Saturday Aug 2d Mrs James Mitchell, Cousin & sister Harriett
Mitchell came to the other part of the house to day
Sister Harriet returned to E Bridgewater with them
Frank went to Boston to see a Dr about his
throat got him a white hat. We were all
invited into Mr Bucks to see Miss Lothrop from
Boston Orinthia & Helen went Mrs Witherell
& I called after tea the boys went in the evening
Evelina felt better. She was back in the social swing today, going out after tea with her sister-in-law Sarah Witherell to meet a Miss Lothrop. Earlier in the day, Sarah Witherell had entertained two or three women named Harriet in her parlor in “the other part of the house”: sister Harriett Ames Mitchell, friend Harriet Angier Mitchell (Mrs. James Mitchell) and, possibly, cousin Harriet Ames. It’s also possible that Evelina, in writing the word “cousin,” meant to identify Harriet Angier Mitchell as a cousin which, by a stretch of several “removeds,” she was. In the latter case, there was no cousin Harriet Ames present. Confusing to us, certainly, and, perhaps, confusing to them. Who was visiting in the parlor?
Old Oliver, meanwhile, was in the thick of haying season. He noted that “this was a fair good hay day wind south west and we got in all the hay we had out some of it had bin out over a week and all of it since last Monday –“
One young man who was neither outside with a pitchfork helping his grandfather nor inside the factory fashioning a shovel was almost-eighteen year old Frank Morton Ames. Frank had been suffering from a sore throat that he evidently couldn’t get the better of, so he took off to Boston to have it looked at. When he returned to Easton, he reported nothing alarming. Rather, he arrived with a startling new white hat, looking perhaps like one of the young men in the illustrated daguerrotype above. According to some sources, white beaver hats enjoyed a short vogue at this period. Frank must have stood out in the gathering at the Bucks’ house that evening.
* Image from Daguerreian Society, Mark Koenigsberg Collection