Monday Oct 6th Went down to Dr Swans before 7 or 8 Oclock
so that I might find him at home and he has given
me some powders When I came back found the
dishes washed and put away Jane has been remarkable
smart I have finished my striped french print
and have worn it this afternoon Mr Brown
commenced school again to day Passed the evening
at Mr Holmes with Susan
Evelina sought help today from Dr. Caleb Swan, who gave her “some powders” for her nettlerash. She would have mixed a dosage with water and swallowed it. What was the actual medicine that she ingested? Did it contain the laudanum that was often dispensed to women in that era? Whatever it was, it seemed to make Evelina feel a bit better.
Jane McHanna, the Ames’s servant, washed the breakfast dishes for Evelina while she was at the doctor’s. Jane usually did the cooking and Evelina typically did the washing up, but in this case Jane must have recognized how sick Evelina was. Evelina was grateful for the assistance and praised Jane for being “remarkable smart.”
The day progressed well afterwards. Little Susie returned to school where Eratus Brown was her teacher. Did she miss her old teacher, Orinthia Foss? Evelina sewed and finished making a “striped french print” dress. Stripes were in fashion that fall, as the illustration above from Godey’s Lady’s Book shows. The illustration also shows that distortion of the female figure for advertising purposes was every bit as popular in 1851 as it is in 2014. The length of the woman’s legs in the drawing is improbable, unless she is standing on stilts under that full skirt. Look at her tiny foot sticking out from the hem!
Evelina even felt well enough to go out in the evening with her daughter. They went over to the Holmes’s where they probably visited with Harriet Holmes, the neighbor who had been so ill earlier in the summer. The Holmeses had a daughter, Mary, who was about Susie’s age.
* Fashion plate from Godey’s Lady’s Magazine, September 1851