August 22, 1851

1024px-The_Yacht_'America'_Winning_the_International_Race_Fitz_Hugh_Lane_1851

*

Friday Aug 22nd Aug  This morning stormy and Pauline sat with me

sewing made the button holes in Susans pink apron

This afternoon went with Pauline to mothers to

tea.  Called at Col Whites & at Orinthias school.

Mr Pratt & White and several ladies at the examination

On our return home found Cousin Jerry &

Warren Lothrop here  Pauline & Warren were very sociable with each other

Morning sewing and afternoon socializing were the order of the day, with houseguest Pauline Dean demonstrating a marked preference for the latter. The weather in the morning was “stormy”; Old Oliver reported a tornado in Cambridge. But the afternoon was calm, so Evelina and Pauline went out. When they returned, Pauline zeroed in on a visiting Lothrop cousin named Warren, and the two flirted.

Meanwhile, Orinthia Foss’s performance as a teacher was reviewed by the local school superintending committee. Amos Pratt, a fellow teacher, and Col. Guilford White, a shoe manufacturer who eventually became a lawyer in Boston, evidently led the examination.  They were accompanied by several unnamed ladies.

On this very same day, across the pond and around the Isle of Wight, a new yacht, “America,” that had been commissioned by members of the New York Yacht Club raced against 15 other boats in the Royal Yacht Squadron’s annual regatta.  “America” won, and from that victory sprang a competition known as the America’s Cup that now boasts the world’s oldest international sporting trophy. Doubtless, the race was reported in the papers; perhaps Oakes and Evelina read about it.

 

* Fitz Henry Lane, “The Yacht ‘America’ Winning the International Race,” 1851

 

 

February 15, 1851

Chemise

Chemise

Sat Feb 15  This morning mended a pair of pants for Frank

and some other things.  Finished two chemise for Susan

made her a skirt out of an old quilted one of mine.

It has been a very stormy day.  the public school

finished this afternoon.  Oakes A, Mr Pratt, Davidson,

Barrows, R. Willis, Lillie & one or two others visited the 

school.  There were no ladies on account of the rain

Mr Ames went to Boston.  Brought Miss Eaton some maple sugar

While her husband went into Boston today despite poor weather, Evelina stayed in, mended clothes and completed two chemises for Susan. The chemise, a forerunner of today’s slip, was a standard undergarment for women and girls in the 19th century, worn right under the dress (and under the corset, when corsets were worn.)  As Evelina suggests, some undergarments were quilted for warmth, an essential consideration in cold New England. On stormy days like this one, women needed all the padding they could accommodate under their wide skirts.

Oakes Angier Ames visited the local schoolhouse today with men from the school’s superintending committee: Amos Pratt, a teacher; Thomas Davidson, the town’s postmaster; Joseph Barrows, a “shovelmaster” with legal training who lived in a house built by Old Oliver; Rufus Willis, a shoe manufacturer; and Daniel Lillie, another employee of O. Ames & Sons.  Daniel and Oakes Angier were in their early twenties, while the other men were older.  Daniel would be close to the Ames family over the years, and ultimately serve as a pallbearer at Oakes Ames’s funeral in 1873.  Today, however, in the rain, without their wives, the men appeared at the public school on the last day of this session.  Why was Oakes Angier along?  He wasn’t a member of the committee, but perhaps he was developing an interest in local politics.

Oakes Ames, meanwhile, returned from Boston in the evening, bringing with him a gift of maple sugar – a sign of spring – for the failing Miss Eaton.   He may also have returned with news of a serious incident in the city.  Shadrach Minkins, a fugitive slave living and working in Boston, was arrested today by federal marshals at a coffeehouse on Cornhill Street. Minkins would be taken to court, only to be rescued by an anti-slavery group, the Boston Vigilance Committee, who hid him and helped him escape to Montreal.  The controversial new Fugitive Slave Law was being tested.  Had Oakes witnessed any of this?