September 2, 1751

1751 September 2 (Monday).  I sent Billy with a Team to the North-End-Meeting House for a Cyder screw made by Deacon Livermore[1] for me — one of those made by Woolly having Scal’d and Split so much that it is useless; and it is lodg’d at the North Meeting House, under the Care of Mr. Jeduthan Baldwin, who is at work there.  I rode after him least some Disaster Should befall him.  I din’d at Captain Eagers.  A.M. reading Ansons Voiage round the world by Walter.[2]  Ebenezer and Thomas mend the Fence of the Pasture at the Island and bring a milk Cow, and Two fatting Creatures to pasture there.

[1]Jonathan Livermore.

[2]George Anson, A Voyage round the World in Years MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV, Compiled by Richard Walter (London, 1748).

September 4, 1751

1751 September 4 (Wednesday).  Mr. Biglo Sent his Son Cornelius to cutt Stalks at the Island.  P.M. a number more of Lads came, Viz. Joseph and James Bowman: Samuel and Joseph Harrington, Thomas Hardy, and Daniel Grout, who cutt the rest of the Stalks at the Island and Pik’d up those which were cutt in the forenoon by about 5 o’clock p.m.  At Evening reckon’d with Mr. Samuel Hardy, for his cutting and raking and cocking Hay at the ministerial Meadow, and instead of 8£ old Tenor which he took it for, I allow’d him nine; and this even although, by Divine Providence there was a Considerable Quantity was never rak’d at all, and Some Loads which were Carted home, or stack’d at the Meadow, were so wash’d with heavy Rains that it was of but little Value.  Mr. Samuel Haven here and went over to t’other House to lodge.  Ebenezer has kill’d some Veal and brought us a part.

September 5, 1751

1751 September 5 (Thursday).  I observ’d the Day in some Religious Manner.  (Vide Natal.)  Mr. Haven din’d here.  I was in some Difficulty to break off from my retir’d Employment to wait upon him, and not discover my Engagedness another way.  I remember’d the words of the Lord in Mat. 6.18.  That thou appear not to mean to fast: and agreeably I went down, convers’d, and eat somewhat at Table — but fearing this interruption I improv’d all the forepart of the Day as Separately as I could.  But alas!  all is too broken, uninfluencing, ineffectual!  God of his infinite Mercy and Graciousness, pitty and pardon, and grant His Grace and Mercy to Me for the great Redeemers Sake!  At Eve Mr. Whipple and Mr. Biglo here.

[The following appears in the Natalitia for September 5, 1751:] I Endeavour’d to employ myself Separately and religiously — chiefly in the following Acts of Thanksgiving and Praise; Humiliation and Penitence; Supplication and Intercession; Self-Dedication and renewing Covenant with God; Resolutions; Considerations of Frailty and Morality.  In Petitioning and Supplicating the Throne of Grace, Special Subjects were, Pardon and Sanctification, Ministerial Qualifications and Success, That God would Sanctifie my present new Circumstances in my beginning the World again in this New Habitation, and particularly Direction and Wisdom to Conduct as all my present state and Case is, Grace to Discharge Relative Dutys, The Spirit of God to Prepare for Death and Eternity, Intercession for especially My Wife — Children — each of them — the Infant — Flock — for Ministers — State of Religion — Friends and Relations.

September 11, 1751

1751 September 11 (Wednesday).  Ebenezer went with my Oxen in the Rain to Mr. Adams’s to help him move his Barn.  I rode to Lieutenant Woods at Hopkinton to attend a Fast there at his House and was agreed when he was at our House a fortnight ago, but I found they had had an Exercise there at the Time first appointed.  I din’d at Mr. Barrett’s[1] and return’d.

[1]The Reverend Samuel Barrett.

September 13, 1751

1751 September 13 (Friday).  Had word that Mr. William Goss at Shrewsbury had Floor Boards which hew’d lay at my Door for a small Matter of ready Money.  I borrow’d 3 Dollars at Squire Bakers, and sent Mr. Aaron Nurse to Mr. Goss; but without success — for when he come to see his Boards, he found they had taken Dammage through ill-sticking.  But this Affair was a great Interruption to my Studys and Perplexity to my mind.  P.M. Eliezer Rice, Mr. Fortner etc.

September 15, 1751

1751 September 15 (Sunday).  Read Numb. 15, and made the Exposition of it for the present.  N.B. Neighbour Eliezer Rice was not at Meeting with us.  Preach’d from Col. 3.12, on Mercifulness and Meekness; both in pursuance of my Exposition of the sixth Commandment and because it was just before the Superior Court in this County at which our people are like to have Several Cases.  At Night Rain.

