1778 July 1 (Wednesday). Mr. Cushing goes early to Lancaster after his Horse. Mr. Edwards of Boston, Cabinet Maker, came in and was at Breakfast, then goes on his way to Worcester. News confirmed, of a Battle in the Jersies. Mr. Ripley goes with my Daughters Cushing and Sophy to Shrewsbury. P.M. came Mr. Aaron Crosby (now preacher at Blandford) from Boston and Cape Ann. No Mr. Forbes Come, though much expected. It is probable that he is detained by means of the Separating Preacher Murray’s being there. Mr. Crosby (after Tea) went to Grafton.
1778 July 2 (Thursday). The Day of the Execution. Mr. Jos. Farrar calls, as he is going to Lincoln to see his Mother. N.B. No word from either about the Lecture. The Sun very burning. The Wind abated the Heat. After [4 p.m.?] arose a Storm of Thunder, Lightning and Rain.
My Thoughts have been much employed upon the Case and Condition of the Criminals, whom I have fervently recommended to the infinite Mercy of God and hope the penitent [are improved to Paradise?] Concerning the poor Woman, it is with me, [illegible] certain whether she is hanged or not, or what has become of her. Dr. [illegible] Stimson, old Mrs. Maynard and Persis Fay here in the time of the Storm. Mrs. Maynard says her Brother in Law Deacon Jonathan Keyes of North Shrewsbury, who deceased last Thursday, dyed very suddenly.
The Storm renews; the Rain continues: the Doctor lodges here.
1778 July 3 (Friday). Hear that all Four Criminals were hanged yesterday. Received a Letter from Mr. Moore, of June 28.
1778 July 4 (Saturday). The Conversation is wholly upon the Case of the Criminals, especially respecting Mrs. Spooner and her Behavior. P.M. Mr. Langton of York returning from Farmington, calls here, and I conceive he would be ready to keep Sabbath with and preach for me; but I considered the Condition of good Brother Stone in his Feebleness, and therefore Sent him there. Mr. Fitch also, from Hopkinton going to [illegible] at North Sutton calls here [torn] of late born him another child; [torn] very comfortable [blot] though it is about a Fortnight [torn].
1778 July 5 (Sunday). A.M. Preached on Prov. 6.26, those words, “the Adulteress hunts for the precious Life.” P.M. on Eccl. 7.17, what was for the main of it delivered on Occasion of Arthurs Death, but with Additions of the late Criminals dying Declaration and Warning.
1778 July 6 (Monday). I visited Mr. Scott, after his return from Jayl at New York: and other Familys at Deacon Woods, particularly Mrs. Keen. Examined her. P.M. At Mrs. Williams’s, Mr. Warrins and Mr. Nurse’s. Capt. Elderkin (who is the Commissary stationed here) came with his wife to make us a Visit; also Mrs. Wood with them — and drank Tea here with us. N.B. wrote by Col. Wheelock to Mr. Maccarty concerning Mrs. Spooner.
1778 July 7 (Tuesday). I sent by Mr. Thomas Whitney to Mrs. Townsend at Weston: and a Letter by Master Jonathan Fay, with a bundle, to Elias at College. Miss Mindwell and Anna Brigham dined here. I preached at the Private Meeting, [illegible] at Neighbour Newton’s on 1 Cor. 15.57 and finished the subject. Which may God Succeed! After Meeting I came home, and Soon went to Raking of Hay. At Eve came Billy from Concord, and lodged here.
1778 July 8 (Wednesday). Billy takes leave of us to return home. N.B. [illegible] have the Irons of my old Chair-Wheels [illegible] [viz. the Tire?] Hoops, the Boxes; also 4 Bolts. And I [torn] [to him five?] pounds Lawful Money which remained with me of the money which Mr. Noah Hardy Paid me upon his [Rate?], given me for my sons Horse. Mr. Farrar came here — Stayed and dined.
1778 July 9 (Thursday). Finish the Reading of Robinsons History of Scotland Vol. 1. At Eve came Mr. Ripley and lodges here.
1778 July 10 (Friday). Mr. Ripley consults me on the important Affair of his Settling at Concord. I lent him the Pastoral Care by Bishop Burnet; Result of 3 Synods, Ratio Discipl., the 30 Questions and Testimony of Two Aged Ministers to the Order of the Gospel. He left us, to go to Framingham and Concord. P.M. came Mr. William May — lodges here.
