September 10, 1851


Wednes Sept 10th  Cousin Harriet spent the forenoon with

us & dined here.  I cut some shirts this

forenoon for Mr Ames, carried two to be made

at the sewing circle.  Met at John R

Howards this afternoon quite a number

there.  Carried mother down and she went 

home with Henrietta.  Mrs Stevens went into

Olivers with H. Mitchell


The monthly Sewing Circle, a gathering of women from the Unitarian congregation, met at the home of Caroline Howard, wife of John R. Howard, a book agent who lived near the geographic center of Easton.  Half a year had gone by since Evelina had had her turn hosting the group, back on February 12, when bad weather – and bad feelings, perhaps – prevented anyone from attending. By this time, she seemed to have forgotten that embarrassment and forgiven the friends who had failed to show up.

There was plenty of attendance at today’s meeting, however, including Evelina’s mother, Hannah Gilmore and sister-in-law, Henrietta Gilmore. The Ames sisters-in-law, both named Sarah, probably were there as well. All the women, as the saying went, set great store by these regular gatherings. Did they dress up for the meetings? They might well have, knowing that their fellow females would recognize and appreciate good sewing and fine material better than the men at home were likely to.

The only other regular gathering where women might pay particular attention to their attire would be church, where one’s “Sunday best,” was expected. Surely the Ames women were susceptible to this practice, even if one of the Ames men – Oakes – was not. Yet Evelina, for all the sewing she did, rarely described what she wore on any given day. Did she save her best outfits for Sewing Circle, or church, or both?

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