March 4, 1748

1748 March 4 (Friday).  Mr. Wellman bought 3 Volumes of Pools Synopsis Criticorum of me viz: on the Haggiographa and on the New Testament[1] (I having duplicates of them) for £3.15, New Tenor, and he carried away one of them with him.

[1]Matthew Poole, Synopsis Criticorum aliorumque S. Scripturae interpretum, 4 vols. (London, 1669-76).  Additional editions followed.

March 6, 1748

1748 March 6 (Sunday).  On Song. 2.4, latter part.  Sacrament. The two Deacons and widow Thompson dined here.  P.M. on Acts 26.8, on the Resurrection. May God grant that we may all be really under and experience the happy Benefits and Comforts of Christs Banner and may We be Confirmed in the Great Doctrine of the Resurrection and our Hearts and Lives be influenced always thereby!

March 7, 1748

1748 March 7 (Monday).  I prayed at the Town Meeting.  Mr. Bowman and Billings being the persons sent by the Town to me to request it.  N.B. After Prayer I stood on the Stairs and addressed the Town with an Exhortation to Peace and Righteousness, and concerning my own affair, I intimated how long and how patiently I had waited for my Dues from them and prayed that they would take such motions as might prevent my being obliged to use Disagreeable measures to recover those arrears.  I afterwards sent a paper, by old Mr. Whipple, to the Moderator to be lodged with the Town Clerk containing the Drift and Design of what I had said. Heard that Mr. Asa Bowker’s wife (a worthy woman!) dyed yesterday at Shrewsbury of a cancer. And that Mr. John Brainard, brother of the late Mr. David, preached for Mr. Martyn, designing to have come to me if he could have got here, but the snow is so deep, no Horse (I suppose) can pass between here and Mr. Eagers Tavern.

March 8, 1748

1748 March 8 (Tuesday).  I walked out in the Morning on the Snow to visit divers of my Neighbours — was in at Mr. David Maynard, Junior’s, at Mr. Eliezer Rice’s, where I tarried some time.  At Mr. Jonathan Whipple’s, but most of them were from Home.  At Mr. Stephen Fay’s (which was a main End of my going Out).  N.B. His Dissatisfaction with Sallerys and Rates: At Mr. Samuel Bakers: Called at Merchant Rice’s (he having newly been to Mr. Fleet[1] for me about my news) — At Deacon Newton’s who told me that they did not read to the Town the paper which old Mr. Whipple carried from me to them on the 7th, but they acknowledged it to be the Drift of what I had said — and it was in the Clerks hands.  I went to see Moses Nurse who was in a weak and feeble condition and ‘tis feared consumptive.  N.B. The Day was so bright and pleasant and the sun so warm that I had bad slumping in the snow some times.

[1]Thomas Fleet, the printer of the Boston Evening-Post.

March 9, 1748

1748 March 9 (Wednesday).  Ebenezer took the sleigh and carried 8 bushels of barley for malt to Mr. James Woods of Marlborough.  I went to see old Mr. Crouch; and neighbor John Rogers giving both to him and his wife solemn warning of their delaying Repentance and Humiliation.  Snow melts a great pace. Captain Maynard brought me a sorrowful letter from Brother Parkman with the heavy tidings of the death of my dear Brother Alexander on the 6th at evening of a bilious cholic.  Oh that God would by this Providence which is so near me prepare me for own turn.

March 14, 1748

1748 March 14 (Monday).  I was somewhat late in the morning before I set out upon my journey.  Called at Captain Warrins to meet Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlin, the collector.  Was also hindered a little at Mr. Jacob Amsden’s.  Had one Lockhart’s company from Marlborough to Waltham.  Went to see Mr. Warham Williams[1] and lodged there.  It was raw cold ‘til evening and then snowed.  N.B. Fire burnt in the floor of Mr. Williams’s study, but was discovered as we sat in the lower room under it, and was soon put out.

[1]The minister of Waltham.

March 15, 1748

1748 March 15 (Tuesday).  I rode to Justice Harris’s on account of a piece of all wool cloth I had sent him to be dress’d: and called at Mr. John Hunt’s where was Mr. Thomas Marsh[1] of College.  Dined at Mother Champney’s, p.m. at College.  Stormed Hard — I attended Prayer at the Chappell.  Put up my Horse at Deacon Whittemore’s, lodged with Mr. Hancock[2] at College.

[1]The tutor at Harvard College.

[2]Belcher Hancock, the Harvard tutor.

