November 5, 1851

Thread

Wednesday Nov 5th  This forenoon I painted the water pails and 

several kegs or butter firkins  Looked over my sheets

and put them in order.  Afternoon went to the sewing 

circle at Mr Horace Pools our last meeting for the 

season  Mrs Elijah Howard had the bag and we

had no work  We were invited to Mr Sheldons Mrs

Hubbell Ames & Witherell went  Father has

changed Dominic for another horse of Nelson Howard

Evelina demonstrated her range of housekeeping skills today.  She put fresh paint on wooden pails, kegs and firkins for her pantry, cellar and shed, and organized her linen closet.  Her house was in order for the coming winter.

The last Sewing Circle of the year met this afternoon at Abby and Horace Pool’s house.  As always, the Unitarian ladies gathered in fellowship to sew and have tea, probably in the company of Rev. William Whitwell.  Today, however, they had no shared sewing to do, as Nancy Howard, whose turn it was to bring “the bag” of work, failed to deliver it.  No matter; the women seemed to cope.  Some went on to visit Luther Sheldon and, presumably, his wife Sarah.

The Reverend Luther Sheldon was the minister of the local Orthodox Congregational Church. A conservative and devout man in his mid-sixties, Sheldon had been involved two decades earlier in a controversial schism within Easton’s Congregational Church that resulted in the splitting off of a new congregation of Unitarians – including the Ameses.  Old Oliver and his sons had taken a leading role in encouraging Unitarianism, and made some enemies in the process.  Rev. William Chaffin, who came to town many years later, included an extensive examination of the controversy in his 1866 town history.

What did Old Oliver think of his daughter, Sarah Witherell, and their houseguests paying a call on the Sheldons? Or did he pay any attention at all to their socializing?  He may have been too busy horse-trading.

 

 

One thought on “November 5, 1851

  1. If I understand Chaffin correctly, Old Oliver was more of an abritrator, than a partisan in the church schism. Yes, he supposedly said, “Choose the Unitarian,” but he was also selected to mediate the split. I think that he had the reputation as a hard man, but a fair one. From what can surmised from our 150-250 yr old documents, he was a lot more passionate about shovels and oxen than religion, but we see through the glass darkly. Who knows what the journals do NOT say, either because such things were too obvious to be said or not considered appropriate to be recorded for a wide range of reasons?

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