March 4, 1740

1740 March 4 (Tuesday).  Mr. Breck[1] from Springfield din’d with us.  P.M. Mr. Jonathan Barns[2] from Marlborough to bring the Request of that people that I would assist them in their Fast next week, which they had appointed on account of the Sickness among them, the Meazles and the Throat Distemper, as well as on account of their remaining under the Frowns of Divine Providence in so unsettled Circumstances.  Mr. Barns also brought a Letter from Mr. Aaron Smith with his Desires to Change next Sabbath.  Colonel Woods hath two Daughters exceeding low and in a Dangerous State by the Throat Distemper.  Mrs. Betty and Mrs. Sarah.  Mr. Jonathan Loring,[3] their Schoolmaster Sick of the Same likewise.  Mr. Breck and Mr. Barns went to Marlborough together.

[1]Rev. Robert Breck, Jr., of Springfield.

[2] Son of Deacon John Barnes.

[3]Son of Rev. Israel Loring of Sudbury.

March 5, 1740

1740 March 5 (Wednesday).  I rode to Captain Fays to see his wife in her low Condition.  From thence, with Mr. Batchellor[1] in Company great part of the way, to Mr. Zebediah Smiths at Grafton to committ a piece of Pladd and a piece of Callimanco to be dy’d and wove.  Return’d at Eve by Mr. Bezaleel Smiths and Eleazer Pratts,[2] at which places I call’d.  It was raw Cold, and Evening before I could get home, by which I was very much indispos’d.

[1]David Batchellor or Bachellor of Grafton.

[2]Smith and Pratt lived in the southern part of Westborough.

March 6, 1740

1740 March 6 (Thursday).  Catechiz’d at the Meeting House a.m. and p.m. but not so full numbers of Children as usual, on account of the Meazles, which are in many Houses.  After Catechizing I preach’d at Brother Hicks’s on Ps. 63.8 former part.  Moses Pratt[1] clean’d out my Barly.  At Eve Bezaleel Smith here.

[1]The son of Isaac Pratt of Westborough.

March 10, 1740

1740 March 10 (Monday).  I visited divers afflicted people a.m.  Din’d at Captain Williams’s,[1] who with old Captain Brigham[2] perswaded me to go to the proprietors Meeting to Speak to the proprietors in Answer to Mr. Richard Barns’s Objection against Two Acres and Thirty Rods of Land which I took up on the North End of Powder Hill.  To compass an Agreement we Chose Two Men, Mr. Barns chose Mr. Joseph Stratton,[3] and I chose Captain Nathan Brigham, and the Proprietors put in a Third, Scil. Justice Samuel Brigham, the Moderator of the Meeting.  Then I return’d home.  Here I met Neighbor James Fay who acquainted me with his Mothers[4] Death, and desir’d me to attend upon her Funeral which they had appointed to be on Wednesday, although they knew (being inform’d by Mr. Whipple[5] on Saturday) was the Day of the Fast at Marlborough which I had promis’d to attend.

[1]Abraham Williams, Parkman’s brother-in-law.

[2]Nathan Brigham of Marlborough.

[3]Of Marlborough.

[4]Mrs. John Fay.

[5]Francis Whipple of Westborough.

March 12, 1740

1740 March 12 (Wednesday).  My Wife and I rode down to Marlborough to the Fast on account of the Sickness in that Town.  Dr. Gotts Daughter Betty thought to be Dangerously ill.  Colonel Woods ill, and under great Affliction respecting his Children.  His Youngest son Dead and others remaining very ill yet.  A.M. Mr. Stone[1] pray’d and I preach’d on 1 Pet. 5.6.  We were entertain’d at the widow Gates’s.[2]  The Storm continued, and although in the Morning it was Still and moderate yet the Day prov’d Cold and Raw.  At Evening as we were at Mrs. Gates’s Mr. Smith ask’d our advice touching his Answer to the Call of that people to Settle among them.[3]  The Substance of our Advice was that considering the peoples great unanimity in Desiring him, it might appear his Duty to Accept especially being that they had been heretofore of so remarkably divided a Spirit.  But then he must plainly distinguish between this Advice resulting from the proceedings and Circumstances of the people, and any Advice grounded on his Qualifications for the Ministry, inasmuch as we were in no wise ripe for this Latter, being that we were in a great Degree Strangers to him, and being that there would be a Time and Method no Doubt appointed on Purpose for his Examination and Approbation.  My wife and I lodg’d at Dr. Gotts.

