December 1, 1775

1775 December 1 (Friday).  Breck buys for himself and me, a Quantity of rough Tallow of Lt. (or Capt.) Joseph Baker; and with my Team carts it home, and my people in the Kitchin go to trying it up.  I am indeed my self otherwise employed.  May God graciously assist me in my Great Work!  At Night came Mr. Benjamin Hicks of Sutton, who tells me that a great many of the soldiers are returning home, their time being out to day.

December 5, 1775

1775 December 5 (Tuesday).  Capt. Maynard raises a Stable at the Corner in my Land on the back side of the Meeting House.  At Eve my Son Samuel and his Wife, with little son and Daughter came in their Chaise.  They came from Mr. Forbes’ House in Brookfield; but only from Alexanders in Leicester to day.  Mr. Daniel Forbes junior brought their Goods; He brought also for me, Mr. Eli ForbesChambers Cyclopedia in 2 Vols., and Scots Supplement 2 vols.  N.B. Mr. Peter Whitney and Mrs. Rebecca Warrin had been here and din’d with us.  Dr. Hawes and Wife and Mr. Waters also here at Coffee P.M.  The latter consents to preach for me.

December 12, 1775

1775 December 12 (Tuesday).  A very cold Season.  Nat. Chamberlain goes to the Ministerial Lot with Mr. Joseph Bonds Oxen added to mine and brings one Load of Wood, but it is so rough going that he goes not in the afternoon; but Joseph Cullock thrashes Rye P.M.  At Eve came Mr. May and lodged here.  I am reading Dr. I. Mathers History of Wars with Indians.[1]

[1]Increase Mather, A Relation of the Troubles Which Have Hapned in New-England, by Reason of the Indians There (Boston, 1677; Evans 238).  Did Mather publish a history in England in 1676?

December 17, 1775

1775 December 17 (Sunday).  Preached a. and P.M. on Rom. 3.24.  May God prosper the word delivered!  Mr. May dines here: he is here after meeting at Eve.  Tarrys over night.  N.B. Capt. Baker had been here in the Morning to inform me of his being obliged to have Hands at work to day in cutting out and Salting and barrelling up Pork, which must otherwise spoil.  At which I expressed my Sorrow, and told him I must leave it to him to judge of the Necessity of his doing this Thing.  N.B. Receive a [large?] Letter from Mr. Forbes of Gloucester, dated Nov. [23?].

December 19, 1775

1775 December 19 (Tuesday).  Mr. Thomas K[torn] al, who has preached of late at [Jersey?], was here and dined with us.  He designs to go to the Camp: I therefore P.M. rode with him as far as to Mr. Dan. Warrins, whose Wife’s Brother Daniel is in a Languishing state.  I instructed and prayed with him.  Mr. Warrin tells me that Daniel wants to have a sermon preached there; his Mother has been long confined.  N.B. Sad News from [torn]ster of 3 Youths, two of them Chandlers who came from Boston [viz.?]Franklin and one W [torn] Scating upon a pond the Ice broke and they w[torn] drowned.  May God please to Sanctifie this awful Dispensation!  Of these See more hereafter.  My Son Samuel Sat out in his Chaise to go to Woodstock.

December 24, 1775

1775 December 24 (Sunday).  A very Cold tedious Snow storm.  Few at Meeting.  Our Exercises were short.  Preached a.m. on Rom. 3.24.  P.M. on Eccl. 3.14.  Occasioned by the Death of Several persons in an awful and sudden manner.  Three Youths, viz. Franklin Williams, son of Jonathan Williams Esq. from Boston, and Francis and Benjamin Chandler, sons of Col. Chandler of Worcester, about 13 years old, were lately drowned at Worcester.  They were skating on the Ice, which broke and let them into the Water.  So that they all perished.  Also Mr. Benjamin Babbit of Brookfield, being on a journey home, was Suddenly taken ill at Northbridge, dyed the next night and was buryed there.  Also Abel Woods, Son of the late Solomon Woods of this place, was mortally (as its feared) wounded by a Ball at Letchmores Point, and prayers are desired for him here.  Such Sad disasters are solemn Warnings to all Survivors.  At Eve we read the latter part of Dr. I. Mathers Exhortation to the Inhabitants of New England in the year 1676.[1]  All which may God sanctifie to us for our awakening!

