March 2, 1778

1778 March 2 (Monday).  March Meeting.  Messrs. Tainter and Joseph Harrington came from the Town to desire me to go to pray with them.  Went and prayed accordingly.  After which I stayed so long as to speak briefly to the Assembly.  At Eve Mr. Isaac Davis here, and reckoned with him.  Give him a Note to the Constable Parker of £3.18.4.  N.B. I am to pay Squire Baker for 3 sides of Soal Leather which I have given for 88 lb. of Flax, which I had of Messrs. Watkins — see on Feb. 24.

March 4, 1778

1778 March 4 (Wednesday).  This was the Day for Elias to return to Cambridge, the Vacancy being up: but the Weather prevented.  It was a violent Storm of snow and cold wind.  Fay (Jonathan) was here p.m. when the storm was over.  He relates a fresh Story of a horrible Murder.  One Mr. Spooner was murdered by two soldiers lately, at Brookfield.  He was knocked down and thrown into a Well.  Tis said they were hired by his Wife, who is a Daughter of Brigadier Ruggles.

March 7, 1778

1778 March 7 (Saturday).  Alexander Came at Midnight from Marlborough in New Hampshire, where his Family now is, and has also driven home my Oxen.  After dining with us, he returns by way of Leicester.  I write by him, to Mr. [Haswell?] Printer at Worcester that I cease taking his News Paper, having sent my Pay for it by Capt. [Fisher?].

March 8, 1778

1778 March 8 (Sunday).  Go on in preaching on Ps. 7.11.  N.B. Disorder in singing.  The Choristers did not sit with the Singers.  P.M. [repeat?] again sermon on Jer. 6.16.  May God add His Blessing to both Exercises!  The Singing was more regular, for Mr. Whitney was with the Singers; but Mr. Ebenezer Chamberlain sat otherwhere and did not stand as the rest.  I fear he is disgusted.  At Eve Elijah Brigham here and lodges.

March 9, 1778

1778 March 9 (Monday).  Brigham goes to his school, at hither part of NorthboroughBreck and I rode to Mr. Grosvenors, where we dined.  Mr. Willard of Mendon there also.  We proceeded to Sutton, to the Paper-Mill.  He returned and we drank Coffee there.  Mr. Thayer of Paxton there before we came away.  In returning at Even we called to see Capt. Jonathan Fay, who though he is yet ill, yet is better than he was.  N.B. wrote to Elias at Cambridge, and having heard nothing from my Kinsman Bryant, I wrote to him again.

March 19, 1778

1778 March 19 (Thursday).  I went to Mr. Parker, Soap-Boiler for Squire Baker and borrow of him Fox’s Acts and Monuments of the Church.  Mr. Whitney came, dined and preached for me, the Lecture on 1 Cor. 11.28.  Mr. Badcock and a considerable Number stayed at the Meeting House to sing.  Several Young Women, viz. Miss Hephzibah Parker and Miss Lydia Batherick, came after Lecture and begin their Boarding and Lodging here, that they may go to School to Mr. Badcock.  N.B. Capt. Fisher here at Eve to talk with me of the Difficultys which his Brother Mr. John Forbes, and his Family, who were driven off from their Dwelling at Otter Creek, are reduced to, and need a Contribution.

March 22, 1778

1778 March 22 (Sunday).  A.M. on Mat. 17.4, but used for the Text to day, Ps. 73.28.  Administered the Ordinance of the Lords Supper.  N.B. Lt. Townsend, now of Fitz William with us and dined here; Cousen Maynard, her son Samuel and Daughter Betty Brigham, Master Samuel Crosby and two sisters, and Molly Pratt, dined here also.  P.M. preached again the rest of my Sermon on Jer. 6.16.  At Eve Mr. Badcock (who [boards?] at my Sons).  Breck and his wife were at our Evening Exercise.  May God be pleased to accept us, and add His Blessing!

March 25, 1778

1778 March 25 (Wednesday).  Mr. Stone returned.  Mr. Badcock, Breck and Six Women Sing a.m.  Training — The Militia-Business is to draw out nine Men to march to Boston.  I visited Mr. Eli Whitney who is confined by Rheumatism and Fever.  Was at Mr. Tainters — saw there a young Woman with a Baby but they are strangers, even to the people of the House.  At my coming home found Mr. Daniel Foster, who preaches at Marlborough; Mr. Wilkins and with them, Masters Moses and Eli Brigham.  Mr. Pope of Spencer with his Wife came and lodged here.

