Sat Dec 18th Had a good nights rest but still feel
very much fatigued and cannot make up
my mind to do much Miss Alger came to give
the 17th lesson and stopt to dinner.
Mrs Horatio Ames & son Horatio came in the
stage to night She has left her home and
how unhappy she must be
With the demanding travel of the last several days, and the emotional drain of seeing her son off, Evelina was “very much fatigued” today. She fell back into a routine of sorts, noting that Miss Alger gave another piano lesson to Susie Ames and Emily Witherell and stayed for midday dinner. But she had trouble engaging in her usual occupations: sewing, choring, mending or reading.
A new difficulty arrived, evidently to everyone’s surprise. Sally Hewes Ames and her eldest son, Horatio Ames Jr., arrived by stagecoach from Connecticut, bringing the news that she had left her husband Horatio. She intended to divorce him. Divorce! In a era when such an act was rare and invariably scandalous, Evelina’s foremost reaction was to feel sorry for her sister-in-law. “How unhappy she must be.”
Old Oliver records none of this drama, only the day’s weather, noting that it “was a cold day + a high north west wind + much the coldest day we have this season.” Winter was finally beginning to bite.