Partial view of Boston and Cambridge from the Bunker Hill Monument, early 1850s*
Friday April 23d Went to Boston with Mrs S Ames
Called on Mrs Stevens did not stop with
her more than 15 minutes. Went to Mr Orrs
at night Julia is there with her babe she
grows nicely and Julia is quite smart
I was about a great deal and was very
much fatigued but had a good […]
Evelina had not been out of Easton for more than two months. Her last trip to Boston had been in the middle of February, when she’d traveled in with her son Oliver (3) and shopped for prints for the parlor. That was before the fire at the shovel shop. With so much time having elapsed, she must have been eager to get to the city again.
She traveled into town with her sister-in-law, Sarah Lothrop Ames. They may have called together on family friend Mrs. Stevens, but they likely went their own ways afterwards. As usual, Evelina stayed with the family of Robert and Melinda Orr, where she visited their daughter Julianne Orr Harris (Mrs. Benjamin Winslow Harris) and her new baby, Mary, at whose birth Evelina had been present. Both mother and daughter seemed healthy.
Boston was probably bustling at this time of year, trees at the bud and the air cold but promising. The partial view of the city in the illustration above, made about this time, shows a city that was growing west and south. Between 1840 and 1850, its population had grown from 93,383 people to 136,881. By 1860, the count had reached 177,840. In this vista, railroads are visible, and a Back Bay sits ready to be completely filled..
The view was captured from the top of the Bunker Hill Monument, itself a recent feature of the landscape. Replacing an earlier monument also dedicated to the Revolutionary War battle in Charlestown, it was completed in 1842 and dedicated in 1843. Antiquarian Samuel Gardner Drake (and one of the founders of the New England Geneaological Society) published the panorama in his The History and Antiquities of Boston in 1856 .
*Partial image of Panorama of Boston and Cambridge from top of Bunker Hill Monument, from The History and Antiquities of Boston, published in 1856 by Samuel Gardner Drake