August 30, 1851



Sat Aug 30th Have been marking Olivers clothes and fixing

them.  Called to Mr Whitwells Major Seba Howards

Mr Samuel Dunbars and at Alsons with Pauline

Took tea at Alsons brought Orinthia home with us

All of Mr John Pools family were there or rather

Rachel Augusta & Elisabeth.  Mrs Stevens came

there yesterday  Alson & Mr N Hall here to

dinner & tea

Another sociable Saturday was enjoyed by many throughout Easton, as friends and neighbors rode here and there calling on one another. As one modern historian has noted, “formal and informal forms of socializing were the most common amusements throughout the period. Then, as now, folks liked to visit one another, usually after supper and on weekends. The middle class gathered in their parlors, talked, sang, played games, and so on.”**

Evelina certainly did her part. With her friend Pauline Dean, she paid calls on various friends, including the Howards, the Dunbars, and the dependable Reverend Whitwell and his wife Eliza. At her brother Alson’s farm, where they took tea and visited with old Mrs. Gilmore, they chatted with three daughters of the John Pool family, including Rachel, Augusta and Elizabeth.  Rachel and Augusta had visited Evelina earlier in the month and accompanied her to the company store and the shovel shop.  Evelina was a friend to young women – especially to Orinthia Foss, the schoolteacher, whom they scooped up and took back to North Easton.

On their way home, as they likely rode past fields of Queen Anne’s Lace and Goldenrod, did they acknowledge that summer was coming to an end?


Photograph by John S. Ames III

** Marc McCutcheon, Everyday Life in the 1800s, Cincinnati, 1993, p. 200.


7 thoughts on “August 30, 1851

  1. Is Samuel Dunbar from the Canton Dunbars, who have a connection to the Thoreau/Keene NH Dunbars, or some other line of Dunbars?

    • Dwight – I don’t know anything about the Dunbars. Do you? I’ll check the census, though, next time I get a chance and see what information is there.

  2. We have published the 1762-3 and 1806 Diaries of Elijah Dunbar Esq. He was the son of Rev. Samuel Dunbar, who served as the First Precinct’s (the current Canton’s) minister for many decades. Elijah had a son, Samuel, but he went to Charlton, MA later in life. So I know a fair amount about the Canton Dunbars and have some info in the Keene Dunbars, but I can’t tell if the Samuel Dunbar in Easton in 1851 was of either line. Odds are that he was a great grandson or great nephew of the Rev Samuel, (who had many children by 3 wives, and they for the most part reproduced similarly) but I can’t show the connection yet. I don’t have my Chaffin with me in NH, but maybe he has something to say about him.

  3. Dwight: There are 17 Dunbars listed in the index for Chaffin, none of whom are named Samuel. And Evelina doesn’t identify which Dunbar she went to visit. But as you suggest, a connection to the Canton Dunbars is likely. Thanks!

  4. But she does say which Dunbar: “Called to Mr Whitwells Major Seba Howards

    Mr Samuel Dunbars and at Alsons with Pauline.”

  5. Dwight: I quickly went through the 1850 and 1855 census and couldn’t find any Samuel Dunbar in Easton. I did find other Dunbars, including a Moses, a Lemuel, and a Bravo C. Dunbar and maybe a few more. Wondering if I mis-transcribed the “Samuel”, I checked the original diary and still believe it to say “Samuel.” It’s puzzling.

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