November 2, 1851



Sunday Nov 2d  This has been a stormy day, but this evening

has cleared off pleasant  I have been to meeting all

day & went to Mrs John Howards at noon with

Lavinia & Mother  Mr Ames came home at noon and it rained

so hard that he did not go back.  Mr Whitwell

gave us two fine sermons.  Mr Ames & self passed

the evening at Augustus.  Have made an agreement

which I hope we shall both be careful to keep.

At the end of this rainy, chilly Sunday at the start of November, “the most disagreeable month in the whole year,” according to the fictional Margaret March, eldest of Louisa May Alcott’s four sisters in “Little Women,” our non-fictional Evelina and her husband, Oakes, reached an important decision.  Unfortunately, we don’t know what that decision was.

Surely this entry is one of the most tantalizing in Evelina’s diary. She and Oakes “made an agreement” that she hoped they’d “both be careful to keep.”  What did they decide? What promises did they exchange? Oakes had been away from home a great deal lately; did their discussion stem from that? Was this the moment when Oakes determined to become involved in regional politics? Would he have needed Evelina’s approval?  If this was the case, what might he have asked of her, or offered her in exchange?

Or was the decision less historic and more pedestrian? Did their discussion have anything to do with domestic arrangements or the recent spending on the house? Were they going to exercise more prudent care of their “accounts,” as Evelina calls them? Did their agreement have something to do with their children? Did it stem from something Reverend Whitwell said in one of his “fine sermons”? What was this agreement?

And were they able to keep it?


2 thoughts on “November 2, 1851

  1. I agree that it is a fascinating question and one which you, as faithful peruser of this diary should try to figure out over the next month or two. Are there any changes that you can note? As for November, it was always a tough time for our pal Thoreau. More than once, he referred to it as “November-eat-heart” and undoubtedly had the scars to prove it.

  2. Very interesting indeed. Oakes was party to the discussion so very likely that it could have been politics. Maybe they convinced Alson to be his campaign manager. Sounds familiar….

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