March 4, 1754

1754 March 4 (Monday).  I went over to t’other House, a.m.  Ebenezer and I measur’d the Lines of the Piece of Land mark’d out for Mr. Smith.  P.M. I pray’d with the Town at their Meeting and receiv’d at Eve another uncomfortable Letter from my Brother Martyn.[1]  This Paper War with this Gentleman is the Grief of my Heart:  it being the most peculiarly happy thing for ministers in the Same Town to be well united, and the most grievous when tis otherwise.  Witness Woburn and Sutton nearer home.

[1]John Martyn of Northborough.  The editor has not discovered in this diary, in local histories or in church records any clue relating to the cause of this dispute between Martyn and Parkman.

March 5, 1754

1754 March 5 (Tuesday).  I visited Mr. Jonathan Bellows who is sick and din’d there.  Went to Southborough to carry Mr. Stone a little money for the Newton Meadow, but Mr. Stone was gone to Boston — left 8£ old Tenor with his wife and return’d.  Billy begins the Accidence[1] again.  Mr. Abraham Smith and his Wife are come from Brookfield to t’other House.

[1]A book containing the rudiments of grammar.  Probably one of the famous Latin grammars of Ezekiel Cheever.

March 10, 1754

1754 March 10 (Sunday).  It was appointed last Sabbath to have the Communion to Day — But because of the Extremity of the Season, Snow, Rain etc. the Sacrament was put by.  I read Judg. 14 and for a. and p.m. Exercises expounded and improv’d the Chapter and especially number 14.  Deacon Forbush and Lieutenant Thomas Weeks of Weston din’d with us.  Ebenezer is observ’d to be very down.

March 11, 1754

1754 March 11 (Monday).  Precinct Met for Choice of Officers — No Prayer ask’d.  Ebenezer comes at Eve — tells me that Mr. Abraham Smith notwithstanding all his Bargain with me and giving me a Deed of his Place, has actually mortgag’d it to Mr. Aaron Boardman of Boston.  He is this Day gone on my sons Mare to See his Father at Sudbury and to return tonight.

March 12, 1754

1754 March 12 (Tuesday).  I made a Visit to Mr. Smith to enquire into his Conduct.  Colonel William Ward[1] here with whom I advis’d respecting Mr. Smiths Treatment of me.  I rode to Mr. Bradishs to See his Wife, and to Mr. Ithamar Bellows.  A fine Day overhead, but exceeding bad Road — snow, Mud etc.  Billy brought over four Sheep and [blank] Lambs from t’other House.  Mr. Jeduthun Baldwin here from Sudbury, returning to Brookfield.  Told him I was very sorry that when Mr. Forbush[2] and he knew of Mr. Smiths Mortgaging his Place to Mr. Boardman yet that they did not prevent his moving his Family hither, or Send one word of it.

[1]Ward of Southborough was a justice of the peace.  Hudson, Marlborough, p. 460.

[2]Parkman’s son-in-law, the Reverend Eli Forbes of Brookfield.

March 13, 1754

1754 March 13 (Wednesday).  Ebenezer rode (on Mr. Smiths Stallion) to his Father Harringtons at Watertown where his Wife has hitherto continued.  And Billy is over at tother place taking Care of his Brothers Cattle.  Mr. Edwards Whipple here at Eve.  Acquaints me with Base Coin stirring; Some of it passed by Mr. John Dunlop, but chiefly by Abraham Rice of Brookfield, and Moses Pannell of Colrain, who are principally Suspected.

March 14, 1754

1754 March 14 (Thursday).  I visited in the South part of the Town.  Din’d at Mr. Harringtons.  Was at Mr. Bowmans, both Twitchells, but especially went to see Mr. Dunlop who is sick.  Lieutenant Maynard and others are gone to Brookfield to Abner Rice’s to detect the base Coiners.  Receiv’d an affectionate Letter from Brother Samuel Parkman on the Death of Captain T. Davis.

