Martha Ballard (1735-1812) was een Amerikaanse vroedvrouw in Massachusetts. Vanaf haar vijftigste hield ze 27 jaar een dagboek bij, dat de basis vormde voor een boek en een film (1998).
July 9, 1806, Wednesday
Clear and warm. my Husband & I were awake at 3h ys morn by mrss Heartwel and Gillbard who brot us ye horrible tydings that Capt Purington had murdered all his famely Except his Son James who must have Shared the Same fate had he not been So fortunate as to make his Escape after an attempt was made to take his life. he was wounded with an ax, he fled in his Shirt only and alarmd mr Wiman of ye horrid Scein, who immediately ran to Son Jonas. they two went to hous where the horrid Scein was perpetrated. my Son went in and found a Candle which he lit and to his great Surprise Said Purington, his wife & Six Childn Corpss and Martha, he perceived had life remaining, who was removd to his house. Surgical aid was immediately Calld and Shee remains alive as yet. my husband went and returnd before Sun rise, when after takeing a little food he and I went on to the hous, there to behold ye most Shocking Scein that was Ever Seen in this part of ye world. may an infinitely good God grant that we may all take a sutable notis of this horrid deed, tearn wisdom there from. the Corps were removd to his Barn where they ware washt and Laid out Side by Side. a horrid Spectakle which many hundred persons Came to behold. I was there till near night when Son Jona Conducted me to his hous and gave me refreshment. the Coffins were brot and ye Corps Carried in a Waggon & Deposited in Augusta meeting hous.
July 10, 1806, Thursday
Cloudy, raind aftern. my husband and I attended at the Sollom funeral of James Purington & his famely which he murdered. there was a Prayer made by Revd mr Stone, a Discoarse Delivd by A mr Taylor from Prov 25 C 28 V, he that hath no rule over his own Spirit is like a city broken down and with walls. there were a vast number of people attended, the performance was on a Stage which was Erected before the meeting hs. the houses near were Crouded, the Streat Crouded & ye tops of Buildings Covered with people. Said Puringtons remains were Lodged in the Porch with the ax & raisor which he made use of to Deprive his famely & him Silf of life were on his Coffin. his Dear wife & 6 Childns remains laid in the ally before the Boddy Pews. a Sollam specttacle to behold. may we all learn a profitable lesson from this Dreadful Scein and may it pleas the God that rules Sanctify this affliction to the Surviving retalives and to us all. the funeral proseeded from the meeting hous, went over kenebeck Bridg then turnd and went up the hill South and Down Second Street, turnd at the Jail & went to ye grave yard. he was intered without the [walls].