January 1, 1750

1750 January 1 (Monday).  With all hearty Gratitude and praise I would magnifie the Name of God who through his Wonderful Patience and Longsuffering has Still protracted my worthless, unprofitable Life to the Commencement of yet another Year.  I would Spend a little Time in Meditation on human Frailty and Mortality, and Compare the Divine Unchangeableness and Everlastingness.  I would Consider the unsuitableness of immoderate Sollicitude and Anxiety about future Events in this World, but beg Grace to committ to God all that concerns me.  I beg pardon through the Blood of Jesus the great Atonement of all Numberless Offences past, especially through the Course of the last Year: Entreat I may be enabled, and more quickened than ever to serve and Glorifie God in holiness, fruitfullness and faithfullness.  But inasmuch as I may be call’d to some special Trials this Year (if my Life be preserv’d) in the Affair of my Remove from my present Dwelling, to be nearer to the New Meeting House, I beseech God to save me from Temptation or make a way for my Escape that I may be able to bear it!  I spent the Chief of the Day retir’d, yet too brokenly.

January 2, 1750

1750 January 2 (Tuesday).  Mr. Edward Goddard here in the Morning.  The Society of Young Men came and Cut Wood for me, viz. Nathan Maynard, Daniel How, Jonas Bradish, Aaron Warrin by proxy scil Josiah Walker, Merodach Smith, Daniel Cook, Phinehas Maynard, Moses Warrin, Joseph Grout junior — but there was no other Team than my own which was manag’d by my son part of the Day — but it being warm and pleasant weather the Snow became at length too soft and sticky so that he left off Sledding.  P.M. Sam Bumpso came to Cutt.  At Evening we Sang.  May God increase all grace and Goodness in them and make them all to be rich Blessings in their Generation!

January 3, 1750

1750 January 3 (Wednesday).  A.M. to Southborough to Lieutenant Brighams[1] to Speak with him again about the Land near the Meeting House, but he was not at home.  I din’d there and then return’d home as soon as I could that I might get upon my Journey p.m. to Upton.  Mr. James Bradish accompany’d me to Mr. Elijah Warrins, and Mr. Marshall Baker from thence to Captain Hazzletine’s[2] where I lodg’d.  But neither Mr. Hall[3] nor Mr. Frost[4] nor Mr. Dodge[5] (who were expected) were there.

[1]Timothy Brigham.

[2]John Hazeltine.

[3]The Reverend David Hall of Sutton.

[4]The Reverend Amariah Frost of Milford.

[5]Ezekiel Dodge (Harvard 1749), a young preacher.  Sibley, XII, 367-369.

January 4, 1750

1750 January 4 (Thursday).  Fast at Upton in order to Calling a Minister; and that they might be better prepar’d for that, to renew Covenant as a Church.  No Minister came till afternoon to assist.  Mr. Frost came in service Time, and with him Mr. Hutchinson.[1]  We had but one Exercise.  I preach’d on Jer. 3.15 and after Mr. Frosts praying, the Church very solemnly declar’d their Consent to the Covenant (which had been before hand prepar’d and agreed upon) the men by rising up and lifting up their Hands; the women by rising up.  Of men there were present, and thus transacted, Eleven: of women but Three.  It was a very solemn season.  I hope we had the presence of God.  May He be pleas’d to pardon what was amiss, and accept the offering of his People.  We sung the Close of Ps. 118.  We retir’d to Captain Sadlers[2] and supp’d.  And at Eve the Brethren of the Church who had transacted as aforesaid, Sign’d the Covenant.  N.B. Mr. Benjamin Palmers Offence with me remov’d.  N.B. a Number of Separatists at Captain Sadlers, who himself did not (I think) go to meeting.  I rode to Mill-River with Mr. Frost, and one Mr. Bointon.  We call’d at Captain Tylers[3] and Dr. Scammells.[4]  I lodg’d at Mr. Frosts; and Mr. Bointon kept my Horse.  A Cold Night.

[1]Aaron Hutchinson, the preacher of Grafton.

[2]John Sadler of Upton.

[3]Nathan Tyler of Milford.

[4]Samuel Scammell, the physician of Milford.

