January 5, 1852

Abbott H. Thayer, Angel, 1887, oil Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of John Gellatly

Abbott H. Thayer, Angel, 1887, oil
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of John Gellatly



Monday Jan 5 th

Another stormy Monday and we have not been 

able to put our clothes out  Susan washed the

dishes this morning and Jane has done the rest

of the work.  I have finished Susans hood and 

it looks very nice  Mrs Witherell came from

Boston to night  Mr Witherell died about six

yesterday morning


Old Oliver was keeping track of the stormy weather, noting that “it raind + snowd all last night. the snow fell about 2 inches deep + is a snowing now wind north east but it does not blow so hard as it did yesterday. it snowd untill about 3 O clock but was cloudy all day.” One imagines that he had his face close to the window panes of his sitting room – or accounting office, perhaps – as the snow fell outside.

Sarah Witherell returned from Boston in that same snow and wind, having managed to reach her father-in-law’s bedside before he passed away. She would gather her children and return to the city for the funeral.

Evelina, meanwhile, sewed and supervised household chores. “Another stormy Monday” meant that wet laundry was dried in the kitchen and around the house, near heat registers and the air tight stove that helped keep Evelina’s plants from freezing. Parts of the house were draped with white sheets and garments, the floors or carpets wet beneath them. Susie Ames helped some by doing the dishes, a chore that was becoming her regular responsibility. Jane McHanna, of course, bore the lion’s share of the work, with the laundry and “the rest.”



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