1778 July 11 (Saturday). A.M. came Mr. (Lawyer) Stearns and Mr. B. Bradshaw. Mr. Stearns informed me of the method taken by the late Jury of Matrons, etc. in the Examinations of the Pregnancy of the late Mrs. Spooner; and by his Account it was very indecent and cruel. [Illegible] dines. P.M. he goes to Marlborough to preach there — has engaged for a month.
1778 July 12 (Sunday). I preached a.m. on Job. 31.24. Mr. David Goodall overtook me in returning home from Meeting — dined here. Preached for me p.m. on Isa. 28.16.17. N.B. Extraordinarily Short. He came from Capt. Maynards and returned there.
1778 July 13 (Monday). For Timothys Work for the Doctor in hoeing Stephen Maynard came and mowed part of my Clover in the West Field, much diminished indeed by Mr. Harringtons sheep getting frequently into it, feeding and trailing and tangling it. Timothy very faithful in tending, raking etc. I could not but go out and rake part of the p.m.
1778 July 14 (Tuesday). Stephen again a.m. I raked again and Breck principally helpfull, especially in Carting in the Clover.
1778 July 15 (Wednesday). They get in the rest of the Clover. P.M. a Number of Visitants [illegible] Joseph Farrar, Mr. Fitch of Hopkinton, Capt. Elderkin [illegible].
1778 July 16 (Thursday). In some [Consternation?] at the Loss of Rye out of one of the Hogsheads in the Corn Barn.
1778 July 17 (Friday). This morning early came Elias from Cambridge in his Brother Williams Chaise and brings a Letter from Mr. Thomas Barrett to sister Champney, which is to her great Disappointment as she hoped and expected to have gone to live at his House; but he now signifies to her that he can’t admitt her there. P.M. Visited Mrs. Martha Fish who is sick of a Fever. I conversed and prayed with her.
We are informed that Mr. Peter Bent of Northborough was taken ill last Evening, and dyed before Morning. May God grant His almighty Grace to quicken me to a due Preparation for the All-important Hour!
1778 July 18 (Saturday). Elias went early to Concord in his Brothers Chaise, and led Dr. Hawes’ Horse to ride back on. He returned p.m. between two and three o’Clock. Dr. Joslin and a Young Man named Benjamin Brown (his Tyro, I suppose) with him called and dined here. Towards Eve I rode to Hopkinton. In the way met Mr. Fitch coming hither. I called at Mr. Barretts — his John (I’m [informed?]) [dyed on the Sabbath?].
1778 July 19 (Sunday). Preached at Hopkinton a. and p.m. on 2 Pet. 1.10. [Illegible] Success depends on the Blessing of God! I most ardently beg the divine Influence [to Increase?] these weak Essays! N.B. At the Beginning of the Afternoon Exercise rose a Thunder storm and shower of Rain. After Exercise Dr. Stimpson and Mrs. Cotton went with me to Mr. Fitch’s. In returning home, met Mr. Fitch’s. In returning home, met Mr. Fitch, who had preached here a. and p.m. on Rom. 8.18, “For I reckon,” etc. N.B. News by an Hand-Bill, that a French Fleet of 16 Men of War, with 12,000 Men, are come to the Capes of Delaware; Monsieur Gerard o’board, as Plenipotentiary from the King of France to the Congress — and that War between G.B. and F. is proclaimed. Capt. Elderkin, who dined here, had Copy of an Hand-Bill etc. which contained Information thereof.
1778 July 20 (Monday). Went up to Squire Bakers to reckon with him about the Oxen he had of me last Fall, and Beef I had of him in the winter [following?] He was at home — but we were not able to [finish the whole?]. Called at Capt. Fishers to see Miss Patty Fish again; but she was [absent?]. He[r] Mother was there and informs me that She is much better.
1778 July 21 (Tuesday). I rode to Brecks Mare to Ministers Meeting at [West Sudbury?]. But no one came besides Mr. Smith. N.B. Mr. Bridge and his Wife [illegible] lately had the Small Pox. He by Inoculation but she, after repeated Inoculation had it in the Natural Way. Mr. Biglow prayed: and we agreed to have the next Meeting at Mr. Newells though he was not present: to be not till 3d Tuesday in September. And if Mr. Newell objects, they (by divine will) to be at my House. I returned home in safety at Eve. D.G. N.B. Col. Ezekiel How informed me that a Post was gone down from Head Quarters with bad News of great Destruction by the Enemy lately, at Susquehannah.