January 10, 1750

1750 January 10 (Wednesday).  A Lovely Day.  I rode to Mr. Elisha Wards about the Land (which he holds in Common with Lieutenant Brigham) round our New Meeting House.  Cole at Eve in riding home.  N.B. The Conduct of William Rogers to Day at my House would not so much do the least Neighbourly Kindness, e.g. Stand at a place to stop the Geese when we wanted to catch one but went away in a Strange Frame.  I went and talk’d with his Parents and Brethren.  Sent to Brother Samuel Parkman 20£ old Tenor by Nathan Maynard.

January 11, 1750

1750 January 11 (Thursday).  At Mr. Ebenezer Rice’s — obtain’d of Mr. Rice to go to Mr. Stephen Fay and endeavour to trade with him for his Land on the Plain before the Meeting House.  Thence I went to Deacon Newtons and reckon’d with him.  N.B. Mr. Benjamin Fay there.  When I came home found Lieutenant Tainter here (who was here also to see me last night, endeavouring then in vain) to speak with me about keeping some of my Cattle, and to Comfort me under my Circumstances with hopes of what may be done by the precinct for my remove.

January 14, 1750

1750 January 14 (Sunday).  Clear’d up pritty Cold.  Read and Expounded Exod. 8.  Lucy and I din’d at Esq. Bakers.  Molly dines at Mr. Ebenezer Rice’s.  P.M. read Luke 13 and preach’d on Exod. 13 Two last verses.  Manning,[1] a junior Sophister, who keeps School at Mr. Daniel Warrins, Supp’d and Lodg’d here, at Ebenezers Invitation.

[1]Joseph Manning (Harvard 1751), later a chaplain of the Continental Army.

January 15, 1750

1750 January 15 (Monday).  A Remarkable Day!  The Parish came together at the Meeting House to consider and provide for my Remove from my present Dwelling.  N.B. Lieutenant Tainter here.  Captain Maynard (came at my Desire).  I ask’d him (as I have of late Several Times) to sell his Land nigh the Meeting House but he refuses — is very much out of Humour, to my Grief, as he has been a worthy neighbour; and I fear he will be very much incapacitated by this Ruffle, to receive any good.  I sent a Paper to the Precinct by Lieutenant Tainter.  Though it was a Cold Day I rode over to Deacon Newtons.  At Eve came in (to Deacon Newtons) Mr. Ebenezer Rice and inform’d me (agreeable to my Desire) that Neighbour Stephen Fay would be at my House tomorrow to finish the Bargain about the Land aforesaid, and afterwards came in the Deacon, Esq. Baker and Lieutenant Tainter.  They inform’d me that the people at their meeting made no Vote upon my Affair.  But all Things relating to my Remove are left in Confusions, their Minds being very much Divided.  Many persons were for granting no more than 500£ naked and according to the present Value, nor would they vote that to be put into a Rate without I would manifest myself contented with it.  We had a great Deal of Discourse at the Deacons upon what had pass’d in the Day — and the Tendency of those Things.[1]  N.B. talk’d with the Deacon alone concerning the Paper which a Committee (of which he was one) prepar’d us a message from the precinct to me in answer etc. but though it was not voted yet doth said paper lye among the papers of the precinct to my great Disadvantage and Reproach.  I therefore desir’d the Deacon to take Care that it be destroy’d; or else let me have the Benefit of putting in a Reply to lye along with it.  My Wife and several Children much indispos’d.

[1]See DeForest and Bates, Westborough, p. 135.

