December 11, 1851


Dec 11th Thursday.  Have had a bad head ache and

very bad cold  Called into the other part of the

house with Mrs S Ames.  Mrs Witherell had bound

the quilt that we quilted yesterday  Mrs R Pool

called & I went into Edwins house with her.  She & her

husband have spent the day at Augustus  I varnished

store room stairs & porch.  Mr Ames came from New York

Mr Clarke put the inside windows in sitting room

Both Evelina and Old Oliver noted that Oakes Ames “came from New York” today after having been away eight days. He was probably glad to be home; he confessed late in his life that he didn’t enjoy travel. And family dynamics, if they had altered at all in his absence, would have reverted to normal once his “stalwart and rugged”* self returned to his own place as the head of the household.

Evelina’s cold, which had been hovering since Sunday, finally landed with vehemence, although Evelina continued to be up and around. She sat with both sisters-in-law, Sarah Ames and Sarah Witherell, and went over to Edwin Gilmore’s new house with her niece (and Edwin’s sister) Rachael Gilmore Pool. In addition to socializing, Evelina varnished her porch and storeroom stairs. The strong smell from the varnish wouldn’t have helped her “bad head ache,” at all; in fact, it probably made it worse. What was she thinking? Was she too economical to let Mr. Scott complete the job? And did she know that she was spreading her cold everywhere she went?

*William L. Chaffin, Oakes Ames, 1804/1873, Easton Historical Society, North Easton, 1996, p. 1


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