No stranger to online bargain hunting, I looked up what was available through online booksellers of rare and used books. And there it was on eBay. Among listings for the price as high as $380 was a copy containing 3 volumes of Rev. Parkman’s diary for $4. Really, I kid you not. For the total price of about $8 with shipping, I received in the mail today the most valuable resource imagined for this particular research project.
And the surprises just kept on coming. I opened up to a random page, only to find Rev. Parkman visiting with Hezekiah Howe, one of the unidentified burials I found last week. Hezekiah was alive and well, waiting to tell us his story. On the same page was a funeral and conversations about 3 children recently buried in the northern “side of town” as well. Time to clean my new glasses and get reading from page 1.
LESSON LEARNED: A book reseller in Arizona has absolutely no clue about the historical value of a first-person account of early colonial life in Massachusetts. In other words, the significance of an eyewitness reporting events as they happenis absolutely huge. And I have the genealogical equivalent of gold sitting right here on my desk.
Parkman, Ebenezer. The Diary of Ebenezer Parkman (1703-1782): First Part, Three Volumes in One (1719-1755). Edited by Francis G. Walett. Worcester: American Antiquarian Society, 1974.