May 29th Thursday Worked in the garden upon weeds untill about
eleven Oclock & then put clean curtains up in the
sitting room & dining room. have taken up the
carpet & had the dining room cleaned
Early this afternoon changed my dress and sit down
to sewing which I have not done before for a long
while worked on Susans dresses that Julia cut.
It has rained all the afternoon had fire in furnace
Today was an anniversary of sorts. According to Old Oliver Ames, exactly one year earlier, Sarah Witherell and Sarah Ames had been injured in a carriage accident: “Sarah + Olivers wife went to Foxborough today and they got hove out of the carriage + hurt some.” Fortunately, no lasting harm seems to have occurred to either woman.
What had happened? Had their horse taken a fright and tried to run away? Carriage accidents were usually the result of horses bolting, spooking or crashing.* Sudden noises – a dog barking, a wave crashing, a flock of birds lifting off, a train whistle – could startle a horse and make it run. Some statistics suggest that horse travel was more dangerous than today’s car travel. For a time, in cities like New York and Chicago, more people per capita were killed in horse-related accidents than are killed now in automobiles. Travel, then as now, was risky.
Probably oblivious to any recollection of last year’s accident, Evelina managed to spend several hours weeding in her flower garden before rain arrived. In the afternoon she bent to some sewing and worked on dresses for Susan. Given how fast children grow, Susie’s dresses needed to be completed sooner rather than later. No doubt Evelina put tucks into these newest clothes for her daughter, intending to make them last.