July 4, 1774

1774 July 4 (Monday).  Holland goes to Shrewsbury.  Elias goes, but returns that he may go to work, and doth go p.m. tending Hay.  Mr. Whitman of Providence and Daughter, also Dr. Throops and her sister Nightinggale with them, called here.  Town Meet on the Affair of signing some Draught, for the public Relief.  Old Mr. Whitney and Capt. Jonas Brigham are sent to me to desire me to go and assist ‘em, by prayer and advice.  Went and prayed. After prayer the Moderator (Mr. Daniel Forbes) requested me to communicate to them my Thoughts, if I had prepared something etc.  I told him I had made no formal Draught: but read the Introduction and some other parts of my Remarks on the Covenant from Boston.  Also what I wrote at Bottom of the Letter signed William Cooper.  Sundry persons urged my tarrying and advising them with respect to what their own Committee had drawn up, but I answered that I did not care to meddle with it; for I conceived it was not safe for me to do it, Safe either for me or for them, especially by reason of the Governors Proclamation.  I craved the Liberty to retire; not but that I was heartily ready and willing to improve my small Abilitys to my utmost in their service.  It was asked me whether I would read their paper if it were Sent Me. I did not refuse to do that in [onelay?] for them and I said I had no desire or Intention to offend any one of them all, not the least; but intreated, and challenged the Liberty of Briton and a New Englandman: and I prayed they would not be hasty in signing every thing; I could not advise to signing any Thing Seeing there was no immediate Necessity; Boston itself had not and their meeting was adjourned to the 19th.  I conceived they would know better how to conduct if they waited a while, and had better perhaps till after the proposed Congress.  I observed that there was not such an Alternative as was mentioned in the Covenant, viz. of Suffering Blood-shed or slavery, unless we would withdraw Commerce with Great Britain; for by the News from Newport it appeared that their Messengers to the Congress would propose a general Address and Supplication to the King from all the Colonys jointly.  Before I retired I openly declared, for the Ease and satisfaction of all their minds, that I had signed no paper of Address or Recommendation of the late Governor and that I could not but take it ill that numbers of persons had been ready to take up a Reproach against their Neighbour.  When I retired, they, as I understood went on to ripen for signing, and that many did sign. Capt. B. Fay here to speak about the Private Meeting expected to be at his House tomorrow; but considering the busy season it was put by till next month. Mr. David Spofford from Townshend here, and paid Interest 15£ old Tenor and 4 Coppers for a Months Delay: and 16£ of like money principal.  Mr. Caleb Harrington here.  I let him know that I design to have the Pine Hill back of my House; and pray him not to interrupt me in purchase of it.