January 14, 1851

Abbott H. Thayer, Angel, 1887, oil Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of John Gellatly

Abbott H. Thayer, Angel, 1887, oil
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of John Gellatly

/51

Jan 14  Tuesday.  This morning after taking care of my room went

to the store and into Mr Carrs to offer my assistance there.

Lewis Carr died last night very suddenly bleeding at the 

lungs.  Has been in a decline since last July but was about

the house as usual yesterday and conversed with O A and 

his friends in the evening & told what he was going to do when

he got well.  about ten or eleven Oclock called to his mother

to come quick which was the last word & died almost instantly

This afternoon carried Mr & Mrs Whitwell to A A Gilmores.

The “white plague,” consumption, was a killer; today we know it as tuberculosis and, in parts of the world, it’s still killing.  In 19th century America, it was a leading cause of death, the scourge of young lives, particularly.  Its contagious properties were unknown, which helped it spread.  Although different treatments, such as prolonged rest in warm climates, were tried (when possible), no cure for the disease would be found until the middle of the 20th century.  Some people did recover from TB; most did not.

Lewis Carr, a friend of Oakes Angier Ames, was barely 20 years old. He was the son of Caleb and Chloe Carr of North Easton where the family had lived for generations.  His father, known as “Uncle Caleb” in his later years, was a life-long employee of the shovel works and close to the Ames family.  So close, in fact, that two decades later, Caleb would serve as a pall-bearer at Oakes Ames’s funeral.

It is typical that Evelina would help the Carr family at this time.  She and her sisters-in-law were often called upon to sew the shrouds that corpses were wrapped in, which is what she did on this day for the family.

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