Wednesday, July 1 1761

…This day I was informed of the ill-natured and cruel treatment I have privately received from malevolent tongues, who have made, propagated and spread with indefatigable industry and diligence a report that Mr Snelling at my request (and by force) castrated my wife, which operation was the immediate cause of her death. With such amazing swiftness is the report spread that there is hardly a child of four years old or an old woman of four score within ten miles of the place but has it at their tongue’s and, and even so credulous [are they] as to give sanction to it; that is, if they do not directly believe it they will by no means let it die with them, but still continue to circulate it about, so vile and envious is man to man.

Now from what occasion this palpable falsehood could take its rise I am quite at a loss to guess as to my own part I know myself thoroughly innocent, therefore I defy and despise the malice of the vulgar multitude and if I know my own heart I sincerely forgive them; neither have I in the least any anger against them for it. No, I have not, for as ignorance undoubtedly is the mother of credulity I must ever think they deserve my pity; and, as to love and respect for my deceased wife, I want no other testimony than my own conscience, which I am sure sings peace in that affair, but however, though I have that which is beyond anything in the world besides to me, so am I not destitute of other evidence: I have even that of my wife’s own handwriting, wherein she says she wants words to express her gratitude to me for my care etc. for her. I have the witness of all about my wife during her illness; therefore I am not in the least moved with anger, though I must own I am as it were astonished to think that I can have any enemy so malicious as to propagate such a falsehood, for I can justly say there is not a person in the parish but has received favors at my hands, and many of them a great many; as to all my relations in general, I am sure they have sufficiently tasted of my munificence. Therefore I should have thought it a thing impossible to have been used so inhumanly and I think nothing can show more what a set of poor ignorant people I am placed among than this, for ‘em to give credit to a thing which I presume cannot be done without instantaneous death, for in taking out the uterus undoubtedly the spermatic vessels must be cut, and I cannot conceive how there is to be ligature made on the arteries, but that the person must forthwith bleed to death, or at least it is such an operation as I never read or heard of. Say I, oh, may I never think of ill, or any ways be angry at such false reports. No, let me rather bear them with joyfulness, for there is undoubtedly an over-ruling providence that orders everything according to infinite wisdom…

Joseph Fuller stayed and smoked a pipe with me. Thomas Davy lodged at my house. At home all day and posted part of my day book.

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