May 10, 1851


Sat May 10th  My bonnet does not fit me at all.  Mr Ames

called to see if they would take it back & make

me another I shall have another journey into

Boston for a bonnet. I have not felt like

doing much to day and never do after being

in Boston. Orinthia came home to night in

fine spirits. feels rather better satisfied with

her purchases that I do. The weather tolerably pleasant.

The bonnet that Evelina ordered from Alfred Remick & Company in Boston didn’t fit, so Evelina asked her husband Oakes to return it for her while he was in Boston.  He always went into the city on business on Saturdays.  The idea of Oakes Ames, a tall, large-chested man with a charismatic but somewhat rough-hewn manner, standing at a millinery counter negotiating the fine points of his wife’s headware, is a mental image to be treasured. This man, who could build shovels, advise a president, and imagine a continental railroad, could also cajole a store clerk and convince him or her to take back the hat his wife just bought. Oakes Ames was a force to be reckoned with, a force who also loved his wife.

Evelina, having dispensed her husband on that important errand, puttered around the house in desultory fashion as she was wont to do after a trip to Boston.  Schoolteacher and boarder Orinthia Foss returned to the house from the city happy and light-hearted, pleased with her shopping.  She must have brightened Evelina’s flagging spirits – or made her more disappointed with her own acquisitions.

2 thoughts on “May 10, 1851

  1. Oh my goodness, you’re so right about what a treasure … the picture of Oaks Ames with his wife’s bonnet in hand does speak a thousand words.

    Thanks so much,

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