March 18, 1851

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1851

March 18th Tuesday  A very bad north East snow

and Orinthia did not keep school and we both

sit down to sewing quite early.  She to work

on a coarse shirt for Oakes Angier and I have

made a collar and finished the shirt that

I commenced yesterday  Wm Called for the 

first time since he came here.  A[u]gustus dined 

& spent the night

More snow, enough to call off school and prevent nephew Augustus Gilmore from departing to his lodgings at Mr. Wrightman’s.  Did it fall on any little crocuses in Evelina’s flower beds? Wasn’t it getting to be springtime?

Augustus, a man with a robust figure and evident appetite, continued to spend time with the Ames family, often joining them at dinner. Did he pay for his board, or did Evelina and Oakes give him free meals?  Evelina began to track his meals by underlining those occasions in her diary.  Why? Did she begrudge her nephew’s presence in the dining room, or did her tracking of his meals have some other purpose?

William Leonard Ames, youngest living son of Old Oliver, had been visiting in North Easton for ten days, yet today was the first time he called on Evelina and Oakes.  His avoidance of their parlor spoke loudly of the animosity between William and Oakes.  His pronounced delay in paying a call on his oldest brother might well have been his only way to retaliate for the financial distress that Oakes had caused him in the closing of the family ironworks in New Jersey, an operation that had been in William’s care.  For a deeply researched account of the particulars of the rift between the two brothers, in which the blame seems to lie more with Oakes, see Greg Galer’s thesis, Forging Ahead.  

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