April 12, 1851



April 12 Saturday  Went to Boston with Mr Ames. Have 

purchased a carpet & paper for the dark bedroom,

bought Susan a dark french print & borage

DeLaine Bible &c &c dined at Mr Orrs no one

at home but Mrs Orr & Mr Norris.  All gone to East

Bridgewater Mrs George Ames returned from 

New York with Mr Peckham Snowed a

little this morning but otherwise pleasant.


Oakes Ames made his usual Saturday trip to Boston and took a happy Evelina with him. It was the first time she had been to the city since January 17, and she didn’t seem to mind a light snow at the start of her journey. After three months in the country, she was excited to be in town, gazing at cobblestones, masonry, store fronts, and being part of the bustle of carriages and pedestrians.  Time to do some shopping.

She found some fabric for dresses for Susan. She bought a Bible. For whom? Why? With purpose and forethought, she selected new carpet and wall paper for at least one of the bedrooms at home that she and Jane had emptied out the day before. The carpet and wall paper, and more perhaps, would surely be delivered to North Easton rather than carried home.

As she had before, Evelina and Oakes, presumably, dined with their long-time friends, the Orrs, whose family, like theirs, had originally settled in Bridgewater. Evelina often stayed with the Orrs, but today she and Oakes only dined with Melinda Orr (Mrs. Robert Orr) and her son-in-law, Caleb Norris.

Today also marked a return visit to Easton by Almira Ames, widow of Old Oliver’s nephew George. She was a first cousin by marriage to Oakes, Oliver Jr., and Sarah Witherell and was used to visiting North Easton. In fact, she had spent enough time in North Easton to be listed in the 1850 census as living in the Ames household. In 1851, however, Almira seemed to be living in New York City. She was something of a favorite relative among the Ames women.


March 23, 1851



March 23 Sunday.  Have been to church to day and 

stoped at noon to hear the bible class

with Alsons wife & others, got some subscriptions

for the blinds.  Mother came home with

us from church to make a visit.

Orinthia & myself read to Mother a story in 

The Boston Museum a long one but not worth

much Edwin called and Fred & Helen

A beautiful day it has been

Not only was Helen home from school for a visit, but her older brother Fred was back, too, from Philips Exeter Academy where he was preparing for college. How pleasant for Oliver Jr and Sarah Lothrop Ames to have their two children home, however briefly. Helen and Fred stopped in to say hello, as did another cousin on the Gilmore side, Edwin Williams Gilmore. Plus, Evelina’s aged mother, Hannah Gilmore, returned from church with the Oakes Ames family to “make a visit” of a few days. The old house was busy toward the end of the day, and tea this evening must have been especially sociable.

Earlier in the day, at the intermission between services, Evelina popped into a Sunday School class – perhaps for adults? She also did a little fund-raising for the church, or for a charity with which the church was affiliated.  She and others raised some “subscriptions for the blinds” (which does not mean they were ordering new window treatment!)  They were hoping to help the sightless.

Although Evelina was both devout and charitable, she was not sanctimonious. In her diary, she never mentions reading the Bible. She loved reading, and made note of various novels, stories and articles, such as today’s story that “was not worth Much.” But the Bible itself went unnamed.  If she did read chapter and verse from time to time, which seems likely, she simply never said so.  Perhaps reading from it may have been as automatic as looking something up in the dictionary might be for us.  She didn’t feel the need to remark on it.