1776 December 1 (Sunday). Preached again on Isa. 1.9, accommodated to the present times. Capt. Morse and a Number more give Thanks for safe Return from the Army. Dr. Crosby and Master Hall, Miss Suse Brigham dined here. P.M. preached on Deut. 11.26.27. May God give His Blessing!
1776 December 2 (Monday). Breck goes to Concord, Salem, Boston. P.M. The Town Met by adjournment. By Advice I sent them a Paper requesting the Town to get my Wood. But there was no Vote for it. At Eve came Mr. Buckminster of Rutland, and lodged here. Tells me tis reported Ticonderoga is taken.
1776 December 3 (Tuesday). Mr. Buckminster leaves us, for Framingham and Boston. Old Mrs. Mary Whitney dyed this Morning. Mr. Paul Lambson prepares and puts up a new Sweep for the lower Well. Mr. Daniel Warrin junior dines here and fetches a Load of Wood. P.M. attended the Funeral of Mr. Joseph Grouts little Daughter Dolly, of between 4 and 5 Years. In returning I visited and prayed with Mr. Rufus Pratt and James Fay, son of Capt. Benjamin, who are sick.
1776 December 4 (Wednesday). Though I prepared for Shrewsbury Lecture and went as far as to Mr. Nurse’s, yet it was so rainy that I conceived it to be my Duty to return home. Mr. Thaddeus Warrin came and helped me weigh, cutt out and Salt up my Beef.
1776 December 5 (Thursday). Mrs. Spring and her son are here with us. She [spins?] etc. I attended the Funeral of old Mrs. Mary Whitney in her 77th year. There is reason to hope she dy’d in Christ. Glory to the Riches of divine Grace! Mr. Jonathan Forbes came at Evening and took up his Note of 3£.
1776 December 6 (Friday). Mr. Jeremiah Barnard of Bolton, going to Providence to preach, calls here.
1776 December 7 (Saturday). I have had but a poor night, with pain in my Stomach and Bowels. Elias came home from Cambridge. He has been inoculated at the Hospital, at Sewels Point, under the Care of Dr. Aspinwall. The Charge for Every Thing is 12 Dollars. Breck returns from Salem Vendue: and Hannah returned from Concord with him.
1776 December 8 (Sunday). I had but an ill night — better in the Morning. A.M. on Deut. XI.28 to p. 12. Mr. Hall and Miss Suse Brigham dined here. My Neighbour Caleb Harrington returned home from Ticonderoga. P.M. on Consideration of Mrs. Whitneys Death I delivered part of a Discourse on Luk. 12.36.37, omitting all the Introduction. N.B. It was with great precipitance, by reason of an Alarm which the Captains of the Militia, Capt. Edmund Brigham and Capt. Morse had received from the Governor of Rhode Island — and which they requested before Singing might be immediately read, and was accordingly. This caused a great Body of the Congregation to pour out of the Meeting House, to go home, and get ready, to beat a Minutes Warning; the sign to be the firing of three Guns: and then to march towards Providence, according to Orders from the Brigadier. [Not clear where this is to be inserted:] Received and read the Proclamation. Suse Brigham lodges here. N.B. Nat. Chamberlin is come home.
1776 December 9 (Monday). My Neighbour Harrington returned me 10 Dollars which I lent him on Aug. 6th last. The Soldiers meet, but don’t March. No Orders come.
1776 December 10 (Tuesday). Mr. Francis Whipple brought me very kindly a Load of his own Wood. This was a very providential Supply, as we were prevented going to the Ministerial Lot for any ourselves by means of the Lameness of one of my Oxen. Dr. Crosby goes to Cambridge for his son. I sent by him Twelve Dollars to young Prince at College which Elias borrowed of him to pay the Charges of his Inoculation, and 2 Dollars for Hastings for a Load of Wood. N.B. Sent my Son Cushing Dr. Prideaux [Connection?] Vol. 1 by Mr. [here a line cut off at bottom of page].
1776 December 11 (Wednesday). Elias’s Eyes so weak, he says, he cannot study. Dr. Crosby and son. Mrs. Rice, Mr. Zebuluns Wife, from Brookfield dines, and Spends the afternoon here. The soldiers not gone to Providence yet. Mrs. P________ remains indisposed. I am also Oppressed with Cold.
