February 1, 2, 1775

1775 February 1, 2 (Wednesday, Thursday).  Am further looking over such Books as I have concerning Consociation of Churches — and Particularly Dr. S. Mathers Apology;[1] and make some Remarks thereon.  At Eve (of the 2d) my Son Samuel has sent The Kings Speech to both Houses of Parliament and their Answers[2] — with the Protests of 9 Lords — which proceedings now seem to Settle the sad Destiny of the Colonys, and especially of unhappy Massachusetts.  May God most gracious and merciful look with tender Pity on us!  O that He would prepare us for the awful Event!  Breck went to Mr. Samuel Fays, and tryed to make up with him.  Had Deacon Wood to assist him in it — but in Vain.

[1]Samuel Mather, An Apology for the Liberties of the Churches in New England (Boston, 1738; Evans 4275).

[2]Possibly Evans 42,841, the speech of Nov. 30, 1774.

February 3, 1775

1775 February 3 (Friday).  John Fay kindly helps Asa Ware in killing 3 young Swine.  Capt. Jonas Brigham send [sic] his son Edward for me to Visit his young Daughter Persis who is very ill of an Asthma.  I went — Sympathized, conversed and prayed with them.  May a gracious God prepare the Damsel for His holy will!  and Sanctifie the Affliction to all of them!

February 7, 1775

1775 February 7 (Tuesday).  Sent my Letter to Mr. Ward at Mrs. Holbrooks by Mr. Joseph Harrington.  Wrote to Mr. Quincy, and Sent it by Ripley, who came from Brookfield, and brings me a Letter from Mr. Forbes etc., who writes of his ill Reception when he and his Wife went home from Cape Ann, that her Breast is no better — that he has asked a Dismission — and I perceive that he is greatly discouraged.  Ripley to Cambridge after he had dined.  P.M. a Town Meeting here on a great Variety of Affairs.  Elias is at home with me.  Dr. Hawes here, but Hannah better.

February 9, 1775

1775 February 9 (Thursday).  I rode into the South.  Called at Mr. Seth Morse’s — at Deacon Bonds, who has sold and given the Deed of the Land joining to me on the North, viz. Ten Acres of Pine and Rocky Hill; to Caleb Harrington, for 230£ old Tenor.  I was at Mrs. Kendalls.  Went to see old Mrs. Grow: and dined there.  Called at Lt. Harringtons, where I found that Mrs. Suse (Eli’s Wife) Seems not to be willing to come to our Communion unless it be as a member of Mr. Walley’s Society in Bolton.  I visited old Mrs. Woods at Mr. Daniel Forbes’s.  Discoursed and prayed with her and Mr. [blank].  At Eve when I return have Elias to hear both in Virgil and Greek Testament.

February 10, 1775

1775 February 10 (Friday).  As the Provincial Congress is now sitting at Cambridge upon the most important Affair that ever came at any time under Consideration of this people, and we are under the most painful Uncertainty about the Event, May it please our most gracious God, who is the wonderful Counsellor, to grant Wisdom to His Servants according to the Arduousness of the Affair before them!

February 11, 1775

1775 February 11 (Saturday).  At Eve received from Rev. Mr. Lathrop of Boston, a Letter and his Sermon, occasioned by the Massacre on March 5, 1770.[1]  About 9 o’Clock was called to go to Mr. Isaac Lambs Wife, who is thought to be dying.  She had her senses — was in great Earnest for Mercy.  Prayed with her.  ‘Tis feared she will not live to the Morn.

[1]John Lathrop (1739-1816), Innocent Blood Crying to God from the Streets of Boston (Boston, 1771; Evans 12,094).

