Jan 15 Wednesday This morning after doing my usual
morning work went to Mr Carrs to put the robe on the
corpse. in the afternoon attended the funeral. Mr
Whitwell spoke very well to the mourners & made a good
prayer Mr Whitwell and Mr Reed were over to tea. After
they went away I passed the evening at Olivers with Mr
& Mrs Peckham Made a hair cloth cover for one of the
rocking chairs cushions and sewed in the evening on a
Today Evelina attended the first of several funerals she will go to over the course of her diary. The death of young Lewis Carr won’t be the only case of consumption, either. In this case, she helped the Carr family by sewing a robe for the body and dressing the corpse. Death was familiar to women like Evelina; tending to its aftermath was one of their responsibilities.
And then life went on. After the service, Evelina (with Jane McHanna’s help, certainly) served tea to Rev. Whitwell and Mr. Reed, another man from Easton. There were several Reed families in town, so we can’t know for sure which Mr. Reed came to tea. In her diary, Evelina mentions Daniel Reed most frequently. Daniel was a carpenter, according to the census; today we might call him a builder. In any case, he was well known to the Ameses. His wife, Mary Reed, was a member of a sewing circle to which the Ames sisters-in-law belonged and the family attended the Unitarian church.
After dark, Evelina walked next door to Oliver Jr. and Sarah Lothrop Ames’s house to visit with Joseph and Susan Peckham. She may have taken her work box with her to sew while they visited. No doubt, they discussed the death of Lewis Carr.