March 31, 1852

Thread

1852

March 31st Wednesday  Have been to the sewing circle

at Mr Harrison Pools.  Mrs S Ames & Augusta

went and we took Orinthia with us from Mrs Howard

Mother Henrietta Lavinia Rachel Mrs Nahum & Horace Pool

& Ann Pool were there   It rained very fast as we were

coming home  I left two shirts to be made that I

put in the circle last fall

The Sewing Circle was back.  Female parishioners from the Unitarian Church had begun once again to meet on a monthly basis to sew. Like other sewing circles around the country, they met for fellowship, guidance from the local clergy, and the sewing of clothes and linens for one another or others. They hadn’t met – officially, anyway – since December.

On this weekday the group met at the home of Mary and Harrison Pool in southeastern Easton. From North Easton came Evelina, Sarah Lothrop Ames, and Augusta Pool Gilmore, the young bride who was returning to the area of town where she had grown up. The women stopped en route at Nancy and Elijah Howard’s to pick up Orinthia Foss. Hostess Mary Pool, who had three young children underfoot, welcomed them. Others who attended included Evelina’s mother, Hannah Lothrop Gilmore; Henrietta Williams Gilmore, Lavinia Gilmore, Rachel Gilmore Pool, Lidia Pool, Abby Pool and Ann Pool. It was a veritable family reunion.  Except for Orinthia Foss, every women present was related by blood or marriage to at least one other woman there.

Such a gathering must have been good amusement, with less formality than the social calls that some of the women had paid the day before. But spirits may have been dampened by the “very fast” rain that pummeled the carriages when the meeting ended and the women returned home.

March 11, 1852

Build

1852

March 11 Thursday.  Cut out another waist of stout

bleached cotton cloth  Have been to Mr

Horace Pools with Mrs Witherell & Mrs

S Ames.  Met Henrietta Rachel & Mrs Harrison

Pool there, got home about eight Oclock

finished writing a letter to Harriet Ames.

Amelia went to Mr Torreys.

Old Oliver made his daily report:“the ground froze pritty hard last night – wind north in the morning butt southerly in the afternoon + pritty warm. it was a still day butt little wind – we began to rais the hammer shop to day.”  If ever there was an instance of Yankee industry, this cold, windy March in North Easton was it. Whatever the weather, all hands were on deck for the rebuilding of the shovel shops, which had burned to the ground less than ten days earlier.

While the men hammered, the women sewed – at least at the Ames compound. Evelina, anticipating warmer weather, worked on a new cotton dress. She had been fiddling with the waist lines on her dresses lately, suggesting that her waist might have altered. Larger or smaller?

With her sisters-in-law, Sarah Ames and Sarah Witherell, Evelina rode to the home of Horace and Abby Pool, where they met Henrietta Gilmore, Rachel Pool, and Mary Pool. This sounds like a gathering of the Sewing Circle, which we haven’t heard about since December when they temporarily disbanded. Now that spring had arrived, they might have started meeting again.

February 27, 1852

Tea kettle

 

Feb 27

1852  Friday  this morning I invited Mrs Lothrop here

but she went to Mrs Jason Howards to spend the day

came here this evening  Mrs S Ames & Fred dined

here  Mrs & Mr Horace Pool  Mrs W Williams  Abby

Edwin & wife Oliver & wife & Fred & Mrs Witherell

were here to tea  All came unexpectedly.  Had 

a very pleasant visit from them.

Many folks came to call today.  Sarah Ames Lothrop and her son, Frederick Lothrop Ames, joined the Ameses for midday dinner. (Although Oliver (3) had returned to Brown, Fred hadn’t yet gone back to Harvard.) A real crowd arrived “unexpectedly” for tea.  Sarah and Fred returned, bringing Oliver Ames Jr. with them. Sarah Ames Witherell came in from the other part of the house, resulting in all three sisters-in-law being together. Newlyweds Edwin and Augusta Gilmore walked over from their nearby home, and old Mrs. Gilmore – Evelina’s mother – was already on the premises. The family gathered.

From farther away came Horace and Abby Avery Pool, uncle and aunt to the bride, Augusta.  A Mrs. W. Williams arrived, as did Abby Torrey, Evelina’s niece. Abby’s head must have been full of the previous evening’s entertainment, that of Willard Lothrop’s visit and trance. It’s likely that some of this evening’s conversation turned on spiritualism.  One wonders what Oakes and Oliver Jr. thought of the topic.

Perhaps Evelina served some ginger snaps or currant cake from Tuesday’s baking. The tea itself could have been one of any number of types. Lydia Maria Child published her opinion on the subject: “Young Hyson is supposed to be a more profitable tea than Hysons; but though the quantity to a pound is greater, it has not so much strength. In point of economy, therefore, there is not much difference between them. Hyson tea and Souchong mixed together, half and half, is a pleasant beverage, and is more healthy than green tea alone.  Be sure that water boils before it is poured upon tea  A tea-spoonful to each person, and one extra thrown in, is a good rule.  Steep ten or fifteen minutes.”*

*Lydia Maria Child, The American Frugal Housewife, 1846