May 28, 1851

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1851

Wednesday May 28  Another busy day about house and what have

I done  I am sure I cannot tell how I do spend

my time  I have lengthened the valance for the 

new bedstead which took some time  Mrs Witherell

and Mrs S Ames have been to Dr Washburns to

have something done to their teeth.  Mrs Ames had

a new one put in  I have planted some Asters

Alousom & princes feathers &c.  Very pleasant

Either Evelina was getting absent-minded or her work load was so varied today that she just couldn’t keep track of all that she did. “What did I do all day?” she wondered when she sat down in the evening (or the next morning, perhaps) to record the day’s events in her diary.

For one thing, she worked on the textile that was to go with the new bedstead, a task that had to have been more pleasant than what her sisters-in-law, the two Sarahs, faced. They went to see a dentist, Dr. Nahum Washburn in Bridgewater. Dentistry in the nineteenth century was primitive compared to what it is today, and often involved extraction as a solution to toothache. A visit to the dentist was nothing to look forward to. Sarah Ames came home with a new tooth tucked somewhere in her mouth.

Working in her flower garden, of course, was another way Evelina spent her time. Today’s new plants included asters, alyssum, and prince’s feathers, a trio of choices that offered different texture and size.  Was she putting in seeds or seedlings?

2 thoughts on “May 28, 1851

  1. I think the thing that struck me today was that i just realized that she seems to be addressing someone. “I am sure I cannot tell [you] how I do spend my time.” I was thinking here it is 150 years later and she is addressing me, her great great grandson. It was just rather moving.
    Thanks for making that happen for all us greats, great-greats, g-g-g- &c

    • Nice point. Does she – or any diarist – ever imagine addressing anyone other than herself? Did Evelina have a sense of posterity? Perhaps you are exactly the audience she imagined.

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