Tuesday Sept 21st Have been almost sick to day and
not able to do much Got a quilt into the
new chamber for Catharine to work upon
Went to the funeral of Mrs Savage at
one Oclock. Called with Mrs Witherell at
Augustus, Mr Swains & on Mrs Wales. She
is confined to her bet yet and has been for weeks
It appears to have been Evelina’s turn to be ill, as she describes herself as unable “to do much.” We readers know how hard she usually worked, so not doing much might mean that she only accomplished four or five tasks today instead of a dozen. Despite feeling “almost sick,” Evelina managed to arrange sewing for her servant Catharine, attend the funeral of Hannah Savage and, with her sister-in-law, Sarah Ames Witherell, call on several households in the village. It’s hard to know if Evelina was spreading germs or picking them up as she went along, but she meant well.
According to Old Oliver Ames, “this was a fair day + pritty warm wind northerly,”* in other words a pleasant day to be out and about. Yet, in two of the homes that Evelina and Sarah visited, people were ailing. At the Swains’, their infant son was teething and fussy. At the home of Ephraim and Maria Wales, the latter was “confined to her bed yet,” an expression which hints at a recent or impending childbirth. Mrs. Wales was of childbearing age, yet census records show no children for this young couple. Perhaps Maria would lose or had lost an infant, or was simply ill with any one of a myriad of possible ailments.
*Oliver Ames, Journal, Stonehill College Archives, Arnold Tofias Collection