February 13, 1775

1775 February 13 (Monday).  Mr. William Bowman in his way home to Brookfield at Breakfast.  Relates Some of his uncle Forbes’s Troubles.  P.M. was Church Meeting by Adjournment.  The Committee which was Sent to Mrs. Eunice Rice, made Report.  She came to Town, and by Desire, to Meeting — gave us leave to take out of her Confession Such Sentences as we would have to be omitted.  We did so.  Voted in the Church that this would be satisfactory.  She also consented to it when it was read to her.  Agreed that She Should be propounded next Lords Day.  The Committee from Mr. Fay reported that he was greatly offended with me that I kept my Son Breck etc.  It was put to Vote — but no Hand up.  I made a Short speech before We went upon the Paper of 11.  Some Debates ensued — but nothing was done – but adjourned to a fortnight.  P.M. Mr. Waters waits upon Miss Patty and Hannah Fish here.  The young women lodge here.  Mrs. Hannah Lamb dyes.[1]

[1]Isaac Lamb mar. Hannah Williams, 23 June 1774; Westborough Vital Records, 176.  Death not in WVR.

February 14, 1775

1775 February 14 (Tuesday).  This Day (as I understand) my dear son Forbes has a Church-Meeting at Brookfield, by Adjournment that they may give Answer to his Request of Dismission.  May the Lord be graciously present with him and them, and grant an Issue to His Glory!  P.M. Capt. Edm. Brigham’s Company train.  Misses Fishes went home.  Mr. Waters accompanys.  At Eve Mr. Thomas Stone came — lodges here.

February 15, 1775

1775 February 15 (Wednesday).  Mr. Stone to Southborough.  I drew up Six Reasons for my being offended with the aggrieved or disquieted Members in Bolton.  Attended the Funeral of Mrs. Lamb, wife of Mr. Isaac Lamb: of 19 last August.  A Sorrowfull Burying!  At Eve came Mr. Jonathan Forbes to talk with me about his Duty.  Lt. Baker came also.  Forbes gave way that I Should be with Baker, but before we broke off, he went away.  N.B. In Conversation with Lieutenant I communicated what I have Writ in Six Articles, against the Disquieted in Bolton; bearing Date of Yesterday.  He Seemed to be very much of my Mind in some parts of it, particularly their Pitching upon that part of the Council to ordain Mr. Walley, who were known to be of their Mind, and had prejudged the Case.  N.B. Mr. James Godfrey and his Wife, Cousen Davis with their Babys, Mr. Joseph White and his sister Abigail, came P.M. in a Sleigh — Suse Brigham here also.  Miss Abigail White Stays here over night.

February 19, 1775

1775 February 19 (Sunday).  Preached a.m. on the subject of 1 Thess. 5.19 but nam’d for my Text of this Exercise Ps. 78.40 from page 41 to the End of page 46.  P.M. I considered the present dark and distressing Times, and therefore I preached on Isa. 22.12 to page 10.  Mrs. Joanna Fay Sick.  Received a Letter (dated the 10th and 11th) from Mr. Quincy, on our Political Affairs.  My Thoughts are much engaged on our public state.  My Daughter Hannah went out to Meeting.  Blessed be God for His great Goodness therein!

February 20, 1775

1775 February 20 (Monday).  Visit Mrs. Joanna Fay, who has a Fever and Canker.  Prayed there.  Visit Joseph Grout junior — discoursed and prayed with him.  At home a Number of young Women, Viz. Betty Bevil, Bulah Jones and her sister, came here.  Hannah rides with them to Mr. Morse’s.  N.B. Mr. Edmund Chamberlin here, and excepts against the Churches accepting Mrs. Eunice Rice’s Confession, because it has not the name of the Sin expressed in it: Adultery.  Mr. Phinehas Gleason here, much affected with these awfully threatning Times.  N.B. Town Meeting on many Accounts, viz. whether they shall pay Minute Men; Contribution to Relief of Boston etc.

