January 1, 1742

General Introduction for 1742

The American Antiquarian Society acquired Ebenezer Parkman’s diaries for 1736 and 1742 in 1985, some two decades after the serial publication of Parkman’s diary, through 1755, in the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society.  Portions of the diary for 1742 had appeared in Joseph Tracy’s History of the Great Awakening, but the manuscript remained in private hands for another 143 years.  Like Joseph Tracy, readers of the diary for 1742 will find fascinating details about the religious revivals as they affected Parkman and individuals and families in Westborough and neighboring communities.  And, of course, there are many more details about the day-to-day life of Parkman’s ministry, his family, his farm, and his extended networks of neighbors, parishioners, kin, and ministerial colleagues, all part of the literally hundreds individuals, some identified, others anonymous, whom he mentioned in the course of a year.

This transcription of the diary for 1742 uses the so-called “expanded” editorial method (as described in the Harvard Guide to American History).

The following abbreviations have been used for sources cited in the footnotes:

CVR Vital Records of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston: Wright & Potter, 1915)
DYG Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College with Annals of the College History (6 vols.  New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1885-1912)
HVR Vital Records of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1911)
LVR Vital Records of Leicester, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester: Franklin P. Rice, 1903)
MVR Vital Records of Marlborough, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester, MA: Franklin P. Rice, 1908)
Newbury VR Vital Records of Newbury, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem, MA: The Essex Institute, 1911)
Northborough VR Vital Records of Northborough, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1850 (Worcester; Franklin P. Rice, 1901).
RVR Vital Records of Rutland, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester: Franklin P. Rice, 1905)
Sherborn VR Vital Records of Sherborn, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1911)
SHG Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, more formally known as John Langdon Sibley and Clifford K. Shipton, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts (18 vols.; Cambridge, MA, and Boston, 1873-1999).  Vol. 18 is by Conrad Edick Wright and Edward W. Hanson.
Shrewsbury VR Vital Records of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester: Franklin P. Rice, 1904)
Southborough VR Vital Records of Southborough, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester: Franklin P. Rice, 1903)
WCR Westborough Church Records (Local History Room, Westborough Public Library
WVR Vital Records of Westborough, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester, MA: Franklin P. Rice, 1903)


Diary Entry

1742 January 1 (Friday).  I may with the utmost reason admire and adore the infinite Patience and Long Suffering of God towards so ungrateful, vile unprofitable Worm!  O may I with deep Unfeigned Repentance humble my self for the sins of my Life Past, and especially for the neglects and miscarriages of the year past; and might it please God to enable me to fix my Resolutions, touching my Conduct and future part of my Life; but in peculiar what I may be allowed of this Year!  O that God might glorify himself by me; and that He would please to lay out all the Events of this year!  All my Times are in his Hand; and, Lord, all my Springs are in Thee!

January 3, 1742

1742 January 3 (Sunday).  I preached on 1 Thess. 1.10.  Mrs. Thurston[1] and Mrs. Lawrence[2] dined with me.

[1]Probably Dorothy, wife of Joseph Thurston.  They were admitted to the Westborough church, Nov. 8, 1741, by dismissal from Marlborough (Dorothy) and from Medfield (Joseph); WCR, 61.

[2]Jane, wife of Benjamin Lawrence.  The Lawrences were admitted into the Westborough church by dismissal from Lexington, July 3, 1737, and were dismissed to the church in Bolton, Feb. 16, 1749; WCR, 45, 84.

January 4, 1742

1742 January 4 (Monday).  Town Meeting.  Great Disquietment in Town about Dividing the Town.  William Pierce[1] and Cornelius Biglo[2] cutt wood for me part of the Day.  Snow.  Mr. Jenison was was [sic] very bad, much Stuffed and choaked up with his Cold.

[1]William and Sarah Pierce had owned the covenant in Hopkinton (WCR, 32: June 24, 1733).  They were admitted to the Westborough church by dismissal from the Southborough church (WCR, 66: June 5, 1743).

[2]Cornelius Biglo (or Biglow) was b. Nov. 20, 1710, son of Samuel and Ruth Biglo; MVR, 30.  He married Mary Greaves, Dec. 27, 1731; WVR, 123.

January 9, 1742

1742 January 9 (Saturday).  Mr. Richard Pattershall[1] came — dined with me.  Cloudy, Snowy — but by his extra Importunity I consented to undertake the difficult ride to Marlborough, Mr. Smith[2] gone to preach at Holden for Mr. Varney.[3]  Lodged at Dr. Gotts.[4]

[1]Richard Pateshall (1714-1768), Harvard 1735; SHG, 9:558-60.

