Sat Nov 8th Jane is still in Mansfield and Bridget
sick consequently I have to do the housework and
I have scarcely sat down for one moment Alson
came up with a load of vegitables and Hannah
called and I left my work while they stopped
Mrs Witherell came home this evening and I have been
in there Mr Ames went to Boston stopt at Canton to a
whig meeting. Oakes & Frank brought him home.
Not only was the dependable Jane McHanna away, but the Ames’s second servant, Bridget O’Neil, was sick. Dr. Ephraim Wales had checked in on Bridget the previous evening but she was still laying low. Evelina, capable if disinclined, was faced with doing her own housework. She spent most of the day choring, as she called it.
Her brother, Alson Gilmore, drove a wagon up from the Gilmore family farm to deliver a “load of vegitables” to the Ameses. His daughter-in-law, Hannah Lincoln Gilmore, who lived right in the village, came to call and for those visits, Evelina paused to chat. Once they left, however, she must have plunged into sorting and storing the vegetables that Alson had brought. By this time of year, they would most likely have been root vegetables such as turnips, parsnips, carrots and potatoes. She would have stored them somewhere cool, dry and varmint-free: the cellar, if it wasn’t too wet, or the buttery or even the shed. Sharp-eyed housewife that she was, Evelina would have made sure everything was put away safely.
Oakes Ames, meanwhile, went to Boston as usual on this Saturday, but also “stopt at Canton to a whig meeting.” The following Monday was Election Day and the party faithfuls were gathering in anticipation. This is the first mention in Evelina’s diary of Oakes’s participation in local politics. Their son, Oakes Angier, had shown interest earlier in the year, running unsuccessfully for the Easton school superintending committee, and attending the Whig convention in Springfield. But her husband’s interest, although it had probably existed prior to this moment, had not drawn comment. Evelina mentions the meeting most likely because of the impending vote, but the statement coming so close on the heels of an undisclosed agreement she and Oakes had made only one week earlier gives creedence to the possibility that their agreement had something to do with Oakes’s waxing interest in politics.