June 25, 1778

1778 June 25 (Thursday).  I was Stung by a Bee yesterday Morning on my right Eye Brow: it proved so troublesome last night, and Swelled this morning So as to Shut out the Light wholly from that Eye.  Yet I pursued my Journey to Worcester.  Stopped and Eat at Capt. Curtiss’s.  In Worcester Mr. Cunningham shewed me Mr. Carpenters Letter to Mrs. Spooner.  I went in to See the 3 Men: in the Jayl Ross’s Brother Timothy, and Lucy McDonald (who was with Child by Ezra) were there.  The Criminals are very penitent and behave well.  I questioned them concerning the first Beginnings of the [work?] proceedings?  They Said Mrs. Spooner began them.  Each of them affirmed it.  But on visiting Mrs. Spooner, I found her of no different mind from time past, unless it was in more evident denyal of the Legality of her Condemnation.  She was free and friendly in Conversation — offered me Wine, which I drank.  She Answered me as heretofore, that She took it kindly that I came to see her etc. but when I asked her who was foremost in the horrid and bloody Acts, She laid this on Ross; which being contrary to what I had met with from the Prisoners below, I enquired whether She would say this before them if they were together?  She said She would be willing to with Ross, but did not want to have the other two present.  We went down to prayer.  (N.B. [She at?] mention of [illegible] answered that Mrs. Curtis was very [kind and?] obliging to her [illegible] did not love to impose upon her.  [illegible] I answered that Mrs. Curtis, I could be sure, would be far from taking [illegible] the least hard, if she desired to go down on that Occasion.  “Will you ask for me?” says She.  “Yes, readily.”  I did: and she had leave.  I went to the men a little while before She came: for the Guard waited on her.  A paper was delivered me, which Buchannan had drawn up from Ross’s Mouth, and Ross had Signed it, while I was in the Chamber.  When we were together Ross by my Desire read the Paper containing the First of her promoting her Husbands Death.  The Paper was thus,


“I Ezra Ross do desire that Mrs. Spooner will take particular Notice.  The following is the first of her promoting her husbands Death.


As She was going to Hardwick She asked me the Reason of my being so low Spirited?  I made answer It was my long absence from home.  She replyed that her Opinion was, I wanted some one to lodge with — I told her it would be agreeable.  She asked me if Such an One as her self would do?  I made answer If She was agreeable I was.  [Marginal notation: The Dialect was so.]  Upon which She said “After She came off her Journey she would See.”


N.B. After her Return She Gave me an Invitation to Defile her Marriage Bed; which I Expected.  And after that she proposed constantly every sheam for her Husbands Death.  [Marginal notation: The spelling is so.]


Ezra Ross.”


This Ross Said he declared was the very Truth, as a dying Man, and soon to be in Eternity — but it was but a sketch — there was much more of the like sort.  [Mr. Maccarty at his House shewed me another Testimony of Ross’s (as a dying Man) concerning Mrs. Spooners [urging?] him very much to [poison her husband that?] he would give the Poison to Mr. [Crosby?] also (a Neighbour of theirs at Brookfield).  But he [illegible]ly refused.]  At their repeated [Request?] I prayed with them and giving them Serious Charge, I took Solemn Leave of them all.  Their Ages, respectively I took from their Mouths.


Mrs. Spooner; She was 32 Feb. 15 last.


James Buchannan; He was 36 Jan. 25 last.


William Brooks of Walsal in Staffordshire, old England, in his 27th year, which would be compleat if he could live till July 30th next.


Ezra Ross, would be 18, could he live to July 20th next.


I dined at Mr. Stearns’, the Lawyer’s, Mr. Maccarty and Mr. Isaiah Thomas also.  P.M. I was at Mr. Salisbury’s with his Mother chiefly.  In returning home called (besides the usual places) at Mr. Israel Allen’s, to See his Wife who, tis thought, has a Cancer.  Arrived safe.  To God the Glory!