[1]Increase Mather, A Serious Exhortation (Cambridge, 1671).  Evans 162.  Boston, 1678; Evans 254.

December 25, 1775

1775 December 25 (Monday).  Read Eleazer Mathers (of Northampton) Word to the Present and Succeeding Generations in New England from 1 King 8.57.[1]

Read also old Mr. Richard Mathers Life and the accounts of Several others of the Antient Ministers in Dr. Cotton Mathers Magnalia.

[1]Eleazer Mather (1637-1669), A Serious Exhortation (Cambridge, 1671; Evans 162; also Boston, 1678; Evans 254).

December 26, 1775

1775 December 26 (Tuesday).  Exceeding Cold, So that I can’t go out to visit as I designed.  Miss Nanny Beeton was here to take Advice under her Spiritual Distresses.  Read further Accounts [published?] formerly of the Indian Wars, especially with K. Philip and his Narragansetts.  Read also the Accounts of Settling Montreal by the French; the Description etc. in the London Magazine for 1760.

December 27, 1775

1775 December 27 (Wednesday).  Mr. May having lodged here, was willing to wait upon me to Shrewsbury, that I may see Mrs. Sumner as I have been requested, She being in a low, wasting Condition.  We dined there.  Discoursed with her — prayed with her also.  N.B. Their Daughter Sally was yesterday Sadly wounded and burnt by Ashes and Embers flying up into her Face by means of Water Spilt upon them.  In returning we called at Mrs. Allens where was sister Cushing.  We return at Eve.  Mr. May tarrys to Night also.

December 28, 1775

1775 December 28 (Thursday).  Mr. May goes to his School.  Stephen Maynard comes to acquaint me that his Brother Davis’s new-born son was dead, and that I was desired to attend the burying of it to day.[1]  Mrs. P________ and I went a.m. and called to see old Mrs. Kelly at her son Beetons where was also her Kinswoman Mrs. Ayres from Boston.  We dined at Capt. Maynards — thence to the House of Mourning.  Our Kinswoman Davis is but weak and low yet.  We rode in the Same Carriage (a kind of Coach) in which the Corps and chief Mourner were carryed.  At Eve I was called to visit Mr. Artemas Bruce’s little Daughter, Polly, of about 6 years, who is very bad of Canker, Fever etc.  Prayed with them and returned before Nine.  Elias drove the sleigh.

[1]Not in Westborough Vital Records.  The vital records include birth of the following children to Isaac and Anna Davis: (1) Phinehas, Sept. 12, 1772; (2) Joseph, Feb. 28, 1774; (3) Anna, June 19, 1777; (4) Isaac, Sept. 23, 1779.

December 29, 1775

1775 December 29 (Friday).  One of Mr. Adonijah Rice’s Twin Daughters of 4 years old, her Name Submitt, was buryed in the South burying place, though it dyed in Northborough, and I suppose Mr. Whitney attended and prayed at the House of Mourning.[1]  Mr. Daniel Tilden, adjutant in Col. Benedict Arnolds Regiment calls here as on his Way to Lebanon, and informs that Capt. Broughton carryed into Cape Ann the Day before yesterday, a Brig which was going from England to Boston with Ordnance stores: and went out again immediately after another Vessel, supposed to be her Companion.  P.M. Mr. Bowen here a little while.  Sophy rides to Deacon Batchellors and Mr. Grosvenors at Grafton.

[1]Death not in Westborough Vital Records.  Submit, twin dau.  of Adonijah and Hannah Rice, b. 5 Oct. 1771 (p. 90).

December 31, 1775

1775 December 31 (Sunday).  Preached a.m. on Rom. 3.24, and may a divine Blessing accompany these Endeavours!  I preached P.M. on Eccl. 3.14, repeating what I delivered 7 Years ago on this Text; but now with additions Suited to the Closing of this remarkable year in which there have been many extraordinary Providences War, Frost, Drought, Sickness, Mortality — 35 or 36 among ourselves and 9 Ministers.  See my Almanack, and my Sermon for the Names of the Ministers.  At Eve Mr. May.  He read Judge Hale’s Great Audit[1] and part of the Good Stewards Account, and prayed.  Thus Ends this Year!

[1]Matthew Hale, The Great Audit, or Good Steward