1779 December 1 (Wednesday). It is of God’s great Goodness I am thus indulged to begin another Month. Breck to Boston and Dr. Hawes and his Wife make us a visit and drink Tea.
1779 December 2 (Thursday). Deacon Wood brings Mr. William Campbell, heretofore of Oxford to see me. He offers to buy my Sheep, but I dont incline to sell part without he takes the whole. I read Lives of Squire Boyle, Charles Boyle and others.
1779 December 3 (Friday). The Doctor brings me a Third Vol. of Biographical Dictionary from Mr. Cranch. Mr. Joseph Grout brought me a Letter from Mrs. Abigail Davis (heretofore Nichols), who had lived ten years at Mr. Moses Warrin’s, bearing testimony concerning the Harmony between him and his Wife Persis, the present Mrs. Adams. Mr. Ebenezer Maynard came and acquainted me that his mother Winchester Expired last night, at 10 o’clock in her 79th year. The Lord prepare me for my own Decease!
1779 December 4 (Saturday). Breck returns from Boston, my Relations well there. He brings me a present from my son Samuel, a valuable Silk Handkerchief of Fifty Dollars price, much wanted: my son William, his Wife and Young Child John, rode here in their Chaise, arrived in the Evening.
1779 December 5 (Sunday). Preached a.m. on Zech. VI.1-7. P.M. went on with discourse on Heb. 5.9. Admitted Isaac Parker and Wife, also Rebecca Nurse into Communion. May God accept them and make them Ornaments to Christianity.
1779 December 6 (Monday). Was called away to see a young Son of Capt. Jonas Brigham, viz. his son William in his 12th year, who was thought to be under extremely dangerous Symptoms. I went, prayed, breakfasted there. P.M. Town Meeting by Adjournment. Capt. Morse was here, full of earnest advice and Entreaty that I would send something to the Town of my Thanks for what they had done lately for me, and my satisfaction in it. I accordingly wrote a paper and sent it by Mr. Joseph Harrington, and he was here at eve to acquaint me how it was accepted, and he believed it was well.
1779 December 7 (Tuesday). Mr. Edward Brigham came to acquaint me that his Brother dyed this morning and to desire me to attend the Funeral on Thursday, at nine a.m. I remonstrated, but it was settled, I suppose.
1779 December 8 (Wednesday). Mr. Samuel Forbush, Mr. Solomon Batheric, and Mr. Nathan Maynard junior came with their Teams and brought Wood. The two former two Load, the latter one.
1779 December 9 (Thursday). General Thanksgiving through out the States. I did not go to Capt. Brigham’s, as I was at first desired. Mr. Edward had come yesterday and told me that his Father would conform to the proposal to bring the Corps to the Meeting-House. They did so, and I prayed there. After this they proceeded to the Interment and I went to the Grave with them.
We re-entered the Meeting-House and having prayed already began with singing. Preached on Ps. 68.26-28. I took to my House a Stranger, one Mr. Joseph Thompson, by Birth, a Philadelphian. At eve we had singing at my House, a number of young Gentlemen came, besides Mr. Elijah Brigham, and Joseph Brigham, Mr. Moses and Mr. Saml Brigham, Mr. May (the two last lodged among us) and Master Hazzletine. This evening also Eleazer Wheelock and Thankful Maynard (Captain’s Daughter) were married — such a Variety of Exercises had I in one Day! May God forgive what was amiss, and accept what was (through Grace) sincere!
1779 December 10 (Friday). Breck, Suse and Sophy (by invitation) ride in the Sleigh to Col. Brigham’s. Mr. May goes to Boston. At Mr. Stone’s Request I headed a number of Papers of Subscriptions for printing a spirited Letter against Mr. Isaac Foster, Sent one to Mr. Stone, gave to Mr. Simon How, to Mr. Moses Brigham, Mr. Isaac Parker, to Master Sam Brigham, each of them a Paper in Trust to promote Subscribing. The account from Northborough is confirmed that they have there voted Mr. Whitney for this year 3000£. Messrs. Forbush and Batheric bring old Wood, 2 Load apiece. The weather prevented my visiting Mr. Jonathan Childs’ sick Daughter. I wrote to Mrs. Winchester of Ashburnham concerning her son Billy to come and live here.
1779 December 11 (Saturday). Sent to Ashburnham by Harvey Maynard. I cant change with any minister. I there review and make large additions to former preparations, which I humbly hope God will graciously accept through Jesus Christ.
1779 December 12 (Sunday). Mr. Benj. Wilson junior came from the Widow Eager of Northborough to desire me to attend the Funeral of her daughter Cutter tomorrow (the wife of Ebenezer who is among the British troops). I preached a. and p.m. on 1 Pet. 1.8. Administered the Lord’s Supper. Master Hazzleton and Mrs. Maynard dined here. May God graciously accept our offerings! N.B. Cold, stormy, few at Communion.
1779 December 13 (Monday). Deacon Wood came with his chaise to go to Mrs. Cutter’s Funeral, but it was too stormy for me to venture. Elias rode with him.
1779 December 14 (Tuesday). I sent by Dr. Hawes, Mr. Cranch’s 2d Vol. of Biogr. Also my Watch for a new Crystal. Mr. Elisha Parker brought me several worthy presents, Beef and Tea, 10 lb. of one, 1/2 lb. t’other.
1779 December 15 (Wednesday). Read part of Biographical Dictionary. The Lives of Confuius etc. Messrs. Sam. Forbush and Sol. Batheric sledding wood from the Minister’s Lot. Newspapers from Boston and Worcester. Received a Letter from Bethiah Parmenter, alias Wheaton, dated Hopkinton Oct. 19, 1779, open and dirty, desiring a Contribution.