March 16, 1754

1754 March 16 (Saturday).  John Dunlop here (after his Journey to Brookfield) tells me the New Coiners are Two sons of the late Mr. Thomas Newton[1] formerly of this Town; and they made the Money at Hunting Hills[2] beyond Deerfield.  Company are here every Day, and not a few — which is a great Interruption to me.  Mr. Daniel Forbush here about making Satisfaction to Reverend Mr. Barret.

[1]Thomas Newton, Jr., had moved to Sunderland in 1742; he was in Deerfield in 1756.  The editor has not determined the identity of the other Newton counterfeiter.  Ermina N. Leonard, Newton Genealogy (DePere, Wisconsin, 1915), pp. 74-75-

[2]The plantation called Huntstown became the town of Ashfield in 1765.

March 17, 1754

1754 March 17 (Sunday).  A bright Day, though raw Cold North wind.  Read Judg. 15.  Preach’d a.m. on Judg. 14.14.  Administered the Lords Supper.  Deacon Forbush and Mrs. Brigham (Gershoms Wife) din’d with us.  P.M. repeated with Alteration Exposition on Mat. 8.21.22.  God grant we may be quickened to cast off all procrastinations and Delays and apply ourselves to the Work of God, as we are respectively called thereto!

March 18, 1754

1754 March 18 (Monday).  I went over to Mr. Smith and talk with him — and inasmuch as he pretends that Mr. Boardman of Boston is ready to take off the Mortgage, he must go to him forthwith and do it, otherwise it will be too late for this Year.  I think it also a great Wrong and hardship that Mr. Smiths Horse is kept in my Barn since our Hay is So Short and it is difficult for me to go for Supply otherwise.  Visited at Mr. Whipples, both Houses.  Mr. Edwards Whipple talks of helping me get Timber for a Kitchin.  Ebenezer and his wife and Child here at Eve.  Thunder and Lightening.  They lodge here.

March 19, 1754

1754 March 19 (Tuesday).  Mr. Smith to Boston to see what Mr. Boardman will do.  Wrote to my Brother Samuel to assist me; that I may not be deceiv’d.  Desir’d Lieutenant Maynard to receive from my Brother an Account of their Proceedings.  Din’d at Mr. Amsdens.  Mr. Abijah Gale gives me Dimensions for a Leanto.  Visited Mrs. Twitchell after the Death of her Mother.  Return’d by t’other House.  Mrs. Smith very dull — though neighbours come to see her yet she removes into another room and shuts the Door that she may be alone.  I went in to take leave of her, and found her under Discouragement.  Lieutenant Tainter brought saw’d stuff for Barn Doors.  N.B. much Noise about Abner Rice and his Brother in Law Moses Pannell being apprehended, and one Newton likewise.  All brought before Colonel Chandler,[1] for making money — and are committed to Jayl.

[1]John Chandler of Worcester.

March 20, 1754

1754 March 20 (Wednesday).  Greatly engag’d and troubled in my Mind about Mr. Smiths Conduct, and much perplex’d what Course to take:  to throw up will tend much to the ruin of Mr. Smith however he has brought it upon himself in giving me so great Reason for it:  on the other Hand to go on is exceeding Dangerous:  and it will soon be too late for my son to go to Brookfield.  May the Lord influence my Mind and Heart and direct me what Course to take.  Visit Captain Forbush’s Wife, mourning for the Loss of her sister Sawin.

March 21, 1754

1754 March 21 (Thursday).  Esquire Baker came here kindly to tell me that he heard Smiths Land in Brookfield was under an attachment and that there were several Executions out against him.  Catechiz’d at the Meeting House, a. and p.m.  N.B. I have the Congregation a quickening Word last Lords Day to send their Children.  And a.m. I had 51 Boys.  P.M. it snow’d yet 23 Girls.  Mr. [blank] Park of Sutton din’d here.  Lieutenant Tainter and a Number besides with their Teams brought a great Stone for the principal step at the Front of the Meeting House.  My wife but poorly — may God fit us for His Will!  At Eve Mr. Ebenezer Rice here.  I wrote a Line to Mr. Abraham Smith to apprize him that I must be oblig’d to tell the Select Men of his Coming.

