June 27, 1851

weedy flower bed

*

June 27 Friday  John left here this morning

Worked a long time in the garden

this morning for the weeds were very plenty

afterwards finished picking over the hair and

a long job it has been.  This afternoon put the hair

into the hair cloth cover and just commenced tying

it when Mrs Clark and Mrs Stetson came from

Sharon and of course had to leave it and go

into the other house house to see them. Mother & I stoped to tea

Pigweed, thistle, crabgrass, and purslane: Such weeds – and more – are the collective bane of the flower gardener. Evelina tackled some of them this morning as she addressed the “very plenty” weeds that were pushing into her flower beds. Perhaps she ruminated about her brother John and his short visit while her fingers dug into the soil.

After midday dinner she turned to her sewing, as usual, going right to her haircloth slipcover project, but abandoned it with alacrity when an opportunity for socializing turned up.  “Had to leave it and go..” she noted, when two friends from nearby Sharon arrived next door.  She and her mother, Hannah Lothrop Gilmore, went over for tea.

Frank Ames Mitchell, a nephew of Oakes and Evelina, turned ten years old today.  One of two grandsons of Old Oliver named Frank (the other being Frank Morton Ames,) he was the eldest son of Oakes’ sister, Harriett Ames Mitchell. He, his mother, and two younger siblings were living temporarily in Bridgewater while their father, Asa Mitchell, was working in coal in western Pennsylvania.

Our knowledge about Frank Mitchell is limited, as he never married or had any known issue. We do know that he was the only Ames grandson to fight in the Civil War.  He served in both the 44th and the 56th Massachusetts Regiments, and ultimately made captain.  In 1864, he was wounded at Cold Harbor.  Hospitalized in Washington DC, where his mother rushed to his side, he eventually recovered but remained in indifferent health for the rest of his life.

After the war, Frank bought a plantation in Tallullah, Louisiana, an effort that was underwritten and ultimately bought out by his Uncle Oliver Ames, Jr.  Family records show that Frank subsequently depended on financial support from his cousin Fred Ames. The remainder of his life consisted of traveling from one healthful climate or resort to another in search of good health.

 

* A modern flower garden, full of weeds, from canoecorner.blogspot

5 thoughts on “June 27, 1851

  1. Interesting info on Frank Ames Mitchell. The Battle/Debacle of Cold Harbor just had its 150th celebration this spring, so Frank would probably have been in a hospital in or near Washington, DC at this time 150 years ago. Oakes would be visiting him, as he came to visit Stoughton’s Pvt Edward Alfred Waldo in May 1864, as Waldo mentions it in his diary (or else it is mentioned in a letter sent home by his uncle). Waldo, who had been wounded in the protracted Battle(s) of Spotsylvania Courthouse died from his wounds not long after that.
    And a Stetson gets mentioned. There are stories about Old Oliver apprenticing with the Stetsons of Walpole and I have imagined that Oliver discovered Easton and what became “the Great Pond” in his travels from West Bridgewater to Walpole, a route which took him through Easton and Stoughton, possibly along Canton St in Easton, and my street, Highland St in Stoughton, both of which run parallel to the pond which now bears his name, and which was first dammed up in a much smaller way than Oliver eventually did in 1793-4. For some reason, Eastoners generally refer to it a Long Pond, not Ames Pond.

    • Thanks again, Dwight, for some interesting background. No doubt, Congressman Oakes Ames went to visit his nephew Frank Mitchell in the hospital. That would be just like him. And when Harriet Ames Mitchell went from Bridgewater to D.C. to see her son, she may very well have stayed with Oakes and Evelina there; at the very least, she would have seen them during her stay.

  2. And as for weeding, two of the grandchildren are supposed to arrive some time this morning. My plan is for them to begin by weeding the dry sunflower strip, before I water it. How much can they damage the sunflowers? Whereas the onions, which also need weeding, having been watered and weeded several times in the last week, are much more fragile. We are in a very dry spell and the places you don’t water have relatively few weeds, but if you water a spot, they will come.

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