1774 June 1 (Wednesday). Now begins a New and peculiar AEra: for this Day the Act of Parliament called the Boston Port Bill, whereby the Harbour of Boston is shut up, takes Effect. May God be pleased to Sanctifie this His holy Dispensation of Providence to this whole People! Rev. Mr. Putnam of Pomfret, returning home, calls here. He acquaints me that whereas he had Occasion to take up £750 old Tenor of Col. Brattle of Cambridge, Some time agoe, he was now enabled to go and pay it, by his generous people’s furnishing him gratis, with the money to do it. P.M. Miss Molly Taylor, who keeps School among us, and has had our little Sukey to tutor (the Widow Brigham offering to board the Child) made us a Visit. As did Mr. Aaron Hutchinson junior.
1774 June 2 (Thursday). My Neighbour Nathan Kenny under gloomy hypocondriac Disorders, I made a Visit to, and prayed with him. P.M. Mrs. Rachel Hide (lately Rachel Fay) was with me to be examined in order to her making a profession of Religion and receiving Baptism. I take some special Notice of the sorrowful Frowns of Heaven upon the Land, and upon the metropolis of this province in particular, in solemn Devotions etc.etc.
1774 June 3 (Friday). Closely engaged in my preparations. Read Dr. Thomas Newton on the Prophecys, particularly on Rev. 13.
1774 June 4 (Saturday). Sad news from Boston of the Troubles of the people there by means of the apprehension, they have of the Forces expected to block them up.
1774 June 5 (Sunday). Read Mic. 3. Preached on Rom. 1.18. P.M. read Isa. 44.5, occasioned by my being about to propound Mrs. Rachel Hide (lately Rachel Fay) to make a profession and to be baptized. May God be pleased to bless my poor feeble Endeavors!
1774 June 6 (Monday). Read [part of?] a Strange publication called “Infernal Conference,” of Dialogues of Devils, in 2 volumes, 12 mo by the Listener. Much Good to be got out of it.
1774 June 7 (Tuesday). Finish Vol.1. Visit Mr. David Andrews of Ipswich, Sick at his Bother George’s. The private meeting is deferred.
1774 June 8 (Wednesday). Mr. Stone dined here and preached my Lecture on 1 Joh.3.5, a serious, profitable Discourse! The Lord bless it to us for our highest Benefit! Mr. Henry Quincy of Boston here. By the newspapers find that Boston Harbour is now blocked up by the Kings Ships.
1774 June 9 (Thursday). Visit and pray with old Lt. Bruce and his wife. Mr. Thomas and Sister Joanna came — they lodge here. N.B. I attended the Raising Mr. Benajah Brighams Barn.
1774 June 10 (Friday). The Company returned home. Cornet Brigham here in trouble about his Brother Jonas — but I would not meddle with it.
1774 June 11 (Saturday). Mr. Simon Tainter calls to See me, with his wife, having visited his F. Bruce.
1774 June 12 (Sunday). Read Mic. 4. Preached from Exod. XIV.13. Administered the Lords Supper etc. Mrs. Kelly and Mrs. Maynard, Miss Molly Taylor and Miss Susan Brigham dined here. P.M. Read Ps. 44. Preached, with many additions, the rest of Sermon on Isa. 44.5. Mrs. Rachel Hide, heretofore Rachel Fay, now wife of Mr. Noah Hide of Newton, made a profession, owning the Covenant and was in solemn manner baptized. May the Lord accept of her, and of us herein! And may Others beholding these Solemnitys, be excited to their Duty likewise, that God may be glorify’d thereby!
1774 June 13 (Monday). Town Meeting to consider a Letter from the Town Clerk of Boston and there is come also a printed Covenant for them to Sign, in which they are to join with Others, and Solemnly bind themselves to renounce all Trade with Great Britain till the Bill for blocking up the Harbour of Boston Shall be repealed. N.B. Little is said about supplicating the Throne of Grace on this Great Occasion. But they Chose a Committee to consider what is best to be done, and report to the Town. Squire Whipple here but hardly goes to the meeting. Mr. Gleason here at Eve.
1774 June 14 (Tuesday). Had Conversation with Dr. Hawes and Lt. Baker, two of the said Committee, on the present sorrowful State. N.B. The latter also offers to sell me his Land joining to mine South of the Road before the Meeting House. I have gone through both the Volumes of Infernal Conference, by the Listener. At Eve John came from Oxford.
1774 June 15 (Wednesday). Rode to Southborough, dined at Mr. Stones. Preached his Lecture on 1 Chron. 15.13, latter part. And read as a parallell Text 1 Cor. 11.29, which was largely explained and the Explanation confirmed. There were but very few at meeting by Reason of heavy Rain, with Thunder and Lightning at the very time of Assembling. The Lord bless the word to those few of us who could attend! The Rain continuing, I tarryed all night. Mr. Stone gave me (from Mr. Gordon of Roxbury) Mr. Joseph Allaines Serious Treatise on Conversion. A New Edition under a new Title, viz. “An Admonition to unconverted Sinners.”
1774 June 16 (Thursday). Returned home. Read Mr. Josiah Quincy juniors Observations on the Act of Parliament commonly called “the Boston-Port Bill.” Writ with Sp[ecia?]l Learning and Elegance. Sophy to Mr. Edmund Brighams to dine etc.
1774 June 17 (Friday). My Son John Setts out very early for Boston. N.B. John gave me last Eve Mr. Ezra Bowmans Note for Fourteen pounds L.M. for my Horse. P.M. The Committee of Correspondence was here; viz. Deacon Bond, Dr. Hawes, Messrs. Daniel Forbes, Hannaniah Parker, Thomas Bond and Joseph Harrington. Lt. Baker who was one, was gone to Boston. They came to hear my Sentiments of the Covenant which they had received from Boston and another from Worcester, which I, in part gave them. It was Said from among the Committee that they Should be glad I would be at the Town meeting, when they were to report. Mr. Edmund Quincy junior called here in his way to Symsbury. Old Mrs. Brigs of Rochester came to see us and lodged.
