June 1, 1775

1775 June 1 (Thursday).  The Convention by the kind indulgence of the Congress, were favoured with the Meeting House, but that we might the less incommode them in their important Business, our Meeting was at 8 o’Clock in the morning.  Mr. Stevens preached on Mat. 24.46.47.  May it be followed with divine Blessing!  After Exercise a Number of Ministers met together to ripen a Proposal made for Supplying the Army for Some time gratis, with Preaching by Rotation (as it was termed) but I could not attend it.  I was obliged to go to Cambridge.  But before I went, I made Opportunity to Speak with an Officer who came Express from Ticonderoga, or thereabouts, with a Message to the Congress concerning the royal Forces at St. Johns and other Stations in Canada, purposing to make an Attempt to retake the Forts which the Connecticut People had Seized.  I also Saw Mr. Thomas Adams of Medfield, who brought me Several Books according to agreement, viz. Bostons 4 fold State; Mason of Self Knowledge,[1] Life of Mr. Whitefield.[2]  Dined at Cambridge at my Kinsman Barrett’s.  I hastened to the Camp, where a Number of the Westborough People were in Tents.  I was also at Capt. Wheelock’s Chamber, where were divers of the Officers of his Company besides, and several Westborough Neighbours.  Was at Dr. Langdon’s — and thence I went to Head Quarters and saw Mr. Secretary Ward.  I spoke of a Pass as I was going down to Charlestown Ferry, but he said there was no need.  Yet I was Stopped by the Guards one time after another before I got into that Town.  But there I met with an ingenuous young man, Mr. Caleb Swan, a friend of my son Samuel who greatly assisted me in sending a Letter to my son and getting a Return from him.  He also did his utmost that I might lodge Comfortably at his F’s House, though he could not as he desired, the Family and Goods being removed.  I Slept there.  Memorandum.  I took a Walk to the North, over the Bridge, and down long Wharf, much affected with the Sorrowful Sight of empty Houses and solitary Streets!

[1]The first American edition of John Mason (1706-1763), Self Knowledge, was not published until 1789 (first Worcester edition; Worcester, 1789; Evans 21,942).

[2]John Gillies (1712-1796), Memoirs of the Life of…George Whitefield (New York, 1774; Evans 13,298).

June 2, 1775

1775 June 2 (Friday).  In the Morning Richard Cary Esq. came to Swan’s and took me to his House to Breakfast.  Performed Family Prayers at each place.  N.B. going down on the Ferry Wharf, had the B Prospect of the garrisoned, [devoted?] Town — and several Men of War.  It was said that some of our People from Chelsey burnt a Building at Noddle’s Island — and were otherwise endeavouring to annoy the Kings Forces.  I saw the Somersett fire Several times at them.  There was also firing from other Parts of the Harbour, as if a Number of Vessels were come in.  Mr. Hopkins the Ferry-man, who took last Evening my Letter directed to my Son (and which was inspected by a person appointed for that Purpose) brought me an Answer at Capt. Goodwins where my Horse had been put up.  From Charlestown came up to Cambridge.  Dined at Capt. Wheelocks Chamber.  Rode to Mrs. Hicks to Sympathize with her and her Children.  Called upon Brother Champney.  Hastened up to Watertown, but was Stopped again by a Guard.  Was providentially relieved by Col. Thomas Gardners being at Hand, and gave Me a pass.  N.B. I was in no wise aware of needing any, till I came to the place.  I rode to Capt. Barnards in Watertown, and thence to Mr. Bridge’s in Sudbury, where I lodged.

June 3, 1775

1775 June 3 (Saturday).  N.B. In returning home, I wrote to Mr. Jonathan Loring for Beards Theatre of Gods Judgments, and left it to the Care of Capt. Cyprian How of Marlborough.  Called to see Mr. Smith who is in a poor, dull and sorrowfull Condition.  Came home in safety.  Thanks to God who has protected and preserved both me and mine!  But Mrs. P________ has been poorly and had a fever.  Hannah also is laid by with the like Disorder.  My Son Cushing came — lodged here.