1776 December 12 (Thursday). Thanksgiving, accompanyed with Humiliation and Supplication. Preached on Ps. 97.1, “The Lord reigneth, let the Earth rejoice.” Which may God bless to me and the whole Audience! 3 Soldiers give Thanks for safe Return, viz. Lt. Bond, Hannaniah Parker and Daniel Hardy. Sir Stone (who keeps school at the South school-House) dined with us. At Eve came Nathaniel Needham, and afterward his Father, Mr. Thomas Needham, from Ticonderoga, my Kinsmen. They tarry with us to night.
1776 December 13 (Friday). The Needhams go on their way, bound for Salem. Mr. John Taft of Upton dines here. Informs me that Newport is taken by the Regulars. May God Himself be our Refuge and Deliverer!
1776 December 14 (Saturday). Lieut. Bowman came to desire for himself and 23 Others, Soldiers, who were going out to join the Army nigh New York, public Prayers for them, and would be glad if I would direct a word of Advice to them. To which I consented — and at Evening he gave me an Account of their Names. Mrs. P________ poorly. I am my self affected with pain in my stomach.
1776 December 15 (Sunday). Preached again on 1 Cor. 5.8. May God grant I may be in all Things Sincere! Administered the Lords Supper. Master Stone, Cousen Maynard and Miss Suse Brigham, dined here. P.M. on Luk. 12.36.37 and added an Address to the Soldiers. Read a Letter from Dr. Crosby desiring the People to prepare Rags and [Herbs?] for the Soldiers. After the Exercises came [illegible] Mr. Moses Twitchel, who is returning home from Fort William Henry. Deacon Bond came and brought (which has been for a great while omitted) a Tankard of Wine.
1776 December 16 (Monday). The 24 [23 only] Soldiers March. I sent by Mr. Jonathan Batherick the Money which I owe to Mr. Frost of Mill-River, viz. £2.15.0 L.M. Breck setts out for Boston. Mrs. P_____ takes Physic. Pill. [Cocha?] which works well — and p.m. She is more comfortable. I walked to Mr. Bonds, in strait for Ox work, my own Ox that was lent, is lame yet, and we cannot get any Wood — but in vain. Am seeking for Some body to thrash, but don’t Succeed much, unless Neighbour Samuel Williams will come. N.B. Neighbour Nurse has been gone with his Team ever since last Monday, and is not returned. A stir in Town about John Whipple who though drawn out to go among the Soldiers, will neither go nor pay his Fine.
1776 December 17 (Tuesday). Went to visit Mr. Solomon Baker, confined by a sore bred in his Face: was discharged plentifully. Dined there. In reckoning with him for keeping my late fat Cow 18 Days, Corn and Hay and tendence — but he gave it, and would ask me Nothing. May God reward him, in both temporals and Spirituals. I went to his Brother Josephs, who has in kindness sent Samuel Williams with 2 Yokes of Oxen to the Ministerial Lot, and brought me a good Load of Wood. Visit Mrs. McCulloch, and Mrs. Keen. Also Mrs. Wood, who is much recovered. N.B. I saw there Mr. Samuel Fay junior of Killingly. Hear John Whipple has paid his Fine. James Hicks has cut his Ankle with an Ax when he was at the ministerial Lot with Williams.
1776 December 18 (Wednesday). Neighbour Nurse came home (this ninth Day, and with 4 Horses). He was not very well. The Charge must needs be, in these times, very great. Mrs. P________ scarce any thing better. Mrs. Dolly Rice visits here. Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlin brought me a large Load of wood from his own Land. Read part of Venerable Hookers Doubting Christian drawn to Christ.
1776 December 19 (Thursday). Neighbour Thaddeus Warrin and his son in Law, Nat. Chamberlain, killed two Pigs for me. Neighbour Caleb Harrington carrys to market for Mrs. P________ 6 Fowls.
1776 December 20 (Friday). James is worse — his ankle — has taken Cold. Elias is forced to do the unavoidable Chores, cut wood [illegible] prepare for going to Mill etc.
1776 December 21 (Saturday). James is laid up, confined by his [illegible] Elias is obliged to bestir himself for us; for Wood, etc. and for [illegible] likewise for Mrs. Harrington, whose Husband is gone to Waltham. To God our Preserver be Glory and Praise that we are in such safety [and have?] so many Supplys and Comforts! May it please God to pity the Poor and Destitute! Especially poor Sailors who are now upon our Coasts. A great storm of Snow. At Night Breck returns from Boston. The Storm very tedious to him. He brings a Token of Mr. William B. Townsends Regards to me; An handsom Muff, in its Case. He says it was his Father Hubbards — My late worthy Class-mate’s. May God reward him for his generous Benefaction! And give me Grace suitably to improve this and every Favour to me!