March 22, 1754

1754 March 22 (Friday).  Sent by Ebenezer to Mr. Whipple[1] Town Clerk Information of Mr. Smith and his Family being in my House — to be Communicated to the Select Men.  N.B. my Paper return’d because the Wife’s and Daughters Names were not inserted.  Mr. Hill of Sherbourn brought me a Letter from Mr. Morse[2] of Shrewsbury requesting a Contribution for the Relief of Mr. Asa Hill of Shrewsbury who was lately burnt out.  Mr. Stone’s son Nathaniel here and din’d with us.  At Eve I was with Deacon Newton, another of the selectman, and gave him a Paper which had the Names of Mr. Smiths Wife and Daughter but did not leave it.

[1]Francis Whipple.

[2]The Reverend Ebenezer Morse of Boylston.

March 23, 1754

1754 March 23 (Saturday).  In the Morning I went to Esquire Baker and consulted him on the Smith Affair and wrote and left with him (another of the select Men) an information in Writing certifying when Mr. Smith his Wife and Daughter came into Town.  N.B. last Night Mr. Daniel Forbush came here from Brookfield and tells me that Mr. Smith was come up from Boston, and brought up a Letter (which he also delivered me and which was from Mr. Andrew Boardman of Boston) informing me that he Should Send up Mr. Barker on Monday to transact the Affair of taking off the Mortgage from Smiths Brookfield Land.  Mr. Smith came here and I imediately [sic] Sent for Esquire Baker who came.  They din’d here.  A warm Debate ensued.  I insist for security besides a Deed if we go on; Seeing Mr. Smith has So deceiv’d me, in the Matter of the Former Deed.  Captain Baker thinks it very Reasonable and Necessary.  Smith resists it.  When the Esquire was gone I offer to leave it to 3 indifferent Men.  N.B. I receiv’d another Letter from Mr. Boardman attested by him to be the Copy of what he had sent by Mr. Smith.  This came by the help of my Brother Samuel.

March 24, 1754

1754 March 24 (Sunday).  A.M. read Judg. 16 and the Expository remarks upon it were our forenoon Exercise.  P.M. read James 2 and by reason of my perplexing Difficulties with Mr. Smith repeated Exposition on Mat. 5.38, and part of 39.  At Eve receiv’d a Letter from Mr. Smith, dated yesterday, in which he intimates his rejecting Still my proposal of a Bondsman.  Read to the Congregation a Letter from the Reverend Mr. Morse of Shrewsbury requesting a Contribution for one Mr. Asa Hill who was lately burnt out.  Left it with Deacons and Committee to advise upon.  I thought it agreeable to Christian Principles, and that Meekness and Mercifulness which I had been recommending in the Day preceding, to Consider Mr. Smith’s Case as well as my own; and being perswaded that Mr. Barkers Coming up here (as may be expected on the Ensuing Day) will be in Vain, I desir’d my son Thomas to prepare and go with a Line to Mr. Smith and take an Horse (if Mr. Smith desir’d also) and go away now in the Night to Boston and stop Mr. Barkers Coming to prevent needless Charge.  And he went away accordingly about a quarter after 12 in the Night.

March 25, 1754

1754 March 25 (Monday).  Thomas return’d:  Mr. Smith not accepting my Offer.  I went to Esquire Bakers to Consult him again upon my present Affairs; and to desire that the Select Men would defer their Warning Mr. Smith out of Town and especially if Some of his Friends would give Security respecting the Infant now expected; which he comply’d with, and at my Request he sent one of his Sons to Mr. Bezaleel Smith with a Note from me to have him come to Me or to his Kinsmans; and he came.  N.B. Captain Maynard and Mr. Benjamin How look out a place in my Land by the Meeting House to set stables.  I went over to see Mrs. Smith.  She says now that she is willing to sign a Deed.  But her Husband I find in the Same Disposition as he was, and increasing in self Vindications and Resentments.  Asks me to let his Goods remain in my House, while he carrys his Family to his or her Fathers, to which I consent, but will not be answerable for them.  N.B. His dread of Lying as he and I stood in the Road talking in the hearing of his Cousen Bezaleel.  I return’d home.  N.B. Mr. Ebenezer Maynard brought me a Load of Posts from the Ministerial Lot, and carry’d ‘em to the Island.  Mr. Batheric, Noah Forbush and my son Ebenezer Splicing Rails at the Ministerial Lott.  At Eve Mr. Smith comes here and brings Mr. Barker.  We effect no thing — but increase sin and Trouble.  The Lord shew Mercy!  and extend forgiveness!  Tis a Day of sore Temptation.  May God most gracious Help!  Mrs. Smith sent me a Letter in which She complains of great unkindness — which verily I never shewed her but the Contrary.