June 4, 1775

1775 June 4 (Sunday).  He preached for Me on Gen. 25.34 and P.M. on Joh. 5.28.29.  Dr. Joseph Joslin dined here, and P.M. went to meeting with us, asking the Prayers of this people for him going into the Army (he says as Surgeon) and was dressed accordingly.  He goes from us at Evening to Grafton.  He gave me an half Crown sterling as his Contribution to the Minister.  I gave it to Mr. Cushing.  At Evening Breck returned from his Journey, in which he went to Cape-Anne, and saw his Sister Forbes, who is (through Gods Goodness) recovering apace.  He relates that our Provincials have lately taken 400 Sheep from Deer Island.

June 5, 1775

1775 June 5 (Monday).  My Son Cushing leaves us, in Order to go to Ashburnham but goes first to Shrewsbury; and takes with him Nabby Loyd, to live with them.  As my Wife and Daughter were confined with sickness and had the Doctor with them Yesterday, so the like to day.  Near Night came in, Mr. Loyd from his Fathers or Brothers in Blandford.  He lodges here.

June 6, 1775

1775 June 6 (Tuesday).  Mr. Loyd went from us to go to Cape-Anne.  My Daughter Baldwin, attended by Ripley and Eli Forbes, came.  They are going to Cambridge and Gloucester (or Cape-Anne).  Mr. Joseph Collidge [sic] and his Wife, who have got out from Boston and live commonly at Woburn, came to see my Daughter Sally and her little Samuel.  They dine with us.  P.M. My Daughter Baldwin, Ripley and Eli Forbes, take leave and pursue their Journey.  Mr. Coollidge in one Chaise, and Breck and Sally in another attempt to go to Lancaster, but the Axletree of Mr. Coollidge’s Chaise broke.  They fell, and returned and lodged here.  Capt. Thomas Mellen of Hopkinton called to see Me.

June 7, 1775

1775 June 7 (Wednesday).  Mr. Coolidge and wife, Breck and Sally, with the little Boy, after Dinner, go to Lancaster: But I Sat out for Shrewsbury a.m. on a visit to good Deacon Miles.  I dined at Mr. Solomon Bakers and rode his Horse.  Found the poor Deacon in his Cage — he was free of Speech — spoke many Sensible, becoming and religious Things.  Dr. Crosby was with me, who ventured to let the Deacon out, and I prayed with him.  I discoursed with his Children; Saw some of the Tokens of his Mischievousness: and plainly discerned Deliriousness.  He went quietly into his Confinement again.  O the Value of Reasoning Powers!  Praise to God for mine!  May God grant the Grace to improve what I am indulged with!  Called to See Mrs. Knowlton — Mr. Gershom Brighams Family: and would have seen Mr. Samuel Fay if he had been at home, or near the House, and took Dr. Crosby with me; but neither Mr. Fay, nor Wife, nor any body else, there.

June 8, 1775

1775 June 8 (Thursday).  I visited at Lt. Bakers on consideration of the Great and unusual Trouble the Family was of late exercised by.  It was this: On Thursday, the first Day of the Month, Mrs. Baker and a Number of the Children, after eating their Breakfast of Bread and Milk, were strangely affected; were taken with Vomiting and Purging; and with some of them it continued through the Day.  Nor can they, any of them give any Account of what was the Cause, or what could Ail ‘em.  Mrs. Baker has also lately lost her Brother John, Mr. John Death, in the Army; on which Account I sympathize with her.  Miss Lois Burnap is yet there, lying under Lameness.  Breck and Sally return from Lancaster.

June 9, 1775

1775 June 9 (Friday).  I have read the Memoirs of Capt. Roger Clap of Dorchester,[1] and who was for some time Captain of Castle William.  A memorable Example of primitive Piety.  Might such a spirit be reviv’d in this degenerate Age!  Wrote to Mr. Moore after long Silence, and Sent it to Grafton for Conveyance.

