July 23, 1852

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19th century tailor’s shears*

July 23d  Friday  Have cut the skirt & sleeves

& cape to my traveling dress and 

have set Mary to work on the skirt

and I have taken the sleeves

Mrs Stevens has sent me the lining

but not the trimming  Julia Mahoney

is at work at Olivers  Mr Torrey

and Abby called this morning

Evelina was back in good humor today. The thermometer was going down and she had a new project to work on. Shears in hand, she cut out the pieces for her new traveling dress, and probably the lining, too. Designed with a cape to fit over the shoulders, it would be a very fashionable outfit. She didn’t yet have the trimming she needed, and the dress would take longer to sew than she wished, but it would be finished in time for a trip she didn’t even know she would have to make.

Col. John Torrey, the widower of Evelina’s late sister Hannah, came to call.  As we have noted in earlier posts, Mr. Torrey lived in the village of North Easton in a building – a boarding house of sorts – whose spare rooms he rented out. Through Rev. William Chaffin’s history of the town, we learn that Mr. Torrey was a controversial character. Listed as a trader in the town census, and a one-time colonel of the local militia, he was considered laughable by some. Another local character, an erudite shovel-worker named James Adams, wrote a mock-heroic poem about him, the “derisive and scathing”* verses of which are lost. Yet Evelina appeared to enjoy her brother-in-law’s company and brand of humor, and she was devoted to his daughters Abby and Melvina.

*William Chaffin, History of Easton, Massachusetts, 1886, pp. 764-765

 

 

*Image courtesy of etsy.com

2 thoughts on “July 23, 1852

  1. Ah, yes, we are still in search of the James Adams verses re: Torrey and others. Maybe Chaffin destroyed his copies thereof, because they have yet to be located. I’m sure that they were very prejudicial and subjective, but they would give us more insight into why James Adams said good bye to the hammer shops and hello to the life of a tinker, drinker, poor-house resider, who outlived Oakes.

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