Wednesday Sept 8th Was baking and at work
about house all the forenoon and this afternoon
have been to Olivers to the sewing Circle Had
a pretty full meeting Mrs Buck & Sarah were there
and worked on Mr Ames shirts After tea we
all went into the gardens Mother came from
there to night and will stop a few days here
It was time for Sewing Circle again. The ladies of the Unitarian Church and their pastor, William Whitwell, met right next door at the home of Sarah Lothrop Ames and Oliver Ames Jr. They sewed, socialized and probably listened to a few words from Mr. Whitwell. Evelina was pleased to get some help making shirts for her husband. The women all had tea and then walked about the garden, which must have been in its last foliage. Old Mrs. Gilmore, who probably had been brought to the meeting by her daughter-in-law, Henrietta, stayed over to spend a few days with her daughter.
Also on this date, another gathering of mostly women took place in Syracuse, New York. Led by suffragist Lucretia Mott, the Third National Women’s Rights Convention ran for three days and was certainly a headier, more disruptive kind of meeting than the one that Evelina attended. Mrs. Mott kept order well, although “at one point she felt it necessary to silence a minister who offended the assembly by using biblical references to keep women subordinate to men.” Many suffragists spoke, including Ernestine Rose, who responded to the offending minister with a reminder that ” the Bible should not be used as the authority for settling a dispute, especially as it contained much contradiction regarding women.” *
Two particularly noteworthy incidents happened at this annual gathering. Lucy Stone wore a pair of Turkish trousers, better known at “Bloomers, ” and the attendees were treated to the first public speech of a newcomer to the cause of suffrage: Susan B. Anthony. Did Evelina read about any of this in the papers? Was she scornful or curious or disinterested? At no point in her diary does she comment on the nascent suffrage movement.
*National Women’s Rights Convention, Wikipedia, accessed Sept. 7, 2015