[2]Aaron Smith (1713-1781), Harvard 1735, minister of Marlborough, 1740-1778; SHG, 9:575-78.

[3]James Varney (1706-1783), Harvard 1725, minister of Wilmington, 1733-1739; SHG, 7:601-02.

[4]Dr. Benjamin Gott of Marlborough (1706-1751) had been married to Sarah Breck (1711-1740), whose sister, Hannah, married Ebenezer Parkman, Sept. 1, 1737.

January 12, 1742

1742 January 12 (Tuesday).  A fine Day.  My wife[1] rode with me to Mr. Belknaps at whose request I preached there to a considerable assembly on Isa. 55.7.  Mr. T[ilbo?] lodged with us.

[1]Hannah (Breck) Parkman, Ebenezer Parkman’s second wife.  Hannah (1716-1801) was the daughter of Rev. Robert and Elizabeth Breck.  Breck (1682-1731), Harvard 1700, was minister of the Marlborough church, 1704-1731; SHG, 4:515-18

January 17, 1742

1742 January 17 (Sunday).  On Matt. 11.  Luk. 19.10.  Cold.  Mrs. Tainter[1] and Sarah Stretton[2] dined here.

[1]Rebecca (Harrington) Tainter, wife of Simon.  They were born in Watertown.  Simon was admitted to the Westborough church, Apr. 3, 1726; WCR, 3.  Rebecca was admitted June 27, 1731, by dismissal from the Watertown church.

[2]Sarah Stretton may have been from Watertown (where Rebecca Tainter was born).

January 27, 1742

1742 January 27 (Wednesday).  Ephraim Whitney[1] and Eleazer Williams[2] came and cutt wood for me a.m. but p.m. Rain and they went home.

[1]Ephraim, son of Nathaniel and Mary Whitney, b. July 2, 1722 (WVR, 107).

[2]Eleazer, son of Samuel and Abigail Williams, b. Jan. 5, 1721; Sherborn VR, 95.  Samuel and Abigail Williams were admitted to the Westborough church, May 30, 1742; WCR, 62.

January 28, 1742

1742 January 28 (Thursday).  There being at Leicester very considerable awakenings among some of the people, they Sat apart this Day for Fasting and prayer for the obtaining a plentifull Effusion of the holy Spirit upon them and they having Sent for me to assist on that occasion, I went up.  Mr. Edwards[1] of Northampton there, and preached a very awakening Sermon on Rom. 9.22 — Vessels of wrath.  I preached p.m. on Zech. 12.10.  In the Evening Mr. Hall[2] preached on Isa. 54.13.  N.B. some stirrings.  I lodged at Mr. Goddards[3] with his Father.[4]

[1]Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), Yale 1720, minister of Northampton, 1727-1750, Stockbridge, 1751-1758; President of the College of New Jersey, 1758; DYG, 1:218-26.

[2]David Hall (1704-1789), Harvard 1724, minister of Sutton, 1729-1789.  SHG 7:345-56.

[3]David Goddard (1706-1754), Harvard 1731, minister of Leicester, 1736-1754; SHG, 40-43.

[4]Edward Goddard of Framingham.

January 29, 1742

1742 January 29 (Friday).  Mr. Edwards preached on Joh. 12.32.  A peculiarly moving and Useful sermon.  May God bless it to me to draw my Heart Effectually to Jesus Christ by his Love, by his bitter and ignominious Sufferings on the Cross for me!  I prevailed with Mr. Edwards before we went out of the pulpit, to come by divine Leave next week to Westborough.  I dined at old Mr. Southgates.[1]  I called at the Jayl to See the poor prisoner Green[2] in my Return home.  Found him penitent, diligently on enquiry, Reading, Waiting on Jesus, respectfull to Ministers, and very gratefull to me for my pains with him.

[1]Possibly Richard Southgate (d. Apr. 23, 1758, a. 88; LVR, 275.

[2]Jabez Green was later convicted and executed for murder; see Sept. 24 and Oct. 21.

January 31, 1742

1742 January 31 (Sunday).  Probably on Luk. 16.23.  (I Say probably for I wrote this Some while after.)  I can’t help remarking what a wonderfull Time was now appearing.  For there are great Movings upon the Hearts of the people of the Country, in one part thereof and another.  O that I and mine might be stirred up earnestly and seasonably to put in for a Share!  The Lord grant us His Mercy and let us not be left behind!