October 2, 1851

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Oct 2d Thursday  Helped Ellen quilt some this forenoon 

She seems to do pretty well at it

Mrs Elijah & Ellen Howard & Mrs Abba Leach

spend the day and evening in the other part

of the house  I was there at tea.  Oliver &

wife have been to her fathers  Mr Ames has been

to Boston   Lavinia Williams came in the stage

with him but he did not speak to her

Evelina and her servant, Ellen, worked on the new quilt this morning .  Evelina had set the quilt up in the sitting room using a frame that could be dismantled and stored. The frame would have had four wooden legs at the corners, such as those in the illustration above.  Long boards around which the quilt edge was wrapped would have been fastened into the corners, creating an adjustable rectangle on which the women could work.  When finished the pieces of wood would be stowed away until needed again.

In the other part of the house, Sarah Witherell welcomed Nancy Howard, her daughter Ellen Howard, and Mrs. Abba Leach for the day. The women made a social visit that lasted all day and into the evening. Did they bring any needlework or sewing with them, or was conversation the only occupation? Evelina dropped in for tea, but Sarah Lothrop Ames from next door didn’t join them. She and her husband Oliver Jr were calling on her parents, the Hon. Howard Lothrop and his wife Sally. The Lothrop family may still have been wrestling over how to manage the family farm since the death of Clinton Lothrop, Sarah’s younger brother.

From Boston, where he was probably collecting orders for shovels, Oakes Ames returned home on the stagecoach where he sat with an acquaintance of Evelina, Lavinia Williams.  Mrs. Williams was the wife of Cyrus Williams, a local farmer of some means. Evelina seemed surprised that Oakes and Lavinia didn’t converse en route.

Even as Evelina was looking back at the day’s small social exchanges, she was beginning to feel unwell, something she wouldn’t report for another few entries.

 

 

 

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