January 16, 1750

1750 January 16 (Tuesday).  Mr. Stephen Fay came here and brought his Plotts that I might make the writings respecting the Land I have propos’d to buy of him, provided we can agree upon the Terms.  He din’d here.  But Mr. Fay loaded our Bargain with Demands which Mr. Rice had never told me of, viz. that I must throw up my Expectation of the Condition of his possessing the Three Acres which were laid out to me, but which now he obliges me to buy at So dear a Rate of him, which Condition was, that he should make over Right to me to take up Three Acres of Common Land instead of it: Yet even this I conceded to [in] hopes to make the Bargain easier in other respects, scil. respecting the Money and Time of payment.  We made several proposals, but finally I agreed to go to drawing the Instruments against Tomorrow p.m. leaving a Space to insert that of the Terms he propos’d to my Choice, which I should like best.  And thus he left me.  One of the ways or kinds of Terms he had left me was, that I should give Such a Bond as those had give who had lately been buying of him, Such as Esq. Baker etc.  Nigh Evening I rode to Esq. Baker to Consult him about those Bonds.  In Conversation with him he gave such Account of the Temper of the Precinct Yesterday, and the little prospect of its being better — that, considering this and therewith the Difficulty about the Payment, I hearken’d to the Esquire’s Council not to Engage, if I could fairly desist; and defer it a little while, till I should be able to see what would come out of my Circumstances among this People.  I first appriz’d Mr. Rice of it, and then went to Mr. Fay.  I acquainted him that since he left me I had met with what had much mov’d me to come, and desire him to wave the Bargain for a while, or, as the Case now Stood with me with Regard to the Parish and as there was so much difficulty in knowing what could be just and safe in the Payment in so very Critical a juncture, I must desire him to throw it up.  He told me he had as lieve as not — Upon which it was all dissolv’d and the Whole Affair fell to the Ground.  Hear that Dr. Breck[1] is very ill.

[1]Samuel Breck, the physician of Worcester, was Parkman’s brother-in-law.

January 21, 1750

1750 January 21 (Sunday).  We rode in the Chair upon runners — a Cool Day yet the sun shin’d.  Fewer at Meeting than usual a.m.  More p.m.  A.M. read Exod. 14.1-20.  Gave an Exposition.  My wife din’d with me at the Justice’s.  Lucy at Mr. Ebenezer Rice’s, Billy at Mr. Abner Newtons.  At noon receiv’d a Letter from sister Breck of Worcester of the Doctors illness.  P.M. read Luke 14, and for a Sermon repeated the Exposition on Mat. 6.21, and Luke 12.34.

January 22, 1750

1750 January 22 (Monday).  My Wife and I rode to Worcester to See Brother Breck.  Find him Somewhat better.  Din’d there.  P.M. at Mr. Maccartys.[1]  He rode with me to See Mr. Joshua Biglo whose House and Two Children were burnt last Saturday morning: at which he and his wife were much Scorch’d and confin’d to their Beds.  At their request I pray’d with them.  At Eve Mr. Maccarty and I were at Colonel Chandlers but he was from home.  My Wife Sat up watching with her Brother.  I lodg’d at Mr. Maccartys.

[1]The Reverend Thaddeus Maccarty of Worcester.

January 23, 1750

1750 January 23 (Tuesday).  Brother Breck is considerably reviv’d and in a much more hopefull way.  I din’d at Colonel Chandlers, and Mr. Maccarty and his wife likewise.  N.B. the Colonel much disappointed that my wife did not come: Whereas her Brother was so fond of her Company that he would by no means consent to it.  P.M. we return’d home.  N.B. Call’d at Mr. Cushings[1] and at Lieutenant Eagers[2] both going and coming.

[1]The Reverend Job Cushing of Shrewsbury.

[2]Bezaleel Eager of Westborough.

January 24, 1750

1750 January 24 (Wednesday).  Mr. Jacob Rice, Constable for the north part of the Town here, and Saluted me in a perfectly New Manner, viz. with my son Ebenezers Rates — to the Province Tax, viz. £3.4.4.  I have Daily new Hints of the Great Disquietments in this Parish by means of the Affair of my Remove.  But God grant me the Patience and Wisdom necessary for me!  My Wife much indispos’d and taken off.

January 25, 1750

1750 January 25 (Thursday).  Mrs. Tainter and Daniel Hastings din’d here.  P.M. Captain Maynard brought me a sorrowfull Letter from my Eldest Brother of the Dangerous Condition of my sister Willard[1] is in, and that if I would see her alive I must hasten down.  Deacon Forbush here to talk with me about the uneasiness in the Minds of people touching the Charge of my Remove.  I walk’d with the Deacon, went as far as Mr. Pratts and got him to go for my Horse, who accordingly brought him from Mr. Jonathan Fay’s.  N.B. Word Sent by Mrs. Tainter to Mary Woodwell not to come to live here.

[1]Parkman’s sister, Mrs. Josiah Willard.

