September 22, 1851

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Mon Sept 22nd  This morning sat down to sewing and fixing some work

for Ellen cut the breadths for a bedquilt and was in 

hopes to have a quiet day & week to sew but it has 

not commenced very fair  About noon Susan was

complained of an itching & burning and on examination

I find her back was broken out in great blotches &

this evening she is completely covered & in great agony

A Mr Bronson is stopping here from Pennsylvania

Monday morning at the Ames’s meant that after breakfast, Jane McHanna turned to doing laundry and Evelina, after doing dishes and other chores, sat down to sew.  She had in mind to make a quilt – perhaps she had liked one of the quilt designs featured in this month’s Godey’s Lady’s Magazine. She cut out some “breadths” of fabric and imagined she’d have most of the day to work on the project.

At midday, however, just at the time when dinner was usually put on table and the men returned from the shovel shop for the big meal of the day, nine-year old Susie reported not feeling well. Something on her back itched and burned. It got worse as the hours passed and by bedtime she was suffering. What was going on?

To complicate matters, the Ameses had a houseguest staying for the night, a Mr. Bronson who was most likely in town on shovel business.  How difficult it must have been for Evelina to give him proper attention and tend to her daughter at the same time. So much for sewing.

Quilt designs from Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1851

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