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:
||Vital Records of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston: Wright & Potter, 1915)
||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)
||Vital Records of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1911)
||Vital Records of Leicester, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester: Franklin P. Rice, 1903)
||Vital Records of Marlborough, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester, MA: Franklin P. Rice, 1908)
||Vital Records of Newbury, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem, MA: The Essex Institute, 1911)
||Vital Records of Northborough, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1850 (Worcester; Franklin P. Rice, 1901).
||Vital Records of Rutland, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester: Franklin P. Rice, 1905)
||Vital Records of Sherborn, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1911)
||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.
||Vital Records of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester: Franklin P. Rice, 1904)
||Vital Records of Southborough, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester: Franklin P. Rice, 1903)
||Westborough Church Records (Local History Room, Westborough Public Library
||Vital Records of Westborough, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester, MA: Franklin P. Rice, 1903)
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!
1742 January 2 (Saturday). Mr. Jenison very ill, yet rode over to the North side to preach there.
William Jenison (1707-1750), Harvard 1724, former minister of the Second or East Church of Salem, 1728-1736, sometime schoolmaster in Westborough, and occasional preacher in area churches. SHG, 7:371-74.
1742 January 3 (Sunday). I preached on 1 Thess. 1.10. Mrs. Thurston and Mrs. Lawrence dined with me.
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.
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.
1742 January 4 (Monday). Town Meeting. Great Disquietment in Town about Dividing the Town. William Pierce and Cornelius Biglo cutt wood for me part of the Day. Snow. Mr. Jenison was was [sic] very bad, much Stuffed and choaked up with his Cold.
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).
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.
1742 January 5 (Tuesday). Mr. Jenison went to Watertown.
1742 January 6 (Wednesday). Snowed a little. _ [No note with this mark.]
1742 January 7 (Thursday). Cold Day, but I rode over to the private meeting at Deacon Forb. and preached on Joh. 3.36. After which I had a brief Exercise of prayer and Exhortation to the society of young women. Tis agreeable to see how readily and gladly many receive the word.
Jonathan Forbush (1709-1756) served as deacon of the Westborough church, 1738-1756.
1742 January 8 (Friday). [No entry.]
1742 January 9 (Saturday). Mr. Richard Pattershall came — dined with me. Cloudy, Snowy — but by his extra Importunity I consented to undertake the difficult ride to Marlborough, Mr. Smith gone to preach at Holden for Mr. Varney. Lodged at Dr. Gotts.
Richard Pateshall (1714-1768), Harvard 1735; SHG, 9:558-60.
Aaron Smith (1713-1781), Harvard 1735, minister of Marlborough, 1740-1778; SHG, 9:575-78.
James Varney (1706-1783), Harvard 1725, minister of Wilmington, 1733-1739; SHG, 7:601-02.
Dr. Benjamin Gott of Marlborough (1706-1751) had been married to Sarah Breck (1711-1740), whose sister, Hannah, married Ebenezer Parkman, Sept. 1, 1737.
1742 January 10 (Sunday). Preached at Indian Land at the House that was the late Mr. Ed. Rice’s, on 1 Thess. 1.10 a. and p.m. In the Eve I preached at the Meeting House on Ps. 63.8. Lodged with Mr. Varney at Mr. Smiths.
Edmond Rice died Aug. 15, 1726.
1742 January 11 (Monday). Mr. Varney to Worcester. I returned home, but Mr. Pattershall was gone first.
1742 January 12 (Tuesday). A fine Day. My wife 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.
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
1742 January 13 (Wednesday). Snow. Mr. [Tatlo?] to Marlborough. The Snow Deep.
1742 January 14 (Thursday). Snowy morning — bright p.m.
1742 January 15 (Friday). Bright. N.B. How new leathered my Pump Box.
1742 January 16 (Saturday). [No entry.]
1742 January 17 (Sunday). On Matt. 11. Luk. 19.10. Cold. Mrs. Tainter and Sarah Stretton dined here.
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.
Sarah Stretton may have been from Watertown (where Rebecca Tainter was born).
1742 January 18 (Monday). Snow. Old Mr. Graves came from William Pierce praying me to go to See his Child which was Sick but by means of the Storm I could not go. At Eve the young Men came to sing.
Possibly William, son of William and Sarah (Whitny) Pierce, b. Dec. 31, 1741, although the Pierces had other children ranging in age up to twelve; HVR, 147-49.
1742 January 19 (Tuesday). At Ensigns (I suppose Mainards).
1742 January 20 (Wednesday). Very winter like. Deep Snow and Cold Air. Transcribed a M.S. sermon of Mr. Lorings on 1 Thess. 5.19.
Israel Loring (1682-1772), Harvard 1701, minister of Sudbury, 1706-1772. SHG 5:75-83.
1742 January 21 (Thursday). [No entry.]
1742 January 22 (Friday). [No entry.]
1742 January 23 (Saturday). [No entry.]
1742 January 24 (Sunday). Luk. 19.42. Luk. 19.10.
1742 January 25 (Monday). To Grafton.
1742 January 26 (Tuesday). Catechetical Exercise to Young Women. At Eve Singing.
1742 January 27 (Wednesday). Ephraim Whitney and Eleazer Williams came and cutt wood for me a.m. but p.m. Rain and they went home.
Ephraim, son of Nathaniel and Mary Whitney, b. July 2, 1722 (WVR, 107).
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.
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 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 preached on Isa. 54.13. N.B. some stirrings. I lodged at Mr. Goddards with his Father.
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.
David Hall (1704-1789), Harvard 1724, minister of Sutton, 1729-1789. SHG 7:345-56.
David Goddard (1706-1754), Harvard 1731, minister of Leicester, 1736-1754; SHG, 40-43.
Edward Goddard of Framingham.
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. I called at the Jayl to See the poor prisoner Green 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.
Possibly Richard Southgate (d. Apr. 23, 1758, a. 88; LVR, 275.
Jabez Green was later convicted and executed for murder; see Sept. 24 and Oct. 21.
1742 January 30 (Saturday). Cold Winds.
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!