[1]Roger Clap (1609-1691), Memoirs of Captain Roger Clap (Boston, 1766; Evans 10,261; and Boston, 1774; Evans 13,199).

June 11, 1775

1775 June 11 (Sunday).  Preached a.m. on Isa. 65.1, but carryed on the Discourse on Heb. 12.2.  P.M. Delivered part of the Discourse on Ps. 62.8 to p. 6, inclusive.  At Eve read to the Family most of the fervent Preface of Mr. R. Baxter to his Call to the unconverted,[1] which may God bless to us!  While we were at Exercise came the Clerk of a large Company of Soldiers, from Hartford, with the Complements of Coll. George Pitkin and his Desire that I would go up to Deacon Woods where the Company was arrived, and pray with them.  I went accordingly and complyed with the Colonel’s Desire.  I invited him to lodge at our House out of the Noise, but he thought it best to lodge there that they might make less than otherwise they would be like to.  We lodged four.

[1]Richard Baxter (1615-1691), A Call to the Uncoverted (Boston, 1702; Evans 1037; plus subsequent editions, 1717, 1720, 1731).

June 12, 1775

1775 June 12 (Monday).  In the Morning Col. Pitkin again sent his Clerk with the like Request, the Company being Paraded before the meeting House.  I went, and for Convenience of speaking stood on the steps of the Front Door.  May the God of infinite Goodness and Pity hear our Supplication!  It appeared to be a brave, well ordered Company of an 100.  Their Musick was by two Drums, two Fifes and a Trumpet.  The Lord of Hosts prosper them and return them with Joy!  Elias I was obliged to send to Leicester with William Bradfords Cloths, they having lain too long at Capt. Maynards for Conveyance.

June 13, 1775

1775 June 13 (Tuesday).  Elias returned.  P.M. I conformed to Mr. Jonathan Grouts request to be at his House on Occasion of Raising a large Barn.  At Eve signed an agreement with sundry Neighbours to go to Worcester by turns to fetch the News Paper weekly.  [I?] Read Dr. Watts on the Name, Son of God, in his Book of useful and important Questions Concerning Jesus the son of God.  [Notation at bottom of page: I think it was this Morning that I began to read the Bible again, in the Family.]

June 15, 1775

1775 June 15 (Thursday).  Capt. Benjamin Fay brought me the News Paper which comes now from Worcester, by vertue of the agreement above said.  My Son William brought his son Billy and his Daughter Suse to stay with us a while in these threatning Times.  P.M. he left us.  P.M. Mr. Loyd came from Watertown and brought his Daughter Betty.  They tarry with us over night.  At Eve came Mr. Moore and his Brother Davis from Oxford, and lodge here.

June 16, 1775

1775 June 16 (Friday).  My Son Samuel came from Charlestown, having got out of Boston in Disguise as a Fisherman, and went to Marblehead and Salem — from whence to Charlestown to take Care of Some Goods sent over there, and arrived here about a Quarter after One o’Clock this Morning.  P.M. Capt. Maynard sends for me to go to his new Cleared Land, to treat with me about turning the high Way towards Mr. Nurse’s.  My Son John first bleeds at the Nose; at night he Spits Blood; or rather Coughs up, in considerable quantitys, Blood; and it holds him for some time; so that it was alarming to us!  He has 4 or 5 turns of this by the Morning.  We are greatly concerned for him.

June 17, 1775

1775 June 17 (Saturday).  I went early to Dr. Hawes — him we improve to relieve John, if under God he may.  Mr. Moore being (D.V.) to preach, tomorrow, I read Dr. Watts’s Useful and important Questions concerning Jesus the Son of God.  Rev. Mr. Bowman comes from that part of the Army which is at Roxbury where has been as a Chaplain.  Dined with us.

