May 9, 1851



May 9th Friday  Went out shopping about eight Oclock

and at ten met Mrs George Ames at Mr Daniels

She walked around with me looking for a dress

and other things, likewise met Abby & her cousins

and about 5 Oclock came across Orinthia She

said she should certainly be at home, but missed

of the cars. Mrs Ames left at half past 5 for N.Y.

with Mr Peckham. Returned home much fatigued


In Boston, stores opened so early that Evelina could start shopping at eight in the morning. She had ordered a bonnet the day before which she was able to pick up later in the day, so today’s shopping was more leisurely. She and her cousin-in-law, Almira Ames, stepped along “looking for a dress and other things.”  They probably walked along Washington Street and its side streets. Others from Easton were in town, too: her niece Abby Torrey and her own boarder, Orinthia Foss. The women were breaking out of their little town to find goods in the big city. The weather must have been especially cooperative.

Evelina finally returned to Easton “much fatigued.” Almira Ames, meanwhile, left for New York accompanied by the head clerk for O. Ames & Sons, John Peckham. They would have traveled by stagecoach or train from Boston or Stoughton. They were not running off together.  Rather, Mr. Peckham had shovel business in the city and, like a gentleman, accompanied the Widow Ames on what otherwise would have been a solo journey for each of them. Presumably, Almira lived in New York at this point in her life, although previously, she had lived in North Easton.


*Benjamin Champney (1817-1901), New Boston Theater, Washington Street, 1850

WC GC031/Benjamin Champney Watercolors Collection, Princeton University Library



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