October 2, 1779

1779 October 2 (Saturday).  Surprizing Story concerning a negro Family of Natick, whom one Mr. Damon has sold, Surprized and sent off as slaves, they are recovered, and now on the Road returning to Natick.  Mr. James Bellows of Rutland here, and receives from me a Certificate concerning his Wife Thomasin.  Old Mr. Gale was buryed.  I attended and prayed at the Funeral.  N.B. had a good deal of conversation with old Mr. John Crawford of North Shrewsbury, who was at the Funeral.

October 7, 1779

1779 October 7 (Thursday).  Elias comes up from Cambridge for money to pay his Quarter Bills to May 28 last, which he says is £64.8.4, which gives me some Perplexity, seeing I have given him so much especially last August to pay those Bills.  N.B. on August 17 an hundred Dollars and on the 24 thirty Dollars more.  Mr. Jacob Foster has been with us and dined here.  He is returning to New Castle.  I visit old Neighbor Pratt and his wife, Warren etc.

October 10, 1779

1779 October 10 (Sunday).  A.M. Read Deut. 32.[ blank].  In preaching read v. 7 but carried on the same subject which was begun on Isa. 46.3-4.  The Selectmen were together at noon, and after sermon on 2 Thes. 3.1 from p. 17 to 22 and administered Baptism.  Mr. Gale came up to the Pulpit to desire me to read the Congress’s Circular Letter, which after the Blessing, I read part of, and then left the Congregation to read among themselves, which I suppose they did.  N.B. I read after sermon the votes of Convention concerning Boston, as Dr. Hawes requested.  (Dr. Hawes was with me with the vote of the Convention at Concord concerning the Distresses of many people in Boston, to be read publickly.)

October 11, 1779

1779 October 11 (Monday).  This day we cutt up, carted home and husked out our Indian Corn.  Ephraim Tucker went with my Team and Deacon Wood with his.  About nine dined here.  There were forty or more of Men and Boys at Eve, and several Neighbors were so generous as to contribute to the Entertainment.  Squire Baker above 50 lbs. of Meat, Mr. Ebenezer Forbes, Beef and 3 cabbages, Lt. Bond, Pork, Mr. Barnabas Newton, a Cheese, Breck, sufficient Rum.  Through the Goodness of God we had a good crop, Sound Corn and the Joy of Harvest.  To Him be all Honor and Glory!  We sang latter part of Ps. 65.

October 12, 1779

1779 October 12 (Tuesday).  Breck waits upon Sally and her son Sam to Concord.  P.M. I preached at Mr. Daniel Forbes’s, especially to old Mrs. Stone, heretofore of Charlestown, a Maiden about 75 years old.  Text was Eph. 1.14 which may God succeed and prosper!  When I came home to my Surprise found Sister Lydia Champney was here, brought by Mr. Caldwell of Sutton and he was gone before I returned from Meeting.

October 13, 1779

1779 October 13 (Wednesday).  Breck returns from Concord, and dines with us.  P.M. He is with the Officers at Coll. Wheelock’s preparing orders to send out Men immediately according to Requisition from Gen’l Washington.  Mr. James Dix has been here.  He desires me to ask Capt. John Wood, whether he did not write the word [November] in a certain Instrument presented before me?  My Answer was, Mr. Dix, I am ready and willing to Serve you in any Matter or Affair which is fit and which is prepared according to Gospel Rule: This is not at present.  I directed him to what is written in Proverbs 25.9,[1] and Mat. 18.15.16[2] etc.  Luke Baldwin from Brookfield and lodges, a pretty, agreeable, hopeful Lad!  May God make him a great Blessing!

[1]Proverbs 25.9: “Debate thy cause with thy neighbor himself; and discover not a secret to another.”

[2]Mat. 18.15: “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”  Mat. 18.16: “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”

October 14, 1779

1779 October 14 (Thursday).  I was obliged to leave my Study and ride up to Lieut. Johnathan Grout’s about some Cyder which Mr. Eli Whitney gives me.  I dined at the Lieutenant’s.  Meet with Mr. Joseph Grout there, and he has much to say about the sad case of his Sister Adams.  I advised to have it laid before a few Brethren, and not suffer it to come into the church.  I called at Squire Bakers and found Reason to urge the Same Thing.  Mr. Cushing from Ashburnham.  He has led an Horse for Sophy to ride there.  He lodges here.  A Letter from Mr. Quincy dated Sept. 23.  N.B. Luke Baldwin goes on his Way to Cambridge to wait on his Brother Isaac in going home.

October 20, 1779

1779 October 20 (Wednesday).  In the morning perplexed — Our Horses had left us.  I rode Mr. Biglow’s Horse in Search after them.  Found them at Mr. Samuel Sherman’s in Marlborough.  I went on to Mr. Stone’s and informed  his Son who sent back Mr. Biglow’s Horse and his Father’s from Mr. Sherman’s, so that I came home.  Elias was come from Cambridge and with him Gen’l Ward’s Son (whose Brother led down Breck’s Horse for Elias to come up on) and Parkman Bradshaw here likewise.  He lodged here and Master Foot, going to Colchester.  N.B. Mr. Johnson of Lyn and his Lady had been here while I was absent.

