July 2, 1851

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Wednesday July 2d  Have had quite a busy day.  This forenoon

cut out three shirts for the sewing circle and worked

a long while in the garden transplanting

Oliver went to Bridgewater and carried Mrs Whitwell

Mrs Witherell and me to the sewing circle at Alsons.

After I got home went to work on boquets

for Oakes & Frank.  Harriet assisted

Mrs S Ames went [to] Exeter this morning

Today is one of those instances when we can’t be certain which Oliver is being referred to.  Did Evelina’s brother-in-law, Oliver Jr., or son, Oliver (3) carry Evelina, Sarah Witherell and Eliza Whitwell to the Sewing Circle at Henrietta Gilmore’s?

Besides attending the monthly gathering of the Unitarian women to sew, Evelina also spent time in her flower garden.  She transplanted a number of flowers and picked several to fashion into two bouquets. Her sons, Oakes Angier Ames and Frank Morton Ames, planned to attend a party in Middleboro the next day and needed what we might call corsages to take to their dates (a modern word they wouldn’t have used.) She and her sister-in-law, Harriett, arranged the flowers appropriately.

Sarah Lothrop Ames had business of her own to attend to.  She went up to Exeter, New Hampshire, where her son Fred Ames was in school. Was she picking him up to bring him home or just visiting?

3 thoughts on “July 2, 1851

  1. Hi Sarah,
    Sometime, if you get a chance, could you scan a sample of Evelina’s handwriting? I’d love to see it.
    Also, do you know what level of education she might have had?

    Thanks
    Tad

    • Yes, I’d be happy to scan a sample of one of the diary entries, though the handwriting is quite faded by now, as you can imagine. It may take me awhile to get to it, but I’ve always thought a consideration of Evelina’s handwriting would make a good post!
      My guess on her education is that she studied up until about 8th grade, which was a standard cut-off for many public schools at that time. She was well-educated, however. She could keep her own accounts, write letters and journals and certainly she read. From time to time her grammar betrays her modest upbringing, but her script is neat, gentle and legible. No flourishes.

  2. Thank you.
    I suspect some of the spelling might be attributed to the time. I believe in his book about the history of the family Winthrop Ames made some mention of spelling not being such a strict convention. I know he was referring to an earlier age, but even today the language is changing with usage and simplified spelling.

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