Rev. Aaron Putnam (1733-1813) graduated from Harvard in 1752 and settled as minister in Pomfret, Conn., in 1756, where he also served as educator to the young townsmen. Putnam was forced to resign as minister in 1802 when he lost his power of speech. He turned to publishing sermons and essays.
This collection contains a commonplace book, 1754-1765, in which Putnam recorded various aspects of his life, including: his catalogue of the extensive library of his father, the Rev. Daniel Putnam (1696-1759) of Reading, Massachusetts; accounts of tuition payments made to him as an instructor, frequently rendered in quarts of rum or days of plowing; details of a church council meeting held in March 1756 concerning charges brought against Major Joseph Holland; and a brief record of church transactions in Pomfret, as well as a copy of a marriage covenant. Putnam also recorded in detail his negotiations with various towns, following his graduation in 1752, as he attempted to secure a good ministry. There is much information concerning the "calls" he received from Pomfret and Lexington, Boxford, and Chelsea, Massachusetts, including vote tallies, copies of correspondence relative to salary proposals, and details of his final ordination in Pomfret. The volume also contains religious poetry written by Putnam, such as "Paraphrase on the First Seven Verses of Nahum" and "On the Divine Veracity."
Materials in this collection have been digitized in partnership with the American Antiquarian Society and have been made available through our New England's Hidden Histories project.