1776 December 22 (Sunday). Difficult Congregating. Preached a.m. on Sincerity; carrying on the Subject from 1 Cor. [5?].8, but now read for the Introduction of this Exercise, Josh. 24.14. P.M. read Jer. 5.6, latter part. But from thence finished sermon on 1 Sam. 4.21.22. May God grant Success! Masters Hall and Stone dined here!
1776 December 23 (Monday). Mr. Fisher (Adjutant) here and relates the actions at N. York on the Sabbath and Monday of Oct. [blank].
1776 December 24 (Tuesday). I rode out partly to obtain somebody to thrash my Rye, partly to get wood; and to visit. Was at Deacon Woods a.m. Dined at Mr. Jos. Harringtons. Visit old Mrs. Woods at Mr. Elisha Forbes’s. Was at Mr. Eb. Millers, and his Brother Isaac’s. At Mr. Tainters. Visit old Mr. Jonah Warrin. In the Evening called also at Capt. Morse’s. At Home a Letter from Rochester.
1776 December 25 (Wednesday). Exceedingly Cold morning. Write to Mr. Quincy, but can’t send. Miss Eliz. Harrington, Daughter of Lt. Samuel, here to be examined, and gave satisfaction. At night Mr. George Smith of Northborough Supped, but did not lodge etc.
1776 December 26 (Thursday). A very tedious snow storm. Elias went with my Oxen but before it was violent, and Neighbour Nehemiah Maynard went with him, with addition to the Team, and brought a Load of Wood (for which Breck pays him). And Capt. Morse had Compassion and brought a Load from home to me; and a large, good Cheese. Read him part of Mr. Moore’s late Letter of Troubles at Eliz. Islands, and Rhode Island on the 7th etc. by the Kings Forces.
1776 December 27 (Friday). Nehemiah Maynard goes again with a Yoke of Oxen to Ministerial Lot [to help Elias again?], who goes with my Oxen, and brings [a?] Load. We have the Sorrowful News that on the 13 instant the famous General Lee is taken Prisoner at Baskenridge in New Jersey. A very affecting Providence!
1776 December 28 (Saturday). Mr. Israel Walker and his wife dined here. Miss Nabby Woods came on the 25 and has worked here, on Brecks Cloths, but goes home to Mr. [illegible]ters at Evening. Mr. Belknap here and asks me to marry him next Thursday (AEts 72 and 8 months) to the widow Kendal, who is in her fifty [blank] Year. Mr. Lambson repairs the Sleigh.
1776 December 29 (Sunday). A.M. on 1 Joh. 3.21. In further prosecution of the Subject of Sincerity. P.M. Repeated my Exposition of Mat. 16.27. Which may God be pleased to bless! In Special as both the Exercises may furnish us with Suitable Meditations and Employments for the last Sabbath of the Year. Miss Suse Brigham dined here.
1776 December 30 (Monday). Mrs. P________ very much indisposed through the Night, which was very frosty: She got up many times; and is in a very ill state of Health. Breck sett off Some time before Day, in the Sleigh, for Boston. A Sharp Cold Season. I wrote by him to Mr. William B. Townsend.
Miss Nabby Woods came last Evening and is at work here upon Brecks Cloths. Her Brother Abel (who was sorely wounded etc.) returning from petitioning the Court, for a proper Consideration of his Condition was here. He relates that a Post went into Boston last Thursday who came with Intelligence that there has been a great Engagement of the Armies in the Jersies, and many Slain.
1776 December 31 (Tuesday). It is of the Lords Mercies that I am not consumed! Such is the Longsuffering of God that I have arrived at the Last Day of another Year. Jej. and Prec. In which [would] beg divine Grace to humble my self for my many Miscarriages, and great Deficiencys, through the Course of My whole Life; especially of the Year past. And do humbly sollicit and supplicate Forgiveness, through the Blood of the great Atonement. I would take this Opportunity for Humilliation on the Account of the Present sorrowful State of the Publick — the Sore and heavy Judgments of God upon us; and the awful Defection of the Land in general; the Decay of Godliness and the Increase of Sin and Iniquity — which call for fervent Crys to Heaven and Resolutions of Reformation. May God most gracious and Merciful hear, and pity and Save us! O that my poor attempts might be graciously accepted through the only and glorious Mediator! I understand that Mr. Caleb Rice of Marlborough is dead; and to be buryed to day. May God be gracious to the bereaved Widow, the fatherless Children; the mournful Parents and Friends! Mr. Benjamin Bradshaw came, drank Tea (I not with them) and left us for Boston.