September 1, 1778

1778 September 1 (Tuesday).  Mr. Rider came in the Morning to acquaint me that last night Mr. William Broad expired.  A sad Loss, being a man much esteemed.  May God be gracious to his very mournful Widow, near her time!  P.M. preached at the Private Meeting, which was at Deacon Wood’s, on Isa. 22.5.  This being a Juncture of peculiar Tryal with our Army at or near Rhode Island.  Success, both here and there, depends only on the Great God!

September 3, 1778

1778 September 3 (Thursday).  Mrs. Broad, I understand, has been delivered of a son, but it was dead — and to day it is buryed; I attended and prayed.  I hear that there was general Stir at Boston and Towns round about, yesterday, fearing the British Fleet was coming in — but it came to Nothing.  Mrs. Crosby, Mrs. Baker etc. made a Visit here to See Mrs. P_________ who is (through divine Goodness) grown better.

September 4, 1778

1778 September 4 (Friday).  Col. Brigham has rid to the Army near Rhode Island, to see his Son Winslow, and now returns with Accounts of their present State; and with a Letter from Henry Marble to Breck, which intimates the unhappy State of the Army, not only by the Disappointment in the Attempt against Newport, and withdrawing to the Main, but Disquietment among the Soldiers.


A Letter received from Elias by Mr. Isaac Parker.  He informs of Mr. Tucker’s preaching the Dudleian Lecture etc.

September 5, 1778

1778 September 5 (Saturday).  I have writ to Mr. Quincy at Medfield, by Mr. Theodore [Harding?] of Medway.  P.M. Mr. Fish and his Delegate, Deacon [Bradish?] call at the Door, in their Return from Westford, where the Elders and Messengers of Eight Churches met, but could not form into a Council, by reason of their being so divided among them Selves.  The Case aimed to be considered was the Dismission of the Aged Mr. Willard Hall.

September 6, 1778

1778 September 6 (Sunday).  My Wife is better, but not well enough to go to Meeting and therefore though I had prepared for another Exercise on 1 Pet. 3.7, I laid it aside: for I was not willing to preach all those Sermon on mutual Conjugal Duties, and my own Wife absent.  I preach’d a. and p.m. on Ps. 31.5 and the rather on consideration of the Deaths of the last Week.  Mr. Francis Whipple and his Wife were dismissed to New Braintree Church.  I appointed the Communion and Lecture.

September 8, 1778

1778 September 8 (Tuesday).  Sister Champney left us to return to CambridgeSuse rode with her in the Chaise (Mr. Newton’s) and Breck rode on a Horse which I procured for Mr. Eleazer Rider.  By Breck I write to Elias, inclosing his Quarter Bills which he had inadvertently left: and to Mr. Forbes of Gloucester, concerning his Sheep.  N.B. I send Elias also the New Edition of Caesars Commentarys — handsomely bound.  P.M. Read in Fox’s Acts and Monuments.

September 9, 1778

1778 September 9 (Wednesday).  Mr. Whitney dined here, and preached my Lecture — a second Sermon on 1 Cor. 11.28.  Let a man examine etc.  A very useful Discourse.  May divine Blessing accompany his Labors from Time to Time.  May the Holy Spirit of Grace work in me the necessary Qualifications.  Assist me in my Self Search, and may the Merits and Righteousness of Christ procure me acceptance before God after all my utmost strivings!

September 10, 1778

1778 September 10 (Thursday).  Mr. Thomas Twitchel came to acquaint me with the Death of an Infant of Mr. John Underwood, newly come into the Town; and to desire to attend the Burial of it.  I accordingly went and prayed there.  I had Deacon Woods Horse.  Called to see the Widow Fay, whom I found in great Trouble for her son Solomon Stow in the Army; he being put under Provost-Guard.

September 14, 1778

1778 September 14 (Monday).  Walked to Mr. Greaves’s to See Deacon Dolliver — who went with me to Squire Bakers — who was so generous as to take my whole Flock of Sheep to his pasture, and gratis.  Thanks to God for this His Goodness!  Wrote to Mr. Forbes again, by D. Dolliver.  Mr. Daniel Nurse here, and renews his sisters Request for a Fast at their House.  I Consent.  We agree upon next Thursday come fortnight.  More Men are sent for — Lt. Jonathan Grout is to go.

September 15, 1778

1778 September 15 (Tuesday).  I rode to Ministers Meeting at Stow and dined there.  Messrs. Stone, Smith, Whitney and Biglow there.  Mr. Newell prayed.  Mr. Stone read a part of his late Sermon on Murder — and added one particular kind of Murder, that of murdering Minsters.  The next Meeting to be at my House the 3d Tuesday of next month.  N.B. The Old Lady very infirm.  I rode to my Son Williams at Concord, and lodged there — Had many serious Reflections as on my finishing my 75th Year.  May I have deep and thorough Sense of it!  And my devout Aspirations be accepted by a gracious God through Jesus Christ my only Advocate!

