December 10, 1851

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Dec 10th  Wednesday.  Mrs S Witherell S Ames and

self have spent the day quilting at Mrs Reeds

on a quilt that belongs to the sewing circle  Have

had a fine time.  Met quite a number of

ladies there. Had a taste of Mrs Howards mince

pie  We stopt the evening.  Mrs Witherell

J R Howard & Mr Harrison Pool came  We carried

Mrs Elijah Howard home

Although Evelina had reported the conclusion of the Sewing Circle season on November 5, today “quite a number” of Unitarian women met again to work on a quilt. They worked all day and into the evening, making the event even more sociable than usual.  Caroline Howard and Nancy Howard were among Evelina’s friends who attended and enjoyed tea and mince pie.

In New York City, meanwhile, Oakes Ames would have been wrapping up his business affairs and preparing to return home, having been away since the 3rd of the month.  Surely, not every moment of his trip had been devoted to shovels. He was no drinker, so the bartenders in the city wouldn’t have poured him any whiskey, but, like his wife, he was sociable.  He might have joined friends or clients for dinner. He also might have done favors for family or friends from home.

Rev. William Chaffin tells us that Oakes once searched out some socks in New York for his father’s coachman, Michael Burns, whom Chaffin described as “an Irishman of the old style.” Not long after Michael had emigrated to Massachusetts, “his mother, still alive in Ireland, knit him several pairs of socks, and sent them over by a friend of Michael’s.  She supposed that anyone coming over would necessarily ‘see my son Michael.’ But the friend found on landing at New York that he was two hundred miles away.  He wrote Michael telling him that he would leave the socks at a certain address.”

Michael approached Oakes “and asked him if he wouldn’t hunt up the socks and bring them home. It was just the sort of kindness Mr. Ames delighted in, and so when he went to New York he hunted up the socks with some difficulty and brought them to the overjoyed Michael.”*

*William L. Chaffin, “Oakes Ames 1804/1873”, Easton Historical Society, North Easton, 1996, pp. 6-7

 

 

 

 

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