October 24, 1779

1779 October 24 (Sunday).  Preached once more on Isa. 46.4.  Nobody dined here.  I consulted the Deacons about having the Communion notwithstanding the Trouble with some Members, about Mr. Adams.  Preached on Prov. 27.1, occasioned by the late Disaster at Cambridge.  N.B. My son Elias was so far effected by that Providence, that he, by a note, desired Prayers in the Congregation that God would Sanctifie it to him.  I appointed the Communion and lecture.  At eve, Breck and Suse, her Brother Elijah etc. were with us and Sang.

October 25, 1779

1779 October 25 (Monday).  Breck to Boston.  In his way carrys Suse and the Child to Col. Brigham’s.  Mr. Francis Whipple of New Braintree makes us a visit.  I began to read Mr. Buckminster against Mr. Isaac Foster, which was sent me by the author, by means of Mr. Maccarty.  But was interrupted by the coming in of Mr. Belknap and after him half a score of the Brethren of the Church besides, one after another, to confer about Mr. D. Adams and his Wife.  Those that came (besides Mr. Belknap) were Deacon Bond and Deacon Wood, Messrs. Daniel Forbes, Benj. Tainter, Joseph Grout, Jonathan Grout, Levi Warren, Eli Whitney, Joseph Harrington, Jonathan Forbes.  They agree upon a small number of them to go to Mr. Adam’s tomorrow, to advise him to consent to choosing together with his wife, Referees before whom to try their Affair, or at least to take Counsel of them in order to Settlement, and Mr. Adams is to be apprized that these Brethren request that notice be given after the next Lecture that as many of the Brethren as shall incline to are desired to stop a little for further Conference upon those Matters.

October 27, 1779

1779 October 27 (Wednesday).  Mr. Stone came to my Help.  He dined here and preached my Lecture on Rev. 22.11, former parts, “Let him that is unjust” etc.  And may God graciously afford His Almighty Blessing!  A number of Brethren stopped to confer together about Mr. Daniel Adams’ case.  A few had been to him to know whether he would join with his Wife to choose some Men to hear and advise them, but he refused and did now before the Brethren that were together today.  N.B. Dea. Phelps, Mr. Jonathan Twitchell, and Coll. Aaron Perry, all of Holliston were at Mr. Adams’ Request with us.  But nothing was done Except that Mr. Adams in defending his Refusal to do any more, pleaded how much he had done in going to her, to persuade her to return, taking men with himwriting to her etc.  I left them.  But I was informed when I was come away Mr. Adams warned all of them against entertaining his Wife.  At eve, about 8 or 9 Brethren were here at my House, viz. Messrs. Belknap, Dan. Forbes, Batheric, Two Grouts, Eli Whitney, Jonathan Forbes.  They agree to have 2 or 3 of them to go to Mr. Adams in some short time, to see what his mind is since his Three Friends advising.  Mr. Isaac Parker and his Wife desire to come and join the Church.  N.B. A number of young Gentlemen, Graduates, were here to see Elias.

October 28, 1779

1779 October 28 (Thursday).  Elias goes to Worcester in the Room of Mr. Elijah Brigham to fetch the Spy in his stead.  He brings it, and contains Mr. Daniel Adams’ Caution to all people not to trust his Wife.[1]  P.M. by desire I rode to Mr. Andrews’ and marryed Stephen Fay to Betty Andrews and John Warren to Anna Forbush.  N.B. A great deal of Company and a plentiful Entertainment.  We Sung part of Ps. 45.  N.B. In administering the Covenant, I made a Mistake in mentioning the Names of the Brides.  When I came home, found here my Kinsman Bryant, and her Daughter, Mrs. Pearn Atwell, and her little Girl, Pearn, in a Chaise.  Timothy also came to wait on his Mother and Sister.  They lodged here.

[1]See Massachusetts Spy, Oct. 28, Nov. 5, 11, 25, Dec. 2, 1779.

October 31, 1779

1779 October 31 (Sunday).  I preached again on Ps. 36.7 and dilated on some Instances, particularly Mr. Joseph Alleine, and the Two Janeways, William the Father and John.  I administered the Lord’s Supper — a number of Strangers with us.  My kinswoman Atwell, member of Mr. Roby’s Church at Lynn, partook.  Master Hazzletine dined with us.  P.M. preached on Isa. 50.10.  I received today by Mr. Francis Barns, a proclamation for a Day of Humiliation and Supplication, which I read.


N.B. I baptized Mr. Davis’s son Isaac.  N.B. I was greatly Spent — insomuch that I went down to the Elder’s Seat without praying, but prayed there.  At eve, Breck read Mr. Henry’s Communication, Comp.[1] Ch. 12 in part.

[1]This is undoubtedly a reference, mistakenly transcribed, to Matthew Henry’s The Communicant’s Companion (reprinted several times in Boston); see also May 6, Sept. 9, 1781, and July 28, 1782).