September 16, 1778

1778 September 16 (Wednesday).  Another Birth Day arrives, through the Long-suffering of God.  I rendered, as I was able, Thanksgiving and Praise to my Almighty Author, Preserver and Benefactor.  My Son rode with me to Dr. Swifts at Acton.  Spent Some time in the Library.  Dined with the old Lady, her son and his Wife.  Bought Buxtorfs Lexicon and they gave me Nortoni Responsio ad Apollonium.  Visit Mr. Adams (the Minister) who is under scrophulous Disorders.  On the Road in returning home, had Opportunity for Serious Discourse with my Son, especially on the solemn Article of my own Departure from temporal Enjoyments and settling what may be left.  Called at Col. Weeks’s (as I did in going down).  Arrived in Safety.  D.G.  Found here Mr. Forbes and his son, also John Honeywood, with a Letter from Mr. Jos. Willard.  He is to tarry here with us a While.  He was brought here by Mr. Simon Willard of Grafton, who led back his Horse.  They all lodged here.  Mrs. P_______ sorrowfully indisposed yet.

September 18, 1778

1778 September 18 (Friday).  When Mr. Forbes hears me relate what Mr. David Stow demands for keeping his Sheep, viz. 1 sh. per Head per Week — he is not willing to pay it, but thinks I ought to have informed him, that he might have taken them away, according to the first Method proposed, that is, after shearing.  We are therefore thrust on to the Second Method which is to keep them till the year be up.  Which we consent to.  He and his son leave us to go to Brookfield.  A sorrowful Occurrence happened yesterday — John Bond, son of Mr. Abraham Bond, of 15 years, was pursuing a Squirrel, climed [sic] up a tall Tree to beat him down; the Limb which he depended on was dry and broke; he fell down to the Ground, and was taken up senseless — but after a while revived; but much bruised — one Arm broke, the other hurt and swelled — a Snag of the Tree wounded him on the upper part of his Hip.  A wonder he was not killed, for he fell, as it was conceived, nigh 30 feet: much Blood issued.  What a loud Warning!

September 19, 1778

1778 September 19 (Saturday).  I have no Message from Mr. Bonds, but hear that John is like to Recover.  Isaac Forbush comes to buy my Oxen — says they are worth 80£ (lawful money) — but Mr. Isaac Parker having them and bespoke them I can’t sell them.  Am closely engaged in my Preparations.  May God graciously assist!  John Honeywood with us — reading, drawing, etc.

September 20, 1778

1778 September 20 (Sunday).  My Wife was so indisposed that She could not go to Meeting.  But I have prepared some time Since, and now added to it, another (and a large) Exercise on 2 Pet. 3.18, which though I designed to deliver it to day, yet for the Same Reasons before mentioned (See on the 6th day), I thought it best still to defer the delivering it: and considering it was the first Sabbath of my New Year, and that it might be very Seasonable on other Accounts, I preached a. and p.m. on Gen. 17.7.  “And I will establish my Covenant between Me and thou” etc.

September 21, 1778

1778 September 21 (Monday).  I made a Visit to poor John Bond, in his wounded Condition.  He is not able to speak plainly, his mouth is so broken and cutt by his Fall, and his Bones are sett and healing — and has his Reason.  I prayed with him and the Family under their Affliction.  Then I visited Ensign Jeduthun Fay, who is sick, and several of his Daughters.  Went to Capt. Jonathan Fays, his Wife being very ill.  Prayed with her: and I dined there.  Went to Grafton, and settled with Mr. David Stow.  Paid him in full for keeping the sheep — viz. 11£ 8/ Lawful Money, and returned at Eve.  Mr. Levi Wilder has been here, and dined with Mrs. P________________

September 24, 1778

1778 September 24 (Thursday).  Mr. Forbes and his son leave us to go home by way of Cambridge and Boston.  He proposes to Send, if he can, for his Sheep this Fall, but to leave me the Lambs; but he must have a pound of Wool per Head — that is 9 pound as if they were kept till January when at furthest he will send for them.  Visit John Bond again, and pray with and instruct him.  P.M. I rode up to Mr. Daniel Nurse’s.  A very Sick House — the Man, the woman, and 4 or 5 Children sick, chiefly with Fever.  Their infant very bad, with Canker.  Rode to Mr. Jonathan Childs also.

September 26, 1778

1778 September 26 (Saturday).  Attended the burying of Mr. Daniel Nurse’s young Child.  This Family remain Sick: One only of them able to go to the Grave.  Breck returned from Boston seasonably to dine with us.  He had a Fall by the Stumbling of his Mare, So that he is lame.  He relates that there was a grand Reception of the Count de Estaing at Boston when the Militia and general Court waited on him and his Suit: and a Sumptuous Dining in Fanuil-Hall; the House of Representatives, as well as the Council, etc., were there likewise.

September 28, 1778

1778 September 28 (Monday).  Mr. Bradshaw leaves us.  Sent Elias Fay Grave [illegible], Vol. 1.  Sir Brigham (Elijah) borrows the Master Key to Popery.  Mr. Daniel Forbes is at work at the Cellar Window.  He dines with us.  I received Mr. Payson of Chelsy’s last Election sermon Yesterday, by the Hand of Dr. Hawes, our Representative, and read it to day.[1]  A very Spiritual Piece, and contains a Number of very useful Observations.  Brecks Mare Missing.

[1]Phillips Payson, A sermon preached before the Honorable Council, and the Honorable House of Representatives, of the state of Massachusetts-Bay, in New-England, at Boston, May 27, 1778. Being the anniversary for the election of the Honorable Council (Boston: John Gill, 1778; Evans 15956).