March 1, 1749

1749 March 1 (Wednesday).  Din’d with the Officers at Captain Maynards, at the Invitation of Colonel Ward some Days ago.  Messrs. Cushing, Martyn, Smith, Roberts and Upham there.  Captain Willard receiv’d a Major Commission.  Hepzibah Crosby here this week also.  N.B. Dr. Gott here likewise but return’d not well.

March 7, 1749

1749 March 7 (Tuesday).  Mrs. Fay tarried with us till today.  I carried her to her son Benjamin Fays.  I visited old Mr. Samuel Fay.  Din’d at Mr. Phinehas Hardys.  Visited at Mr. Samuel Hardy and James Millers.  Proceeded to Upton to the Funeral of Mr. Samuel Forbush’s Child — a Second Child of theirs which has dy’d of the Throat Distemper.  Tarried a little at Ensign Millers.  After Burying visited Mr. Abner Newton who is still confin’d.

March 11, 1749

1749 March 11 (Saturday).  As we were at Morning Exercise came the Reverend Elihu Spencer,[1] Missionary to the Mohawks on Onohaughguage.  I persuaded him to stay and keep Sabbath here — for I was in very Special need of him to preach for me.  He breakfasted with me and consented.  Mr. Upham here p.m.  At Eve I ask’d him to come tomorrow Evening.

[1](Yale 1746).  Spencer had been ordained in Boston, Sept. 14, 1748.  He later served numerous Presbyterian parishes in New Jersey, New York, and Delaware.  Dexter, Biographical Sketches, II, 89-92.

March 12, 1749

1749 March 12 (Sunday).  Mr. Spencer preach’d a.m. on Eph. 2.8 after I had read the 24th Chapter of Genesis and offer’d my Observations on the whole.  Mr. Upham din’d here.  P.M. Mr. Spencer preach’d on John 1.11, after I had read Matthew 24 and made my Observations on the whole of it.  A Rainy Time.  Mr. Upham here at Eve as I had invit’d him, and he stay’d over night.  Mr. Spencer in his Conversation goes on in the Accounts of what he did and went through at Onohoughguage.  N.B. In public I read the Act against Cursing etc.

March 15, 1749

1749 March 15 (Wednesday).  Rode to Marlborough to Deacon Tainters[1] and din’d there.  Went to Mr. Joseph Williams to get some Things for Thomas but could not get at ‘em by reason that the Lock seem’d to have been Strain’d, whether by anybodys trying to open it or by what other means can’t be found.  From thence I proceeded on my Design’d Journey to Mr. Jotham Browns, who with his Lads were gone to a Raising at Mr. Dakins — going there I was compell’d to tarry and sup with ‘em; and then (though it was by this Time Candle-Light) I was oblig’d to visit and pray with his aged Mother.  One Mr. Buss of Concord was going home, with his Wife and they were my Company, in the Evening Ride further.  Mr. Buss accompany’d me to Mr. Bliss’s[2] where I lodg’d.

[1]Simon Tainter, Sr.

[2]The Reverend Daniel Bliss of Concord.

March 16, 1749

1749 March 16 (Thursday).  In the Morning Mr. Bliss was going to a Fast at Mr. Farrars[1] and my own Business requir’d me to make Dispatch.  Was a little while at Mr. Minots.  But my Design was to find out one Mr. Isaac Taylor, a Gunsmith, with whom I desir’d my son Ebenezer Should live a while to learn that [crossed out] and what else falls into that Trade.  I accordingly went to him and talk’d with him, who deferr’d determining, and promis’d to send me a Letter.  Visited Mr. Whiting,[2] and Captain Peter Prescott[3] — din’d with the Latter — brought from him the works of Machiavell — also a Number of Roots, Cyons and Branches to propagate Mullberry Trees, and Pear Trees etc.  Call’d at Deacon Rice’s in my way up.  Mr. Stone of Southborough came there.  We rode together to Marlborough.  I lodg’d at Mr. Smiths.

[1]Deacon Samuel Farrar.

[2]The Reverend John Whiting (Harvard 1700) was the minister of Concord, 1711-1737.  He opposed the Great Awakening, and New-Lights, pressing a charge of intemperance, secured his removal through an ecclesiastical council in October, 1737.  Sibley, IV, 532- 535-

[3](Harvard 1730).  He practiced law in Boston and Concord, served in the Louisbourg campaign of 1745, and in several others of the French and Indian War.  Prescott was also the clerk of the proprietors of what became Peterborough, N.H.  Sibley, VII I, 772-774.