March 16, 1748

1748 March 16 (Wednesday).  It had hailed and snowed in the night.  I attended morning Prayers in the Chappell.  Broke fast with Mr. Hancock.  Dr. Breck[1] came there and was going to Boston.  I had his company.  N.B. His account of a late difference between him and Mr. Maccarty: which led me to resent his whispering to Mr. Abraham Williams what had passed between Mr. Campbell[2] and me about him — the grand Haretick Williams whereas I had reference to what he personated at commencement.  I visited Dr. Parkman in his affliction — his wife remaining in a very languishing condition.  Dined at my eldest Brothers.  Visited Sister Willard,[3] and my newly widowed Sister Beckky and my bereaved niece Esther.  Lodged there.  N.B. Mr. Edward Brattle Oliver[4] there.  N.B. Kept my Horse there.

[1]Samuel Breck, the physician of Worcester.

[2]The Reverend Mr. John Campbell of Oxford.

[3]Parkman’s sister, Susanna, the widow of Captain Josiah Willard.

[4]Parkman’s niece, Esther, married Oliver later in the year.

March 17, 1748

1748 March 17 (Thursday).  Mr. Welsteed preached the public Lecture on the Royalty of God our Salvation from (I think) Ps. 10.16.  Dined at Brother Samuels at evening at Dr. Parkmans, it proving raining I could not go to the South End — spent the Evening at Captain White’s and at Mr. Eliot’s.[1]  Lodged with my Kinsman.  His wife very weak and languishing in danger of death and very full of distress, being afraid to die.

[1]The Reverend Mr. Andrew Eliot of New North Church.

March 18, 1748

1748 March 18 (Friday).  Visited Mrs. Betty White (Mr. Joseph’s daughter) who is wasting away in a consumption.  I went up to the burying place and what a multitude even of our own family are there in the Congregation of the Dead.  The Lord make me ready for my turn which hastens!  Visited my sister Willard.  N.B. Sisters discourse with me about her daughter Sarah and my Ebenezer.  Was at Cousin John’s.  N.B. He offered me silver enough for a spoon for my daughter Sarah at £3 Old Tenor an ounce and to give me the making which I accepted of and paid him £4.13.0 for one and on consideration that Dr. Gott had given her about 56/ several years ago, I ordered it to be marked as his gift to my child.  I dined at Mr. Stoddard’s p.m.  As I hastened out of Town I called at Mr. Bagnal’s about my watch and at Mr. Fleet’s and began anew for his Paper.  At Sister Beckky’s, where was Mr. E.B.O. who presented me a considerable quantity of brown biskitt — and at Mr. Snow’s (who married Mrs. Susanna Sharp)[1] where I bought me a large blue handkerchief for 58/ and hastened to Mother Champney’s where I lodged.

[1]The daughter of Captain Robert Sharp of Brookline.

March 19, 1748

1748 March 19 (Saturday).  As I returned home I called at Mr. Dix’s[1] (who married Sarah Bond) and was well entertained with smelts and he bountifully sent up several dozen to my wife.  Was at Mrs. Beckky Walkers and I dined at Mr. Paterson’s[2] at Sudbury.  Called also at Mr. Darling’s.[3]  Very heavy riding and breaking through the deep snow from Marlborough home but arrived well and found my house in health and peace.  Blest be God!

[1]James Dix of Watertown.

[2]James Patterson.

[3]Thomas Darling of Framingham.

March 21, 1748

1748 March 21 (Monday).  A Precinct Meeting by adjournment both about answering my two last papers, and concerning building a Meeting House but it dropped through and they did nothing.  But before they dispersed, and were gone home I understood that another meeting was agreed to and that they designed nothing about any grant of money for me wherefore I stopped Captain Warrin and Lieutenant Forbush at the road and insisted that something relating to a grant of money to me be inserted in the Warrant.  They consented and sent their minds to the rest of the committee by Mr. Nathaniel Whitney and Mr. Stephen Fay.

