March 14, 1851

Hose

March 14 Friday  Quite early this morning sat down to 

mending the stockings.  Jane had mended them for two

or three weeks & they were very much out of order.  At

ten Oclock comenced working on the new pattern shirt

& finished it before eight the bosom was ready to put in.

made the button holes & helped Orinthia finish a

a coarse shirt of Oakes Angier.  Very pleasant

but bad traveling

Jane McHanna, the Irish servant who did the laundry and cooking for Evelina and Oakes Ames, was not much of a seamstress.  She had recently been assigned the task of mending everyone’s stockings, or hose as they were also known, but evidently, Jane’s mending did not pass muster. Evelina had to see to the work herself.  This explains why we’ve never heard of Jane sewing any of the shirts that Evelina had been working on for weeks.

Orinthia Foss was around to rely on, however.  When not teaching her little classroom, she seemed to help Evelina in various ways, sewing and choring.  Evelina must have been grateful not just for the assistance, but also for the company of another adult female in a home usually filled with the sounds and sights of four grown men and one little schoolgirl.

“Bad traveling” meant that the roads were in transition from winter to spring.  Roads weren’t paved, of course, so by this time of the year they were rutted, rough and still patchy with snow or wet with puddles. Sleighs no longer worked, so wagons, carriages and carts had to bump and rock along the byways.  Hard to say who had tougher going, the animals pulling or the passengers riding.

3 thoughts on “March 14, 1851

  1. This makes me think of my grandmother who always mended stockings. Now, if there’s a hole in the toe we just throw them out. Wouldn’t these ladies be appalled?

    • Yes, Linda, you’re right. The women of earlier days wouldn’t understand our disposable culture; they practiced “reusability.”

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