1778 July 22 (Wednesday). Mr. May came from Woodstock, going to Marlborough again. He dines here. P.M. goes to Marlborough.
1778 July 23 (Thursday). Mrs. Fish and Mrs. Fisher made us a Visit, drank Tea etc. My grand Son Isaac Baldwin came from Brookfield. We are informed that Capt. Samuel Baldwin of Weston lately dyed there. O that I also might be ready!
1778 July 24 (Friday). Isaac left us to return to Byfield, to the Dummer-school. P.M. to my great Hindrance and Regret was interrupted with Company: when I wanted to be in my Study. Capt. Elderkin was very agreeable in himself and his account of Wyoming or Susquehannah having been frequently there, and the great Hand he had in settling and defending a number of Townships — his Interest there now, etc., were entertaining; but better if at another Time. N.B. Captain brought a Letter to Timothy Bryant from his Father and Mother dated June 26. So that it was almost a Month in Coming. Four Young Women came about 4 p.m. to break Wool for Mrs. P________________. Miss Patty Fish is worse again.
1778 July 25 (Saturday). Mr. Joseph Keenes — also his Wife were here, about her Owning the Covenant tomorrow. N.B. I wrote and sent to the [illegible] Dismission of Squire Whipple and his Wife. Mr. Elisha Fish came — [Grieves?] to See his Sister Patty continuing sick. My Kinsman, Mr. William Parkman, Son of my late Nephew [illegible] having been taken at Sea, about eleven months [past?] and carryed [to?] the City of New-York, afterwards to Philadelphia, and back to New York, was now upon his way home by Land, and came to see us. He lodged here.
1778 July 26 (Sunday). My Kinsman So uneasy to get to Boston, to his Wife, Mother, etc. that he rode away from us this Morning. Mr. Joseph Farrar, riding to Lincoln, to his Mothers Funeral called here and tarried Some time. I met with so much interruption in my preparations that, together with my weakness and Dullness, I could not compleat my Design; and therefore preached those Sermons which I delivered some Years agoe, on Isa. 25.6 a. and p.m. and administered the Lords Supper. May God gracious pardon and accept! Mrs. Maynard and Mrs. Rice (Mr. Adonijahs Wife) dined. Mrs. Keen owned the Covenant. I was much Spent with the service. N.B. Breck was so ill in Meeting time that he went out. I went down to see him after the Exercises.
1778 July 27 (Monday). Breck goes to Boston. Elias pulls down the old, rotten Encumbrances of Stables which used to stand on my Ground behind the meeting House. P.M. came Capt. Elderkin, and brought with him two Gentlemen from Windham, one his brother Bela, the other Mr. C [ary?]. The last a great Traveller through the Indian [illegible] — Niagara, Detroit Michellemacinack etc. Mr. Joseph Farrar, returning from burying his Mother stops here — and lodges. I am not well.
1778 July 28 (Tuesday). Mr. Farrar tarrys and dines — toward night leaves us. After dinner came to see us, my Daughters Lydia (with her little Sally) and Sally, from Concord, and tarry with us. I am still exercised with pain in my Breast, and sometimes Bowels.
N.B. Last night a Number of the Subscribers from Worcester Spy, meet at the Meeting House, and enter into a New Agreement.
1778 July 29 (Wednesday). My Daughters tarried to dine — at nigh 4 p.m. they left us. Mr. [Reuben?] Warrin — Mr. Daniel Goddard — one John Barber of Bridport in Dorsetshire, old England, either insane, enthusiastical, or in Liquor, were here. Visit Miss Fish, who is still confined.
1778 July 30 (Thursday). Breck returns. Ruth Buck desires to be propounded in Order to her Humiliation and joining with the Church, is Examined. I am under Indispositions. Sometimes pained in my Stomach etc.
1778 July 31 (Friday). Fresh Orders (brought by Mr. Daniel Goddard of Shrewsbury on the 29th) for more men — now to go to Rhode-Island, against the British Forces there; but there being Difficultys raising them to Day the Company was called together to try other Methods. But very little Success. There is not only a great Backwardness to Going, apprehending that there will be a very hot struggle, and probably much Bloodshed, but the young Men who are fit to go, ask so large additional Bounty, that the Committee of the Town who are entrusted with the Matter, cannot comply with their Demands.
N.B. on the 30th Mr. Hezekiah Maynard was here and dined with us. He desires to borrow again Mr. Baxter [2d?] Vol. and I lent it him. He says he will safely return it in a month.