January 13, 1851

Washing

/51 Jan 13  Washing day of course, and I have been

about house in the morning as usual.  A Augustus dined

with us, come up in the stage.  Made a hair cloth back to

another rocking chair  Went to Mr Whitwells with Mr

Ames this evening, met with Alson & wife.  It is a

beautiful moonshiny evening and we have had a

pleasant ride and have enjoyed myself very much.  Mr &

Mrs Whitwell I like very much  Father killed another

yoke of oxen to day and we have a quarter & the tripe.

Boiled that we had last week to day.

Monday is Wash Day.  This might be a Yankee commandment, were there a written code.  History has it that the first day the Pilgrims got off the Mayflower was a Monday, and the first thing the women did after all those weeks at sea was to wash their clothes.  The timing stuck, and remained a custom for centuries.  On Mondays at the Ames house, Jane McHanna washed the family clothes and linens while Evelina did almost everything else in terms of housework and cooking.  Evelina was not fond of putting her hands into soapy water.

The roads around town must have improved.  This evening, Evelina and Oakes finally got over to the Whitwells’ house, presumbly for a delayed acknowledgment of Mr. Ames and Mr. Whitwell’s shared birthday.  Evelina clearly enjoyed herself.  Another couple was there: Alson and Henrietta Gilmore. Alson is Evelina’s older brother.  He owns the old family farm in the southeast corner of Easton, just north of the town of Raynham.  He and his wife have six children together, as well as a son from Alson’s first marriage.  This is Alson “Augustus” Gilmore, who had midday dinner at the Ames house today.  Augustus lives in Boston as the year opens but will soon move back to North Easton.  He does courier work for the Ames brothers.

Evelina is close to her nieces and nephews; their presence in her life, and her affection for them, is evident throughout the diary.  Less certain is the regard that other members of the Ames family held for the Gilmores; family lore has it that the two families moved in different social circles and that even into the 20th century, the Gilmore clan was looked down on by members of the Ames clan. From Evelina’s happy description of the day, however, we can surmise that she was unaware, on this lovely, “moonshiny” night, anyway, of any discrimination.

One thought on “January 13, 1851

  1. Another excellent post. I send out the link to my list here in Easton which is about 1000 and perhaps I can get Lee William to do it as well and he has over 2000 but many are the same. That ought to get some more regular visitors….

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