeting House, I was offended with the Indecency of a wrestling Ring and I went to ‘em and expressed my Dissatisfaction.  Rev. Mr. Cheney joined me and we dispersed ‘em.  We also went up resolutely into the Chamber at the Tavern where was a violin and Dancing and stilled and scattered ‘em, declaring loudly against such Indecencys — and then we repaired to the public worship.  Mr. Bridgham prayed.  I preached from Heb. 13.17.  Mr. Campbell prayed and gave the Charge, Mr. Cheney prayed after the Charge.  Mr. Breck gave the Right Hand — and Part of Ps. 132 was sung (read by Mr. How of Dudley[2] the other pastor in the Council).  <illegible gave the Blessing?>  N.B. Mr. Brigham,[3] Mr. Breck, Devotion,[4] Allis,[5] Avery,[6] Whittlesey,[7] and several others (with Madam Throop[8] and Mrs. Morris, whose Husband also came afterwards into the Company) were at a New House near by the House of Entertainment and spent the Evening there, with no little Cheerfullness.  Mr. Breck and Deacon Rice and I lodged at Mr. Rice’s Lodgings; But it was very late before we got to Bed.

[From the New-England Weekly Journal, Oct. 5, 1736, p. [2]:  “New-Medfield in the County of Worcester, Sept. 29.  This Day the Rev. Mr. Caleb Rice, was ordain’d Pastor of the Church in this Place.  The Rev. Mr. Bridgham of Brimfield, began with Prayer; the Rev. Mr. Parkman of Westborough, preach’d on Heb. 13.17.  The Rev. Mr. Campbell of Oxford gave the Charge, the Rev. Mr. Cheney of Brookfield making the latter Prayer during the Imposition of Hands.  And the Rev. Mr. Breck of Springfield gave the Right Hand of Fellowship.]

[1]Thomas Cheney (c. 1692-1747), Harvard 1711, minister of Brookfield, 1717-1747.  SHG, 5:561-63. 

[2]Perley How (c. 1710-1753), Harvard 1731, minister of Dudley, 1735-1743, Killingly (First Congregational Church of Putnam), 1746-1753.  SHG, 9:51-54

[3]James Brigham (1707-1776), Harvard 1726, minister of Brimfield, 1736-1776; SHG, 8:7-10.

[4]Ebenezer Devotion (1684-1741), Harvard 1707, minister of Suffield, Connecticut , 1710-1741; SHG, 5:329-31.

[5]Samuel Allis (1705-1796), Harvard 1724, minister of Somers (Second Church of Enfield), Conn., 1727-1747.  SHG, 7:292-94.

[6]Probably Ephraim Avery (1713-1754), Harvard 1731, minister of Brooklyn (Second Church, Pomfret), Connecticut, 1735-1754.  SHG 9:4-7.

[7]Samuel Whittelsey, Jr. (1713-1768), Yale 1729 (Honorary Harvard, 1732), minister of Second Church, Milford, Conn., 1737-1768.  SHG, 8:635-38.

[8]Possibly Frances (Davis) Throop, widow of Amos Throop (1702-1736), Harvard 1721, minister of Woodstock, 1727-1736.  SHG, 6:572-74.