1774 June 18 (Saturday). Mrs. Brigs goes to Northborough to see her son Zephaniahs Wife. Breck goes to Brookfield and New Braintree. P.M. Coll. Buckminster and his wife came this way from Rutland. Capt. King, Representative of Sutton, calls and tells me that the Assembly is dissolved. This was done by his Excellency when he perceived the House was upon the Article of a Congress. Elias came from Shrewsbury.
1774 June 19 (Sunday). Read Mic. 5. Preached on Isa. [10?].3 a. and p.m. because of these times. Old Mrs. Kelly at Dinner and stays with us.
Isaiah 10.3: “And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?”
1774 June 20 (Monday). Mrs. Kelly lives here again. John returns from Boston but only from Col. Buckminsters this morning. I visit and pray with Mr. Samuel Fay, who is sick of a Fever. P.M. The Town Meet on the Affair of Signing a Covenant of Non-importation etc. A Committee came to me to confer about a Fast. They were Capt. Maynard, Capt. Ben Fay and Capt. Jonathan [blank]. Agreed that the Fast Should be next Thursday come sennight. Breck returns with Hannah from Brookfield. Young Mr. Hutchinson here and lodges to night.
1774 June 21 (Tuesday). I was by various Incidents Sadly hindered in going to Ministers Meeting at Southborough, but got there before noon. My not coming was the hindrance of Observing the Day as a Time of Fasting — but it was improved as a season of more repeated and enlarged Supplication on consideration of the public Distresses. Mr. Stones Sermon was on Prov. 16.7. A very suitable and quickening Discourse. May God bless it to all of us! To me especially! And may it please the Lord to be reconciled to us and hear our prayers! At Eve when I was got home came Mr. Charles Lawrence of Ashby to buy my Land there. I wrote by him to Mr. Cushing concerning it, and what offers he makes etc. Mr. Hancock, the Taylor lodges here.
1774 June 22 (Wednesday). I send Mr. Barretts Mather’s Magnalia by Mr. Beriah Ware. A Clock Set up in my West Room. Mrs. Keen visits us.
1774 June 23 (Thursday). Isaac Lamb and Hannah Williams marryed. Mr. Joseph Hancock works here one Day after another on divers Garments, making a Jacket for Elias, Breeches for John and Ware.
1774 June 24 (Friday). Hear that divers people conjecture that I have Signed the Address to Governor Hutchinson at his embarking, whereas I am very remote from it. Riply came from Cambridge and lodges.
1774 June 25 (Saturday). Riply to Brookfield. John goes to Settle at Lancaster. P.M. Breck goes to Lancaster with Mr. Levi Wilder. Mr. Hancock, nigh night goes home.
1774 June 26 (Sunday). Read Mic. 6 and made my Exposition of it very much by Assistance from Sermon on Mic. 6.2, though with many Omissions and Alterations. P.M. Read Ps. 105. Preach on Isa. 63.9 and delivered the whole of my Preparations which I have Spent much Time upon; for it could not be divided. I suppose I was Somewhat more than an Hour. After Sermon I gave the Church, as Such, an Account of what the Town had agreed to concerning a Fast next Thursday, on the Account of the public Distresses; and proposing it virtually though not directly to them, there was no Objection: therefore it was complyed with as I conceive.
1774 June 27 (Monday). Deacon Bond came and delivered me 4 Papers of the public affairs relative to Signing a Covenant etc. I copyed the Covenant with alterations. Breck returned from Lancaster.
1774 June 28 (Tuesday). Visit aged Mrs. Woods at Mr. Daniel Forbes’s. Went to Mr. Ebenezer Millers and Spoke to the women, since the men were not there, of my utterly disliking Mr. Millers or his son Harringtons attempting to buy the woody Hill north of my House since I had so bespoke it and depended upon having it. N.B. [Met?] Mr. Jacob Whitman of Providence, and 3 women with him, going to Stow. P.M. read vox populi, vox Dei. Thomas Bond here about the Boston papers, Covenant etc. Read him my Draughts: he Seems to fall in with them. He carrys back those I borrowed.
1774 June 29 (Wednesday). I rode to Southborough, it being Fast-Day there on account of the public Distresses. Mr. Smith Prayed at the Beginning. I preached on Isa. 4.5. P.M. Mr. Stone prayed and Mr. Matthew Bridge preached on Eccl. 7.13, principally the first Words “Consider the Work of God.” May it please God graciously to hear our fervent Supplications, Pardon our Sins, and teach us due Obedience to His Word, Especially Such a Day as this! Returned at Eve.
1774 June 30 (Thursday). This Day was Set apart for the purposes of Religion, a Day of Humiliation and Fasting, with Supplication on the great Occasion of the Public Troubles and Distresses. Mr. Stone and his wife came. I began the Solemnity with Prayer. Mr. Stone preached a.m. on Deut. 29.24.25. N.B. At the End of the Sermon he delivered his Mind concerning the Covenant that is going about the Country to be Signed in all places by all persons, on highest Penalty. May God add His Blessing! The same prayed before Sermon. P.M. which I delivered from 2 Chron. 14.11, not attending to the immediate Occasion of the Words of the Text, as to the Text itself and the Dutys now incumbent. No other minister came to my Assistance but Mr. Stone, but there was a considerable Number of Friends here at Noon, who came from Marlborough. Also one Mr. Knight (who learns [Latin?] at Mr. Goddards) came with Elias from Shrewsbury and was refreshed with us. And O that what we have offered might not be a corrupt Thing!