September 16, 1751

1751 September 16 (Monday).  Very Early in the Morning came Mr. Richard Barns — he tells me that whereas Deacon Newton had sued him for money, and he had resolv’d to withstand him on account of Exorbitant Interest, yet the Deacon after the sermon, yesterday p.m. Spoke to him as soon as they came out of meeting, and desir’d he might See him early next Morning that they might agree, he was now going up to him — But he had an Affair of yet greater Difficulty, for Mr. Gamel (he said) was going to throw him into Jayl and the Execution has been already serv’d upon him, and he must go unless he could this Day obtain 60£ old Tenor value in silver; therefore pray’d me to help him, and offer’d me part of his Land on Sale: would let me have 3 or 4 acres of the Land next to mine.  I told him I did not care to Trade with him at Such a Time as this was, with both him and me.  With him, as he was in Such a Straight that he would be oblig’d to Sell cheaper than it was worth; and with me, as I was already plung’d deeply into Debt both for Land and for my New House.  But he still insisted — and told me that he knew where I could get the money, but he could not upon which he induc’d me to go to Marlborough.  As I went I eat at Deacon Matthias Rice’s — made the Rest of my Dining among Dr. Gotts Children.  It was Proprietors Meeting at Marlborough.  I attended it and presented the plot of 5 Acres etc joining to Chauncy Cedar Swamp and Meadows.  Captain Maynard oppos’d it again, as did Ensign Josiah Rice, and though it was put to vote, it did not pass.  I was oblig’d to defer it, and I soon retir’d; try’d to hire money for Neighbour Barns.  Succeeded at Mr. Jacob Felton’s[1] — receiv’d 28 Dollars.  N.B. Could get but 250 whole Bricks at Neighbour Benjamin Hows.

[1]At one time a lieutenant and a selectman of Marlborough.

September 17, 1751

1751 September 17 (Tuesday).  Neighbour Barns Sign’d a Deed for 4 Acres of Swamp and Upland joining to my old place: and paid him 27 Dollars for it.  Hannah Pratt, our Nurse went away.  I went over to Neighbour Hows again about Bricks.  Job Cushing junior there from Day to Day with 3 Teams — so that I cannot be Supply’d — for the Kiln turns out poorly, many being broke.  Both Cushing and I pick’d out many halves.  The whole ones 15/ per Hundred.  At Night Rain — in the Rain and Dark came Mr. William Winter of Boston, and Dr. Parkmans Widow, and Mr. Henry Newhall’s Wife — Two Chairs.  Not having got our Beds from t’other House I was oblig’d to go with Mr. Winter to Mr. Ebenezer Rice’s and we lodg’d there.

September 19, 1751

1751 September 19 (Thursday).  Mr. Edward Willson works in topping my Chimney — and Mr. Daniel Forbush in building the Wall at the West End of the House.  Abner Rice tends Mr. Willson.  P.M. came a small Number of Young Men and Lads who help’d me a few Hours in levelling the Banks of Gravell.  They were Nathaniel Whitney, Joseph Dudley, Samuel Harrington, Joseph Harrington, Daniel Forbush, Adam Rice.  My Kinswoman and Mrs. Newhall here.  N.B. A Blunder about Dinner.  A Lamb kill’d but was brought afternoon.  They return’d to the other House, and I supp’d with them there.  N.B. The Case of Mr. James Maynard and Lieutenant Tainter etc., try’d at the Superior Court and Maynard obtain’d Judgment.

September 20, 1751

1751 September 20 (Friday).  Mr. Willson and Abner Rice on the Top of the Chimney a.m. but having work’d up my few Bricks, it is left still unfinish’d.  The Company return’d to Boston: Molly accompany’d them to Marlborough.  N.B. Neighbour Eliezer Rice here at Evening and asks for another Church-Meeting.  I give him Several Reasons why it is at this Time utterly unsuitable — especially considering the present frame of many persons by Reason of the Contentions at Court — besides that it is but a little while since we had one at his Desire.  Nor was there any Time for me to think of it, my Preparations for the Sabbath being now in Hand, and have but little Opportunity for them.  But he went away dissatisfy’d.  See a loose paper.

September 21, 1751

1751 September 21 (Saturday).  A great Frost last Night.  My Mind much taken off with Neighbour Rice’s Conduct last Night, which was the more to my perplexing as I am thereby So much hinder’d in my Preparations for the Sabbath.  Out of wood — and no where to go to get any — forc’d to pick up, round about the House.  Have taken Cold and have a grievous Pain in my back.