1779 December 16 (Thursday). Went to Deacon Wood to inquire about the Letter received last evening. Wrote to Mr. Fitch about it and enclosed it. Sent it to Deacon Wood by young Asa Brigham for conveyance. Messrs. Forbush and Batheric more wood. Gave the former a Receipt for ten cord. He tells me the Town voted to give 7£ per cord to Four of them 70£ apiece for 10 cord each, viz. Samuel Forbush, Solomon Batheric, Nathan Maynard Junior and Jonathan Maynard, who have undertaken to bring 40 cords.
1779 December 17 (Friday). Breck to Sutton in the Sleigh to get Paper. Succeeds but in part. Elias has borrowed a mathematical manuscript which he is transcribing.
1779 December 18 (Saturday). It is exceeding Stormy, snowing, blowing and very cold, but through God’s great Goodness, we have Shelter, Wood, Bread, Meat, Drink, Cloths but especially Health, Reason, above all the Day of means of Grace! To His Name be praise and glory! May God commeserate the exposed, and the Necessitous!
1779 December 19 (Sunday). Difficult getting to Meeting, but few there. I was first. Preached a.m. on Zech. VI.8th and from v. 9-11. P.M. Went on with and concluded Sermon on Hab. 5.9, which may the Lord bless to us! At eve read part of Fleming’s Confirming Work of Religion.
1779 December 20 (Monday). A very cold season, and continues so. I am engaged in Biographical Dictionary. C. Confucius, Cato, Casaubon, Mons. Le Clerk etc.
1779 December 21 (Tuesday). Mr. William Chandler of Pomfret in straight for a sled to go to Framingham. I have let him have mine, and he leaves his Waggon here.
1779 December 22 (Wednesday). I am taken up very much with Biography. The Life of Lucius Cary who is Lord Falkland, Dr. Sam’l Clark, old Mr. Calamy, Des Cartes etc.
1779 December 23 (Thursday). Young Chandler returns and solicits my sled to go to Pomfret. I yielded to his Importunity and for Mr. Lamson’s putting two Guards in front, and for his Journey to Framingham he pays me 10 Dollars and for the Sled 50 Dollars. P.M. came Mr. Nathan Goddard to desire me to change with him, who is to be in Mr. Sumner’s stead, while he is to go to Hubbard’s Town to preach for Mr. Parker. Mr. Peter Whitney here and relates the Proceedings of his Parish in granting him 3000£. At Eve, Mr. Reuben Puffer and his Brother with a Letter from Fisk concerning the said Puffer’s Examination. I referred him to the three Ministers which are near to him: viz. Messrs. Bridge, Biglow, and Newell.
1779 December 24 (Friday). Breck and Suse, Mr. Brigham and Sophy rode in the Slay to Mr. Whitney’s.
1779 December 25 (Saturday). I rode up to Shrewsbury — to Mr. Nathan Goddard’s who has persuaded me to take this cold ride. Went to Mr. Sumner’s who was gone with design to preach tomorrow at Hubbard’s Town. I lodged at Mr. Sumner’s.
1779 December 26 (Sunday). Preached at Shrewsbury. A.M. on Ps. 74.17. P.M. on Ps. 90.10, which may God graciously own and bless! Lodged there again.
1779 December 27 (Monday). Breakfast at Sister Cushing’s. Visit Mr. Farrar’s Wife who is sick, dined at Mr. John Maynard’s, called at Mr. Gershom Brigham’s and begin to take Thomas’s Spy of him — went in to Mr. Samuel Fay’s, but neither he nor his Wife at home — arrived safe at home. D.G. Mr. Goddard preached for me yesterday. His text a. and p.m. 1 Cor. 23.24. Dr. Hawes brought me my Watch from Mr. Cranch — the new Chrystal cost 12 Dollars. This evening came William Winchester to live here.
Mr. Nehemiah Maynard came with him. N.B. His father Mr. Nathan Maynard sat by and heard. I told Mr. Maynard that I would do what I could conveniently and reasonably in teaching and influencing him in Reading, Writing and Cypering, according as his Business in taking Care of the Cattle, Cutting the Wood etc. would give opportunity and as his Capacity should admit it. This was in answer to what Mr. Maynard delivered me as Mrs. Winchester’s Errand to me by him.
1779 December 28 (Tuesday). Read Biogr. A close time for study, but a great Storm abroad. God be merciful to the poor and to all the Exposed!
1779 December 29 (Wednesday). A very dismal morning. Storm continues till about noon. Snow-Banks very high nigh my saddle-house 6 feet high. Roads blocked up. What can have become of poor Mr. Goddard, who proposed to set out with Wife and children etc. on his great Journey to Walpole, has sold at Shrewsbury and would now move. My son Breck had also designed to go in a double Sleigh to Ashburnham, but no Team nor Sleigh can Stir. How wonderful the Works of the Great God!
1779 December 30 (Thursday). I keep close to my Study, though Mr. Antipas Brigham had requested me to go to Capt. Edmund’s to marry him. But nobody disturbs me. Enough to do to keep warm.
1779 December 31 (Friday). Jejun.[?] and Prec. Reflections on the Year past, with praise for Preservation and numberless Benefits. Humiliation and Penitence for Ingrat. Deficiencies and Miscarriages. May a gracious and merciful God remitt through Jesus Christ — So teach me to number my Days that I may apply my Heart to true Wisdom! Lt. John Forbes from Otter Creek here and gives me account of the State of Vermont.