June 18, 1775

1775 June 18 (Sunday).  News flys all abroad that a Body of Regulars have gone over to Charlestown yesterday P.M.  An hot engagement at Bunker’s Hill there: and Burned [the Town] and the Meeting House in Special.  An awful Judgment of the Great God upon us!  May the Lord pity the immediate sufferers!  And prepare us for what We our selves may be called to undergo.  Mr. Moore preached and prayed both parts of the Day.  A.M. the Text was Jer. 17.7, P.M. Mat. 15.8.  My son John was so weak and low that Breck went for Dr. Willson, who came, and Dr. Hawes consulted with him.  Dr. W. dines here.  We have asked public Prayers to Day; May it please God to hear and grant a gracious Answer!  Towards Eve further News by Lt. Baker from below — was that our People were forced to give way by reason of their want of Ammunition, Powder especially, and they were in want of Provisions also.  My Son Samuel thought it wisest to [go] this Evening and ride to Charlestown Neck, to look after Goods which he had sent there from Boston.  He rode as far as Southborough, where he Met his Father Shaw o’foot.  He took him up into his Chaise, and returned here; and lodged with us.


[Notation at bottom of page: This Night We have 19 to lodge and 6 Horses in the Pasture.]

June 20, 1775

1775 June 20 (Tuesday).  Aaron watched with John last night, and is blooded himself by Dr. Hawes this morning.  John very weak and low.  The Association (which has now continued 50 Years) Met here, though my House is full of Trouble.  Viz. Rev. Messrs. Stone, Smith, Goss, and Bridge.  There were also Rev. Messrs. P. Whitney, Jacob Biglow, Jonathan Newell, and Jacob Rice.  The 3 former of these were admitted into the Association and signed the Articles.  N.B. Mr. Shaw dined with the Ministers and still tarrys with us.  John is very low.  May a gracious God look upon him!  Samuel returns at midnight from Cambridge and informs me his goods etc. which were left in Charlestown are burnt by the Regulars, also 4 feather Beds of Mr. Loyds.

June 21, 1775

1775 June 21 (Wednesday).  Rode over to Mr. Whitneys.  Dined there.  Mr. Sumner preached the Lecture from Hag. 2.7.  I prayed after sermon.  In returning called to See Mr. John Kelly, who is very low in a Consumption.  At his Fathers Desire and his own, I prayed with him.  My Son John is poor and weak, but has not bled much to Day.  Thanks be to God herefor!  Brother Shaw and our Daughter Sally rode to Worcester.  They returned at Evening.

June 22, 1775

1775 June 22 (Thursday).  Mr. Thomas Russell of Boston Taylor, here.  He and Family are come to live at Deacon Woods.  P.M. Mrs. Philips, Wife of Capt. Philips of Boston, now newly of Grafton, and her son and Daughter, called to See Mr. Shaw, Samuel and Salley.  They drank Coffee with us.  Miss Polly Jenison from Mendon visits us and lodges here.  John had a little Respit, but is very low.

June 24, 1775

1775 June 24 (Saturday).  All our Case is gloomy — but John continues alive.  The Public state is Dark.  Mr. Nathan Fisher who was in the late Action at Charlestown, is full of Thanks to God for his preservation — and the rest of Westborough Company.  Breck who went to Newport a few days since, and carryed Dr. Stiles his Watts on the Glorys of Christ,[1] returned, and brings Me the Doctors Discourse at the Installment of Mr. Hopkins.[2]  Mr. Levi Wilder is with Breck and lodges here.

[1]The first American edition of Isaac Watts (1674-1748), The Glory of Christ as God-Man, appeared in 1795 (Boston, 1790).

[2]Ezra Stiles, A Discourse on Saving Knowledge: Delivered at the Instalment of the Reverend Samuel Hopkins…Newport, Rhode-Island…April 11, 1770 (Newport, 1770; Evans 11,871).