September 22, 1751

1751 September 22 (Sunday).  Very cold Morning.  Very great Frost.  Sometimes doubted whether I could venture to meeting, having Such a Pain in my Back.  With much Difficulty I went.  Read Numb. 16.  Forenoon Exercise was an Exposition of the former part of the chapter to number 15.  P.M. Read Rom. 6.  Made some brief Observations upon it.  Preach’d on Col. 3.7.8.  Made use of the greatest part of what is under Doct. 4 from 1 Cor. 6.11, but with Alterations and Additions.  Heard that Mrs. Mary Bennett, Shopkeeper in Boston dy’d lately.  May God Sanctifie this to me, as I was considerably acquainted with her!  She was a person of uncommon Abilitys and Attainments.

September 23, 1751

1751 September 23 (Monday).  Mr. Hezekiah Pratt kindly brought me a Load of Wood — he had my Oxen with his.  Sir Forbush[1] goes to Boston by whom I wrote to my Brother William.  Was at Mr. Clafflands.  P.M. I visited Neighbour Bathericks Family — Mr. Daniel and Timothy Warrin — Mr. Twitchell — and Patty Pannell being Sick I visited her also at Mr. Jonas Brighams.  When I return’d at Eve, heard that my little Breck is ill.

[1]Eli Forbes or Forbush, the son of Deacon Jonathan Forbush of Westborough.

September 24, 1751

1751 September 24 (Tuesday).  Went to See little Breck at t’other House — found him better.  Mr. Jotham Maynard came from Mr. Joshua Townsend to desire me to attend the Funeral of a Child of his (about 5 Years old) who has dy’d of the Throat Distemper — He having bury’d his son Joshua, near 10 years old, of the Same Distemper — Mr. Martyn gone to Stow.  I rode over, and din’d with Mrs. Martyn.  N.B. Messrs. Whitney (of Nitchewog),[1] Maccarty, Davis, and Humphreys[2] — going to the Ordination at Weston.  Mrs. Martyn rode with me to the Burying at Mr. Townsends.  N.B. very few males only 2 from the Neighbourhoood there, till they were oblig’d to send out for Neighbours to come and assist by which means they made it late.

[1]The Reverend Aaron Whitney of the plantation called Nichewoag, which became the town of Petersham in 1754.

[2]The Reverend James Humphrey (Harvard 1744), the minister of Payquage or Pequoig plantation (later the town of Athol), 1750-1782.  Sibley, XI, 416-418.

September 26, 1751

1751 September 26 (Thursday).  The Reverend Mr. Maccarty din’d here.  Tells me that the Ordination went on yesterday without any Lett.  The Reverend Mr. Townsend[1] of Needham preach’d on Mat. 11.16.17.  Sam. Bumpso undertakes to mow Bushes on the North East part of my Brigham Lott.  Mows a little, and moves off about his Scyth — See no more of him to Day.

[1]Jonathan Townsend.

September 27, 1751

1751 September 27 (Friday).  After a turn of Frosts and rugged Weather, a very fine Warm Day.  My Wife went over to the other House, to See Breck who has been ill — and about some necessary Affairs.  Mr. Joseph Knowlton and his Wife with a Present (a Legg of Pork, large piece of Pork, a Cheese, and a parcell of dry’d Huckleberrys).  N.B. Mr. Knowlton rode over to my other House and brought back my wife.

September 29, 1751

1751 September 29 (Sunday).  My Wife through Gods Goodness, So happy as to go to Meeting again — we offer public thanks.  Read Numb. 16 from 15 to 35, and for the forenoon Exercise, gave Exposition.  P.M. Read Rom. 7, and preach’d on 1 Sam. 2.1.6, repeating Somewhat Considerable of Sermon on that Text, but now adding in many places; especially in the Close.  But it was a Subject so Suitable (Hannah with her Samuel now come to the House of God) that (as I conceiv’d) I could not resist it.  May God pardon what is amiss and graciously accept of me and mine.

September 30, 1751

1751 September 30 (Monday).  Samuel Bumpso mows Shrubb Bushes all Day.  P.M. This Parish met.  I sent a Memorial to the Meeting at the very juncture that a Committee (Mr. Williams and Ensign Miller) were coming to me to see if I had any Thing that I would communicate to them.  By and by Lieutenant Tainter came to me from the people to acquaint me that they had granted no otherwise than they us’d to do (400£ old Tenor).  I Sent a Reply and Request in Writing.  At Eve Captain Baker and Mr. Whipple came and acquainted me that they had consider’d what I Sent to them and had granted 50£ old Tenor more.  But had done Nothing about the Wood, That being an Article which they could not manage by virtue of this present Warrant: But people would have it in their Thoughts — and doubtless prepare themselves to Say Something about it when there could be Preparation Time for it.