September 4, 1851



Thurs Sept 4th  This morning Orinthia left for Maine

& Pauline for Roxbury in the stage.  Mr Ames &

Oliver via Mansfield to Providence.  Oliver is

delighted with the idea of going to school & I am

sure he will improve his time  It seems

very lonely to day I have taken the bedstead down from

the boys chamber to clean it swept the parlour & washed

most all the windows in the lower part of the house both sides

Guests and family departed the Ames compound in North Easton today. Schoolteacher Orinthia Foss left to return to Maine, probably to Leeds where her parents and two younger siblings lived.  Houseguest Pauline Dean, left, too, taking the stage with Orinthia as far as Roxbury. Her final destination was unknown.  The most noteworthy departure, however, was that of 20-year-old Oliver Ames, middle son of Oakes and Evelina.  He was going to college.

Oakes Ames, after having resisted giving his son a college education, had evidently made a decision to let Oliver go. Father and son traveled together to Providence.  Perhaps Oakes helped his son find his living quarters, perhaps he explored the campus at Brown in an attempt to know it for himself, if he didn’t know it already. Sarah Lothrop Ames’s brother from Detroit, George Van Ness Lothrop, had once attended the school; Oakes and Oliver must have known that.

Established in 1764, Brown was the third oldest college in New England. Manning Hall, the neoclassical building shown in the photograph above, was the newest building on campus. No doubt it was a building that Oliver went into often, for it held both the library and the chapel. The president of the college at the time was Francis Wayland, a Baptist minister, who was stern but beloved and progressive.

As Evelina noted, Oliver was immensely pleased to be going to Brown, and she, in turn, seemed pleased for him. She was confident that he would study hard and do well.  Her pride didn’t protect her from feeling
“very lonely” today, though.  Choring was the only antidote she could imagine to liven up the quieter house.




Manning Hall, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

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