[1]Rev. Nathan Stone of Southborough.

[2]Sarah, widow of Simon Gates of Marlborough.

[3]After their trouble with the Rev. Benjamin Kent the people of Marlborough were careful about the choice of his successor.  Hudson, Marlborough, 127-128.

March 19, 1740

1740 March 19 (Wednesday).  Samuel Bumpso and David Baverick at work for me.  A.M. Cutting wood and p.m. Splicing Rails.  I rode to smith Allens to get my Mare shod.  Din’d with Colonel Ward.[1]  At Mr. Cushings[2] — his son Jacob Very ill of the Throat Distemper.  I rode to Worcester.  Meazles at Mr. Burrs,[3] his wife Sick thereof.  N.B. Mr. Morse,[4] their Schoolmaster and young preacher at Mr. Burrs this Eve.

[1]Nahum Ward of Shrewsbury.

[2]Rev. Job Cushing of Shrewsbury.

[3]Rev. Isaac Burr of Worcester.

[4]Ebenezer Morse (HC 1737), later first minister of the First Congregational Parish, Boylston, Mass.  SHG, 4:211-217.

March 20, 1740

1740 March 20 (Thursday).  The Next Morning after some Discourse of Land at Hartford and Simsbury, etc. I rode with great Haste over to Sutton yet the Roads very bad, and wholly New to me.  Mr. Hall[1] half a Mile from his House and his wife from Home.  I went to him upon the Affair of Some Land which had lately bought of Mr. Smith, Sugar Baker of Boston, but it was chiefly bargained away.  At 1/4 after one I left Mr. Hall and rode down to Grafton, to Mr. Prentice’s in about an Hour.  But they were gone to Lecture.  N.B. that Mr. Cushing was to have preach’d, but the sickness of his son prevented him.  He spake to me Yesterday of it, Mr. Prentice being gone to Groton, but expected back.  I answered nothing because of my Engagement upon my Business, but as I was riding the Road to Worcester was reflecting upon the Matter and that I had no Notes with me.  As I was Riding on I met Benjamin Fay.  Him I sent to Mrs. Parkman to desire her to wrap me up some sermons, which I remember’d to lye in the Drawer of the Table I wrote at; and the Said Fay must do his utmost to Convey them up to Grafton where I would endeavour to be.  Accordingly the Notes were come to Mr. Prentice’s.  Thus having taken Brank[2] and drank some Beer without staying to Dine, I went to Meeting and I preach’d Sermon on Ps. 73.24 to page [blank].  Return’d to Westborough in the Evening.

[1]Rev. David Hall of Sutton.

[2]Old usage for buckwheat.

March 25, 1740

1740 March 25 (Tuesday).  David and Samuel digging stones, still on the Southside.  Sent down my Subscription to the Manufacture Bank[1] by Mr. Samuel Robinson of Hardwicke.

[1]This term was sometimes used for the Land Bank of 1740, a plan for providing a currency backed by real estate and redeemable in the future in commodities.  Andrew M. Davis, Currency and Banking in the Province of Massachusetts-Bay (New York, 1901) 2:140.

March 28, 1740

1740 March 28 (Friday).  Sam at work digging stones, on the South side.  N.B. Mr. Prentice of Grafton came up from Marlborough, and Mr. Belcher Hancock from Grafton and din’d with us, as did Mr. Samuel Robinson who had done my Business at the Manufacture Bank.  P.M. I rode to Captain Warrins.  Great Disappointment about a Team.  My wife very full of pain in her Teeth.  Mrs. Whipple watch’d.