March 12th Friday. Spent most of the forenoon about
the house gave the sitting room a thorough
sweeping This afternoon & evening have
spent at Mr Torreys Amelia came home
with me. Called to see Hannah in bed
almost sick with the canker & has weaned her babe.
Poor Hannah Lincoln Gilmore, wife of Alson Augustus Gilmore and mother of two little boys, 3-year old Eddie and 7-month old Willie, had been feeling poorly for more than a week. Her complaint was canker sores, a common enough ailment but one that struck her unusually hard. As Evelina points out, Hannah was “in bed almost sick.”
As most of us know, a canker sore is a benign but painful sore located inside the mouth and lips or at the base of the gums. Known medically as aphthous stomatitis, a canker is not contagious and has no cure. It is often caused by stress; perhaps Hannah’s recent efforts to wean Willie had set them off. A canker sore can last from seven to ten days, and can be painful enough to make talking and eating difficult. Hannah must really have felt crummy.
Meanwhile, at the shovel shop, reconstruction was continuing. Old Oliver noted that “the 12th + 13th were both good fair days for our work.”*
*Oliver Ames, Journal, Stonehill College Archives, Arnold Tofias Collction