Tuesday Dec 14th Went to Boston with Mr Ames & Oakes A
and all dined at Mr Orrs Was undecided
whether to go with them to New York untill it
was nearly time for the cars to start but feared
if I did not go that I might reflect on it
hereafter Mr & Mrs Norris accompanied us
to the cars O A Ames & self called at Mrs Dorrs
just before we started. Bought some crockery
at Collamores & Perkins
Old Oliver recorded the momentous departure of his oldest grandson: “[T]his was a fair day wind north west, midling cold Oakes Angier Started for Cuba to day and his Father went to New York with him”* Oakes Angier was ill and had been advised to seek a more healthful climate in Cuba. After a week of preparation, he and both his parents headed into Boston to catch the train for New York, where Oakes Angier would board a ship bound for the West Indies.
Initially hesitant, Evelina had been afraid to commit to traveling to New York with her husband and son. But the real possibility of never seeing Oakes Angier again impelled Evelina to board “the cars” and go – a huge step for the small town soul. She managed a bit of shopping in Boston before boarding; the familiarity and ease of that activity may have helped allay her agitation about traveling.
The train that the family took would likely have been the early Hartford and New Haven Railroad, which connected to a train in Springfield or a steamship in southern Connecticut.** Caleb and Melinda Norris (she of the brand new dressing case) went with them to the station. Evelina and her family must have felt reassured to wave goodbye to caring friends. Everyone was hoping for the very best for Oakes Angier.
*Oliver Ames, Journal, Stonehill College Archives, Arnold Tofias Collection
** Ed. note: The development of railroad and steamship lines was rapid and ever-changing during this period; ownerships and lines merged and competed constantly. It’s difficult to pin down the exact route that the Ameses would have traveled between Boston and New York. Railroad buffs, please weigh in.