March 27, 1778

1778 March 27 (Friday).  A very winterish Prospect.  The Earth covered with snow, but through the Goodness of God I have shelter, Cloathing, Food, Fewel.  Young Oliver How of Brookfield came in Col. Baldwins Chaise, to wait on sister Lydia Champney, and he returned, carrying a Letter from me to Mr. Baldwin.  N.B. Received a Letter from Elias per Mr. Cal. Harrington and he therein informs me that he has been to Stoneham and that Timothy Bryant is to come after a Short space — That he himself has [missed?] of waiter-ship — yet is not in Commons — That his Brother William has carryed him a Load of Wood etc.  He has also sent me Two Letters from Mr. Forbes, one of Feb. 17, the other of March 9, which informs that on the 6th his Daughter Coffin had a Third Daughter, which is named Lucy.  Mr. Badcock and Samuel Brigham ask for a Singing Lecture and that Mr. Daniel Foster may preach it.

March 28, 1778

1778 March 28 (Saturday).  Col. Levi Brigham here, and kindly brought me a Bushel of Ground Malt: and Old Mr. Maynard brought Do., being instead of Rye which he borrowed.  The Girls who have boarded with us went home towards night.  At the Close of the Day we were Surprized with a Message to hasten to Mr. Daniel Adams’s, the Young Mans Wife having Cut her Throat with a Rasor.  The Doctor was gone hastily to her.  I hastened to see her.  A deplorable Sight!  The whole House mourning.  They were scenes of Distress and Sorrow!  The poor woman partly delirious, now exclaiming against her self, and despairing of Mercy.  She now Spoke loud, though on the 23d when I was there, and ever Since, till this Woful Occurrence, she only Whispered.  I endeavored to instruct and compose her; and fervently prayed for her.  The Doctor told me the wound was about an inch and half long: it had bled a great deal on the Floor, The Breath did in Some Measure come out of her Wind-pipe; but he not proceed to sew up, but he put on a sticking Plaister: for he judged her so weak, that She would not be able to bear it.  We returned in the dark together.

March 29, 1778

1778 March 29 (Sunday).  By reason of the forementioned sorrowful Occurrence and the Interruption it occasioned, I preached a. and p.m. on Heb. 12.15, former part.  Mrs. Thurston (the widow) dined here.  P.M. I mentioned to the Congregation the Requests of the Singers to have a Sermon next Tuesday.  After the Exercises being desired to go to Mrs. Adams, I went, though it was very tedious, as it was a very Cold, Stormy Wind at N.E.  Found her more calm and composed and exercising Sorrow, Faith, Hope: but now again could only Whisper.  Prayed with her, and returned before dark.  N.B. her Sore has not been Sewed up, though Dr. Darling has been there as well as Dr. Hawes.  This Eve Breck and Suse and their Billy Spring, and with them, came Mr. Badcock, Luke Wilder, Elisha Parker, and Samuel Fisher, to attend out Family Exercise, and to Sing, in which they Spent the Evening.

March 31, 1778

1778 March 31 (Tuesday).  The Snow is So deep, that though a Lecture is appointed, I am in doubt whether the Preacher can get to us.  Therefore I prepare my Self.  After Dinner the storm much abated, Mr. Foster and Capt. Joseph How from Marlborough came.  The former preached the Singing Lecture from 1 Cor. 14.15.  N.B. We sung at E[ntrance?] two staves of Hymn 80 4 v. without Reading — after Prayer Sing Ps. 57 from v. 53st — and the Deacon (Bond) read, as usual, line by line.  The last Singing was Ps. 148 6 stanza’s, to the End of the [12 v.?].  After the Blessing, The Singers (who were increased and strengthened by Some Number from Marlborough (Dr. Curtis etc.) and from Northborough (Capt. Samuel Wood, his Brother and sister etc.) went on in Singing some Number of Tunes.  When returned to my House, a Number of Gentlemen resorted hither; Capt. William Brigham etc. etc. but I was obliged to take leave, by reason of a Message by Mr. Thomas Twitchell, that Mrs. Adams drew near her End.  I went hastily.  She was much altered into the Visage of Death — uncertain whether her Reason is steady.  Discourse to and prayed with her.  N.B. Old Mr. Hardy fell into an unhappy Frame about the Singers — Said their Behavior was abominable! Etc.  When I came home found that the Singers and Gentlemen (except Mr. Foster and Capt. Howe, who went home to Marlborough) went up to Deacon Woods and Capt. Fishers.  N.B. our young Women, viz. Hephzibah Parker and Lydia Batherick returned before noon to Board and lodge, as before.