February 6, 1851

Dance

Dance

Feb 6th Thursday  This forenoon was working about house & did

a little mending  Prepared some mince pie meat for baking

Have been into school this afternoon  There were but

about 50 schollars.  Mr Jackson appears to lack energy

Miss Lothrop appeared the best of the two.

There is a ball at Lothrop Hall to night for the first

time.  Oakes Angier & Frank have gone & Helen

Sarah A & Sarah W spent the evening here.  Pleasant but cold.

Thursday night seemed to be the night for dancing in southeastern Massachusetts. The Ames sons had already attended at least two Thursday evening assemblies in Canton during January and now in February they’re attending a gathering at Lothrop Hall (the location of which is uncertain: Eastondale, perhaps?  Does any reader of this blog know?) Tonight Oakes Angier and Frank Morton went. (Where was Oliver [3]?)  Evelina’s diary is unclear on whether their cousin Helen went with them or, more likely, stayed home with her mother and aunts – the latter option being more typical for shy Helen.

Earlier in the day, Evelina was evidently still involved with looking into local schooling, getting the lay of the land, perhaps, for the incoming Orinthia Foss.  By mid-century in Easton, there were four school districts, or “ricks” as they were known, in four different geographic areas of town.  Paid for by the occasionally reluctant Easton taxpayers, the schools taught local girls and boys up to grade eight or so.  Massachusetts, and New England as a whole, led the nation in its emphasis on education and, in Evelina’s time, Massachusetts had boasted a 96% literacy rate.

Susie was the only Ames child still attending school.  Oakes Angier, Oliver (3) and Frank Morton as boys had each attended school locally before being sent away to nearby private schools such as Leicester Academy.  On this night, however, dancing, not schooling, was foremost on their minds.

4 thoughts on “February 6, 1851

  1. I have a letter Helen wrote to her mother in 1887. The parents were in Paris no doubt buying art for their collection. Interesting handwriting for a shy person – very stylish and hard to read but clearly a ‘person on interest’ I would say…

  2. Bill – Now that I look at this, your letter must be written by Helen Angier (Ames) Hooper, who was a daughter of Fred and his wife, Rebecca Carolin “Callie” (Blair) Ames. This second Helen was born in 1862 and got married in 1887. The first Helen was born in 1836 and died unexpectedly in 1882.
    Would love to see this correspondence!

    • That is the one, for sure. dau of FLA. got my dates mixed up – written in haste as they say. i will photo copy and send to 10 High Street.

  3. Bill – Easy to get the generations confused, especially where the first names were repeated. The genealogy that you and Chilton did has been helpful to me. I’m working on a “Who’s Who” to post.

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