June 25, 1775

1775 June 25 (Sunday). John very low, but Slept quietly.  Mr. Beriah Ware watched.  Preached a.m. on Isa. 65.1, “I said, behold me,” etc. [torn] Moses Wheelock, Thomas Bond and Nathan Fisher gave [torn] publickly for their Preservation in the late Battle at Charlestown.  I preached again on Ps. 62.8 to p. 13.  I received a Paper from the Congress, concerning the Sanctification of the sabbath, which I read publickly and gave some Exhortation upon it.  Appointed the Communion and Lecture.  Mr. Wilder dined with us, and at Eve went home to Lancaster with Message to Johns Doctor, Dr. Wilder to come and See him.

June 26, 1775

1775 June 26 (Monday).  Deacon Fay of Southborough bears a Message from Mr. Stone to assist at a Fast next Thursday.  Dr. Wilder from Lancaster visits John, who seems to be a little better.  Thanks to God for it!  The Doctors Hawes and Wilder confer together on my sons Case.  May God give success thereto!  P.M. My Son Samuel goes in his Chaise to Mr. Russells, Waiting on his Wife and sister Hannah there.  I went up also at Evening.

June 27, 1775

1775 June 27 (Tuesday).  John has Slept well, last night, and for Several Nights, but is exceeding Weak and low: A Small Cough continually attends him also.  Read Dr. Stiles’s Discourse on saving Knowledge.  A very learned, Sensible, judicious work.  May God grant me Grace to profit by it!  Capt. Wheelock is here, and gives me some Account of the Charleston Fight, agreeing with Fisher.

June 28, 1775

1775 June 28 (Wednesday).  Expected Mr. P. Whitney to preach my Lecture but he did not come.  I preached my Self.  Text Isa. 55.2.  After the Blessing, Deacon Bond stood up and Desired the people to stay — whereupon he read a Paper from the Congress respecting the Assuming Government and Calling a General Assembly etc.  Ripley waits on my Daughters Forbes and Baldwin who are come from Cape Ann — and they lodge here.  We are again 19 in Family, a Number of which are infirm, viz. besides John, Hannah and Ben [?].

June 29, 1775

1775 June 29 (Thursday).  I rode to Southborough to a Fast there.  Mr. Bascomb, of Murryfield, providentially there, began with prayer, Mr. Peter Whitney preached on Ps. v., shewing in his Application great Warmth with respect to the Times.  Mr. Stone prayed P.M. and I preached on Isa. 63.9.10.  May a gracious God in His great Mercy pardon the Sins of our holy Things, and accept our Humiliations and Supplications, bless the word delivered and make it Savingly profitable to us!  Returned [at Evening?].  In my Way called to See and Stirr up Mr. and Mrs. Haskill to their Duty etc.  My Son Samuel and his Wife sat out for Newbu[torn] he designs to go as far as Pownalborough.  My Son Cushing came; and he lodges here [torn] in Coming, was to see his mother Cushing, who has been ill for Some time: and to see his Brother John Parkman, who Still lies in a weak and low state.  N.B. My little Grandson Samuel is put out to Nurse at Mrs. Springs.

June 30, 1775

1775 June 30 (Friday).  Have heard the sorrowful News that Dr. Samuel Mather, having removed his Goods and his Library to Charlestown, all are Consumed in the terrible Conflagration of the 18th.  My Daughter Forbes goes to Mendon in search of her Doctor, Pope: her Breast has Twinges, and she wants some of his [illegible] salve.  Ripley attends upon her, but Mrs. Baldwin abides here with us.  Mr. Cushing returned — to go homewards.  N.B. I understand that Mr. Morse of Shrewsbury is dismissed from his People for his Tory Principles; also Mr. Hill of Shutesbury, and Mr. Whitney of Petersham.  Mr. Harrington of Lancaster is said to Stand on very Slippery Ground; as Mr. Goss is already (as many say) dismissed.  All these, it may be observed, are Class-mates.