February 22, 1852

georgewashington

1852

Feb 22nd Sunday Quite a snow storm this morning but

most all went to church.  I came home at noon on

account of a violent tooth ache and did not return.  Mrs

S Lothrop & son spent this afternoon, Frank carried

Orinthia home after meeting. Read in Grahams

Magazine  Mr Ames & self passed the evening at Edwins

It has cleared off very pleasant this evening

“It was a snowing this morning + all the forenoon and fell 2 or 3 inches deep wind southerly + thawd some  was clear at night,” according to Ames patriarch, Old Oliver. Yet the family rode through the snow to get to church. Poor Evelina got “a violent tooth ache” and had to go home after the first service. She must have felt better as the day progressed, for in the evening she and her husband, Oakes, went across the way to visit newlyweds Edwin and Augusta Gilmore.

Today was George Washington’s birthday. Born in 1732, he died in 1799, when Old Oliver was twenty years old. After Washington’s death, the young Congress of the day, whose partisanship between Federalists and the Jeffersonian Democrat-Republicans rivaled the divide we see in our modern Congress, came together to pass a resolution honoring the first president’s birthday. February 22, 1800 was dedicated to him and by 1832, the centennial of Washington’s birth, some type of observance of the holiday was customary.  The holiday did not become federal law until the 1879, and at the time was qualified as a “bank holiday.”

Old Oliver would have remembered the hero of the American Revolution and probably revered him, as most Americans did. Old Oliver was a child when the Constitution was written and ratified, and lived to see 16 presidents take office. For his generation, no American leader would be more heroic than General Washington.

 

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