January 26, 1750

1750 January 26 (Friday).  Set out Early for Boston.  Call’d at Mr. Tim Warrins where was Lieutenant Tainter with money for me.  I left a Line in his Hands directed to one of the Committee of the Precinct touching the Business of next Wednesday.  Call’d at Mr. Stones[1] at Southborough — at Mr. Livermores[2] at Weston — at Captain Tainters[3] and Mr. Dix’s[4] at Watertown.  Put up my Horse at Mr. Blakes in Boston where Mr. Whipple lodg’d; and thence I hasten’d to my Sister who was as yet alive though very ill of a pleuratic Disorder and peripneumony.[5]  She was also much distress’d in her Mind, and under apprehension that Death can not be far off.  Brother William has been ill, but is recovering.  D.G.  Lodg’d at Dr. Parkmans.  N.B. Mr. Taylor[6] of Milton dy’d this Morning!  Molly went over to Mr. Palatiah Rice’s and brought Martha Pannell to live with us.

[1]The Reverend Nathan Stone of Southborough.

[2]Joseph Livermore was frequently a Representative of Weston.

[3]John Tainter, the brother of Deacon Simon Tainter of Westborough.  Bond, Watertown, I, 597.

[4]James Dix, who kept a shop in Watertown.  Bond, Watertown, I, 199.

[5]Peripneumony or peripneumonia, an old name for inflammation of the lungs, or pneumonia.

[6]The Reverend John Taylor (Harvard 1721), the minister of the First Church in Milton, 1728-1750.  Sibley, VI, 569-571-

January 27, 1750

1750 January 27 (Saturday).  Visited my Sister, who remains in much the Same distress’d Condition as last Night.  Din’d at Brother Samuels and Mr. Whipple with me, who took Care of my Horse till Monday when he is to ride him Home.  With my dear Sister at Eve who is Still in great Distress and grows weaker.  Yet She entertains an Hope in God through Christ which is as an Anchor fasten’d etc.  And were it not for her burthen’d Mind, could bear the anguishes of her Body, even though she despairs of continuing in this World.  Thinks She shall never See another Sabbath after this which (I intimated to her) is now begun — (But I keep my reckoning of Time here, after a Roman Manner).  Lodg’d at the Doctors again.

January 28, 1750

1750 January 27 (Saturday).  Visited my Sister, who remains in much the Same distress’d Condition as last Night.  Din’d at Brother Samuels and Mr. Whipple with me, who took Care of my Horse till Monday when he is to ride him Home.  With my dear Sister at Eve who is Still in great Distress and grows weaker.  Yet She entertains an Hope in God through Christ which is as an Anchor fasten’d etc.  And were it not for her burthen’d Mind, could bear the anguishes of her Body, even though she despairs of continuing in this World.  Thinks She shall never See another Sabbath after this which (I intimated to her) is now begun — (But I keep my reckoning of Time here, after a Roman Manner).  Lodg’d at the Doctors again.

January 29, 1750

1750 January 29 (Monday).  In the Morning early walk’d up to Mr. Blakes to Send another Letter per Mr. Whipple to my wife, but he was gone.  I took Cold by walking in the wet Streets — din’d at Mr. Cowels[1] — felt but poorly, yet visited divers Friends — Elder Cheever[2] etc.  Lodg’d at Brother Parkman’s.  N.B. I remember the wormwood and the gall of this Day, 14 Years since.

[1]Parkman’s niece, Elizabeth, married Peam Cowell of Boston.

[2]Joshua Cheever, a deacon of the New North Church.

January 31, 1750

1750 January 31 (Wednesday).  Din’d at Mr. Stoddards — a.m. much better than I was — may God Sanctify his holy Hand upon Me!  ‘tis heavy work now before me.  Attended the Funeral of my dear and only Sister.  My Brother Samuel led Sarah Tyley and I led sister Rebecca.  Brother Parkman was confin’d.  The Bearers were Deacon Larrabee, Messrs. Leazonby, Stoddard, Grant, Greenough and Bradford.  Brother Samuel and I went to Brother Parkmans and Spent the Evening together — in Conversation according to the season.  May God prepare me for my Turn!  Lodg’d at the Doctors.