March 26, 1754

1754 March 26 (Tuesday).  Mr. Barker came with Mr. Smith.  N.B. Mr. Barker tells me Mr. Smith at the Time when he (Barker) went up to take a Mortgage of him did not acquaint him that he had given me a Deed, but said he was under Obligation to me — whereas Mr. Smith has told me he did inform Mr. Barker that he had given me a Deed.  Mr. Barker returns to Boston without effecting any Thing; for neither are the Conditions of my Bond fulfilled nor is there any security.  N.B. Mr. Bezaleel Smith here and Confronts Abraham with respect to the different Account he has given of the Sum which the place in Brookfield is mortgaged for.  Noah Forbush not well:  does no great matter of Business to Day.

March 27, 1754

1754 March 27 (Wednesday).  Mr. Ebenezer Rice levys an Execution on Mr. Abraham Smith to the value of an hundred Twenty odd Pounds old Tenor in behalf of one of the Hitchcocks in Springfield.  My wife was over there to see Mrs. Smith who takes but little Notice of her.  P.M. I rode down to Colonel William Ward and got him to take Mr. Andrew Newtons Deed that it may be acknowledged.  Went to Mr. Ephraim How of Marlborough and paid him Six Pounds Old Tenor Interest.

March 28, 1754

1754 March 28 (Thursday).  Went over to t’other House and talk’d with Mrs. Smith.  Her Husband is gone to Boston again, that he may obtain a Power of Attorney for Colonel Chandler or somebody else that may take up the Mortgage for Mr. Boardman, and by what he has Said I apprehend he designs also to go to his Mother that she may sign his Deed; he had also sent to Brookfield to have the Land there measur’d.  His wife manifests Satisfaction and Reconcilement with me and her Consent at least, if not Desire also to have me go to their Fathers.  I rode to Mr. Smiths Father in Sudbury and lodg’d there, but the man himself was not at home:  was gone to Boston.  The Woman was almost overwhelm’d with Trouble about her son before I began.  N.B. Mr. Bezaleel Smith there and had sufficient Ground to confirm what I said.

March 29, 1754

1754 March 29 (Friday).  Left a Letter for Mr. Amos Smith at his House, rode to Mr. Francis Wheeler’s and din’d there.  He gave me from under his Hand and witness’d that the Child which might be born of his Daughter in Westborough Should not be a Town Charge.  I call’d at Lieutenant Dakins, who favoured me with a pint of Hotspur Peas; but especially was desirous to acquint [sic] me with their present Difficultys with Mr. Loring and their purpose to have a Council.  I call’d at Mr. Lorings[1] in Marlborough — receiv’d of him his Chandlers History of Persecution.[2]  Was at Mr. Benjamin Woods’s.[3]  Paid him 30/ old Tenor in full of all Demands.  At Eve return’d home in Safety.  D.G.

[1]Jonathan Loring was the son of the Reverend Israel Loring of Sudbury.

[2]Samuel Chandler translated the following work by Philippus van Limborch, The History of the Inquisition, 2 vols. (London, 1731).  Chandler also published The History of Persecution, in four Parts (London, 1736).

[3]A leading citizen of Marlborough.

March 31, 1754

1754 March 31 (Sunday).  Mr. Smith came up from Boston last night, but has not been to either of his Fathers, nor Seen his Mother.  Read Judg. 17.  Preach’d on Ps. 51.11.  P.M. read James, and repeated on Mat. 8.34.  N.B. The Deacons and Committee who met last Thursday to Confer about Mr. Asa Hills Case, as mention’d last Lords Day, made me no Return.