February 21, 1775

1775 February 21 (Tuesday).  By reason of Loss of sleep, I have little stomach, and am feeble.  Wrote a letter to Mr. Adams of Roxbury.  Mr. Johnson of Bolton here, and dines with us.  P.M. Town Meeting and Training.  Deacon Wood came in to see me.  I went to the Town Meeting and Spake to them on the Head of their Contributing to the Relief of Boston.  Encouraging and exciting them to it, willing to set an Example my self, but apprizing them that Since I knew of a Number of poor People whom I should desire to communicate to, I might have the Favour to be my self the Distributor of my own Alms.  I earnestly recommended their exerting themselves to obtain Military skill, Arms, Ammunition etc., to improve their Time Well when they have T. Meetings and Trainings — to endeavour after Unity and Harmony (for I perceived there were Jarrs) — Exhorted to put away Sin, to be the true Disciples of Christ and do their utmost to prepare for the Will of God concerning them, Wishing them to have the divine Counsel etc. etc.


Benjamin Clark’s Father came here and lodges.  Master Fisher Ames came from Brookfield.  Informs that the Church which Mr. Forbes ministers to have sent for a Council of 3 Churches, viz. the other two in the Town, and that of Spencer, to meet the next Week or the Week after, to Consider the Affair.

February 22, 1775

1775 February 22 (Wednesday).  Mr. Ames goes to Dedham etc.  I wrote by him to Mr. Gordon.  Mr. Clark returns to Ashburnham.  Wrote by him to Mr. Cushing.  Went to Mr. Samuel Fays.  Took Deacon Wood with me.  Old Mr. Whitney came to us.  Mr. Fay was not at home.  We waited, but he did not come.  We came away.  N.B. Mr. Whitneys Conversation on the Road was extremely contradictory.  Sometimes in flat and plain Terms.  It was with reference to the Petition of the 11 Brethren, and the Bolton Affairs.  Mr. Jonathan Forbes was here at Eve.  He brought 44 lbs. of Cheese, at 2/2 old Tenor per pound.  Gave him an order to Constable Martin Pratt, of £4.15.4 old Tenor.  He discourses with me about his own and his Wife’s joining to the Church.

February 24, 1775

1775 February 24 (Friday).  Our public state is more and more deplorable — according to the general Tenor of our public Intelligence, and what the Provincial Congress have drawn up before their adjournment.  Unless the God of infinite Mercy and Power undertake for us, and change the Hearts of men, how can we escape the Ruin which threatens?  Last Eve Received a Letter from Mr. Adams of Roxbury certifying the Genuineness of the Conventions Observations.

February 27, 1775

1775 February 27 (Monday).  Deacon Wood informs me that his Sister Mellen dyed last Saturday nigh night, very Suddenly, when she had not wholly recovered from the Small Pox: and was buryed after the Exercises Yesterday.


Our Church met by Adjournment.  The Business on which we met may be Seen in the Records.  After the Affair of Mr. S. Fay, I Spake to the Church for some time; and at different times, urged the unseasonableness, groundlessness, unprofitableness of holding Meetings at such a Day as this is, concerning Church Government etc. — but the Request of Mrs. Susan. Harrington was the most troublesome — for although I condescended to Admitt her as one that had joined with the Church of Bolton while it was in good Order, and on consideration that she had walked soberly and Orderly (for ought we knew); her Lot also being cast among us; yet this [my?] Benevolent Charity was refused.  A Number of Persons insisted upon her being admitted according to her Petition.  I put it to Vote, expressing previously how, and how only, I could receive her; it passed Affirmatively.  N.B. Capt. Brigham, Tainter, Joseph Harrington, and Eli Whitney, were peculiarly Difficult.  When I challenged the Rights of Conscience for my Self, and that I should administer to Mrs. Harrington in the manner I had expressed, Eli Whitney rose up and said, “there was no Conscience in it.”  I took no other Notice of it at that time, than to say, that what I should do, would be out of Conscience.  But I spoke to him after Meeting.  I hope he said so, only in the way of Arguing and debating the Matter.  I could not avoid adjournment because of Mr. S. Fays Affair.  It was to the first Monday in April.