May 22, 1851



Thursday May 22d  The first thing after breakfast set out

a plant that Orinthia sent me last night.  Then

went to work in the sitting room taking up the 

carpet cleaning the closets &c  have finished cleaning

the room and the carpet partly down.  Aunt Orr

& Harriet, James Mitchell came to visit Mrs

Witherell about two Oclock and I left my work to

see them  Quite pleasant

Ordinarily, Evelina was tired and listless after a day in Boston, but not today. Orinthia Foss sent her a plant, a sweet token of friendship and thanks, and “the first thing” Evelina did was head to the garden to plant it. Before doing her chores! The plant meant a lot to her and the gesture from her young friend buoyed the day.

Carpet cleaning, closet cleaning, &c, &c, as Evelina would say, took up the morning and some of the afternoon. Guests arrived in the other part of the house, making a welcome interruption from housework.

The Orrs and Mitchells were old connections from Bridgewater, and their families had long been intertwined with the Ameses. Some of the earliest Ameses had settled in Bridgewater and, as a young man, Old Oliver had lived there. As we’ve noted before, Evelina boarded with one branch of the Orr family whenever she stayed over in Boston.  Aunt Orr was probably Susan Orr, a close friend who could remember when Oakes Ames was a baby.

There were many Mitchells in Bridgewater. James Mitchell, who ended up as a merchant in Philadelphia, was one of them.  He was married to a woman from Belfast, Maine named Harriett Lavinia Angier (possibly a distant relative in the Angier line.) He and his wife didn’t appear often in the Ames written records, but they were among the few non-family members who, years after this, would attend the funeral of Horatio Ames.  Perhaps James Mitchell and Horatio Ames had been friends growing up.

Mrs. James Mitchell’s married name was Harriett Angier Mitchell, almost the same as Harriett Ames Mitchell, Oakes’s youngest sister who was married to Asa Mitchell. The Harriett who accompanied James Mitchell today was most likely his wife, not Oakes’s sister. Confusing to us, certainly, but straightforward to them. Otherwise, a pleasant day in all respects.


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