Jan 3d Saturday
Finished my old hood and ripped Susans
old one & washed the lining and have partly quilted
it once again Have spent all the afternoon in
mending Franks shop coat. Sewed this evening
untill nearly ten have not read at all
Mrs Witherell received news last night that her
father Witherell is not expected to live and she has gone
to see him.
Three-and-a-half years earlier, Sarah Ames Witherell had lost her husband, Nathaniel Witherell, Jr. Now, she had the sad duty of traveling to Boston to say goodbye to her husband’s father, Nathaniel Witherell, Sr. Someone must have written a letter to tell her he was ill and, ever dutiful, Sarah Witherell responded quickly to the news. Off she went.
Better news was that today was the birthday of one of Evelina’s many nieces, Mary “Melvina” (or “Malvina” as Evelina spelled it) Torrey. The youngest daughter of Evelina’s late older sister, Hannah Howard Gilmore Torrey, Melvina turned 11. Her father was Col. John Torrey, a high-profile personage in North Easton, of whom Evelina often writes. Melvina and her sister, Abby Torrey, were great favorites of Evelina; Melvina is the niece to whom Evelina gave a bloomer hat the previous summer.
In another ten years, Melvina would marry an older man, Sanford Blake Strout, who also lived in the village of North Easton, on Center Street. She would bear two sons, Byron Howard Strout and Havilen Torrey Strout.
* Illustration from Godey’s Lady’s Magazine, 1851