March 19, 1749

1749 March 19 (Sunday).  After a very cold Night a very bright morning.  I preach’d a. and p.m. on Eph. 3.8.  N.B. Mr. Putnam,[1] a Lawyer, diets at Mr. Maccartys.  N.B. The Church Stop’d at Noon an[d] send me a prayer desiring me to give public Notice of their agreement to have a Contribution on the approaching Fast, for a person that had in years past dwelt in Worcester, but whose dwelling was lately consum’d.  This I comply’d with — as well as their Custom of Reading publickly the holy Scriptures.  I had purpos’d to tarry over the Sabbath and till Monday at Worcester, but because of the Fast approaching and the great likelihood of another storm, I set out at Eve and rode to Shrewsbury.  Met Mr. Maccarty (who preach’d for me on 2 Cor. 6.2, and 2 Epistle of John 10.4).  I lodg’d at Mr. Cushings, because of the Snow Storm which now came on.  N.B. Master Job[2] went off Friday night was sennight.  Mr. Maccarty read Chapter 26 of Genesis and Matthew at Westborough.  N.B. My wife went to meeting today; first after her Lying in.  God’s Name be prais’d!


[1]James Putnam (Harvard 1746), a native of Danvers, was just beginning his practice in Worcester.  He became attorney general of Massachusetts, but fled from the province in 1776 because of his Loyalist sympathies.  Lincoln, Worcester, pp. 192-193.

[2]The son of the Reverend Job Cushing of Shrewsbury.  See Ward, Shrewsbury, p. 253.

March 20, 1749

1749 March 20 (Monday).  When I return’d home Several Letters were deliver’d me which my Brethren had sent me.  My Eldest Brother[1] in great concern for his only son[2] who droops again and in much affliction by Mr. Nathaniel about his deceased son John’s Estate.  Mr. Martyns boy here with a Letter to change next Sabbath.

[1]William Parkman of Boston.

[2]Nathaniel Parkman.  Three other sons in this family had died.

March 22, 1749

1749 March 22 (Wednesday).  Mr. Upham here.  Several Neighbours came to get wood for me.  Neighbour Eliezer Rice came with his Team, and my young man Daniel Hastings went with mine.  Those that cutt were Messrs. Tinny, Noah How, Elijah and Adonijah and Edmund Rice and Benjamin Whipple.  They got me a good pile of Excellent Solid Wood.  N.B. Mr. Simon Tainter of Grafton here and brought me a Letter from Mr. Hall of Sutton, inclosing a Remarkable one from Mr. Edwards of Northampton to him to be communicated to me containing Extracts from Letters from Scotland of the Good Tokens respecting Religion in some very eminent Persons in Great Britain — some of the Royal Family, the Archbishop of Canterbury — Esquire West etc. — and in Holland, the prince of Orange.  A great Interruption by the Company today in my preparations for the solemnity approaching.  N.B. The school ceases.

March 26, 1749

1749 March 26 (Sunday).  My Thoughts had wrought very much about my Preparations, having had but little Time, and many avocations and Encumbrances, in so large a Family.  Yet God was pleas’d to assist beyond all my Deserts [sic].  I desire to bemoan my slothfulness and Negligence but would humbly rely upon the infinite Grace and Mercy of God in Christ to pardon my many Defects.  I preach’d upon 1 John 3.3 a. and p.m.  Mrs. (Beriah’s) Rice and Mrs. (John) Chamberlin din’d here.

March 27, 1749

1749 March 27 (Monday).  I went abroad very Early because of what we had before us.  Was at Mr. Nurse’s[1] where I had a plough, and at Ebenezer Rice’s.  With the following Team and assistance we broke up the ground next to the Swamp.  Besides Daniel with my own Oxen, Neighbour John Rogers with his, Neighbour Tomlin with his, and Nathan Maynard with theirs; to which add Neighbour Benjamin Hows.  P.M. Nathan Maynard drew off, and Stephen Maynard came to work in his room with another Yoke of Oxen, so that we had p.m. 12 Oxen and turn’d it over pritty well.  Mr. Tomlin and Stephen Maynard gave in their work and their Cattle — Neighbour Rogers was very moderate in his Demands.  Mr. Dunlop in the Garden the same Day.

[1]William Nurse.

March 29, 1749

1749 March 29 (Wednesday).  A.M. Visit Mrs. Deborah Brigham.  P.M. to widow Crosby’s to buy a Cow, but did not succeed.  At Mr. Joseph Knowltons.  At Eve Mrs. Deborah Brigham worse, sent for me.  I went at 9 Evening, Ebenezer with me.  I conceive her to be under hysterical Disorders: But She Said it was through the Distress of her soul concerning her Eternal Condition.