March 22, 1748

1748 March 22 (Tuesday).  This morning Ebenezer set out upon a designed journey to Connecticut after flax and was to have gone with Mr. Samuel Baker but when he was at Esquire Baker’s he understood there were several men, come down with flax, who gave a most discouraging account of the river and that there was no room to expect any flax on this side under 4 shillings the pound.  He therefore returned home, and my wife and I rode over to the said Esquire’s and we (the Esquire and I) bought a Bagg of 200 weight — their price was 5/ per pound but they threw in 40 S in the whole Bagg and 3 pound and 1/2 of over plus weight.  So that we did not give quite 4/9 the pound.  After this Esquire Baker and I went to Deacon Newton’s to obtain his consent to put into the Warrant for the designed Meeting the abovementioned article about a grant.  Deacon Newton would consent to it if I desired it, but not of his own motion — his reason was that the block must be removed out of the way (meaning that the 82.10-0 of arrears must be first sued for) or he could not go forward.  There ensued warmer talk than ever I had had with Deacon Newton.  I urged him to consider how unreasonable it was that he would not do his present duty for the support of the ministry in this Precinct, because somebody else did not do their duty some years ago: and that they should quarrell with me not for suing and straining upon them in the Law, but because I was charitable and compassionate and would not.  My Wife went to Mr. Abner Newton’s while the Esquire and I were at the Deacon’s.  I went to her and dined there but Mr. Newton was gone to Boston and we dined with his wife.  Spent some hours there and heard her tell of her husband’s dissatisfaction about my preaching old sermons.  I perceived that Mr. Francis Whipple had been among them.  I gave her many Reasons for my Doing it.  She mentioned nothing else, we parted in peace.  Called at Mr. Samuel Williams where was Neighbour Eliezer Rice.  Mr. Williams brought on discourse about the precinct’s present circumstances and especially with regard to my Sallery and the building a Meeting House.  N.B. Neighbour Rice offered to pay me before that very night the sum which the Town was indebted to me if I would give him the power which I have to recover it in a Court of Law.  But I refused to accept of it.  We returned home at eve in safety.

March 23, 1748

1748 March 23 (Wednesday).  Early came Mr. Jonas Brigham to call me to Mr. Charles Woods’ child (Phoebe) of about 3 years old in dying Circumstances.  I went though very difficult passing through the snow banks.  Called to see Neighbour Rogers and Neighbour Barns.  Snow Storm came up before I got home.  P.M. Mr. Ebenezer Maynard here.  I gave him as treasurer receipt for 220£ for last year’s Sallery, instead of the receipt given last July 21 to Mr. Benjamin Fay.

March 24, 1748

1748 March 24 (Thursday).  Lieutenant Tainter here — he acquainted me with the foolish and mischievious conduct of a number of young men on March Meeting night at his house (about 10 or 11 of them) he being gone on a journey at that time: and he wanted my advice.  I advised him to keep it as private as he could but to go and discourse with the youngsters themselves and with their parents.  I refused to know who they were till he should take these steps and if these steps were not successful it would then be time enough to expose them.

March 27, 1748

1748 March 27 (Sunday).  I was much indisposed yet went through the exercises after my Fashion.  A.M. on Matt. 14.19 to 21.  P.M. Heb. 9.27, Latter clause — improved then in some passages out of sermon on Eccl. 11.9, latter part, viz. pages 3, 4, 5, and 12, 13, with alterations and inverting the order of the articles as was most agreeable.  After the last exercise read the Act of the General Court against profane Cursing and Swearing, and gave reasons why it was not read last Lord’s Day nor the Lord’s Day before.  At eve I was much out of Ease.  Only prayed in the family and Ebenezer read the 25th of Saint Matthew.  I was often aguish or as if I had taken Cold.

March 29, 1748

1748 March 29 (Tuesday).  A very fair warm pleasant Day.  In the morning I assisted Ebenezer in sledding down several Load of wood and conceive that such a stirring myself might be useful to me under my present Indispositions.  N.B. Mr. Ephraim Sherman here and told me he was going over to Mr. Martyn where a subscription which I reckoned up to be £45 15/ Old Tenor for the printing his sermon on October 25 last.  Jacob Garfield here to be examined in order to his receiving Holy Baptism.  N.B. I received an admonitory letter from the Reverend Mr. Stone of my mistaking the time of the Committee of ministers meeting at his house which I conceive was to be on the 16th but was on the 9th and a new appointment made to meet at Mr. Smiths on Association morning at 8 o’clock.

March 30, 1748

1748 March 30 (Wednesday).  I rode over to Mr. Martyns.  Though the snow was much gone in open ground here and there, yet in the woods it was very deep.  I found it very difficult passing on the east side of Liquor Hill, and from the new Meeting House in the lane to Mr. Martyn’s brook.  I dined there but his wife gone to Groaning.  He went with me over to Mr. Lulls and was one of the witness of his wife’s signing of the several deeds which her husband had given me of land in Townsend.  Returned at evening, air smoaky and warm.  The snow flows off apace.

March 31, 1748

1748 March 31 (Thursday).  Warm and pleasant.  Went down a little way into the ministerial lot with Mr. Batchellor who wants stave timber of me.  P.M. Mr. John Rogers at length comes to confess his fornication.  The Lord grant him Repentence unto Life!


Month after month my life consumes away!


Lord!  Make me timely learn by what I may


Be always ready for the extremest day!