1852 Friday this morning I invited Mrs Lothrop here
but she went to Mrs Jason Howards to spend the day
came here this evening Mrs S Ames & Fred dined
here Mrs & Mr Horace Pool Mrs W Williams Abby
Edwin & wife Oliver & wife & Fred & Mrs Witherell
were here to tea All came unexpectedly. Had
a very pleasant visit from them.
Many folks came to call today. Sarah Ames Lothrop and her son, Frederick Lothrop Ames, joined the Ameses for midday dinner. (Although Oliver (3) had returned to Brown, Fred hadn’t yet gone back to Harvard.) A real crowd arrived “unexpectedly” for tea. Sarah and Fred returned, bringing Oliver Ames Jr. with them. Sarah Ames Witherell came in from the other part of the house, resulting in all three sisters-in-law being together. Newlyweds Edwin and Augusta Gilmore walked over from their nearby home, and old Mrs. Gilmore – Evelina’s mother – was already on the premises. The family gathered.
From farther away came Horace and Abby Avery Pool, uncle and aunt to the bride, Augusta. A Mrs. W. Williams arrived, as did Abby Torrey, Evelina’s niece. Abby’s head must have been full of the previous evening’s entertainment, that of Willard Lothrop’s visit and trance. It’s likely that some of this evening’s conversation turned on spiritualism. One wonders what Oakes and Oliver Jr. thought of the topic.
Perhaps Evelina served some ginger snaps or currant cake from Tuesday’s baking. The tea itself could have been one of any number of types. Lydia Maria Child published her opinion on the subject: “Young Hyson is supposed to be a more profitable tea than Hysons; but though the quantity to a pound is greater, it has not so much strength. In point of economy, therefore, there is not much difference between them. Hyson tea and Souchong mixed together, half and half, is a pleasant beverage, and is more healthy than green tea alone. Be sure that water boils before it is poured upon tea A tea-spoonful to each person, and one extra thrown in, is a good rule. Steep ten or fifteen minutes.”*
*Lydia Maria Child, The American Frugal Housewife, 1846