November 24, 1851

imgres

Monday Nov 24  Mary the new girl came last night and

she has done the washing very well it has

been very pleasant and they are all dry and brought 

into the house  Another town meeting to day and 

the Los & free soilers joined and elected Mr. Silvester

for representative.  The whigs are not a little agrieved

Mended Oakes Angiers coat  Frank Heath has

been getting the boards ready for the porch

More bad news for the disintegrating Whigs. In Easton,“there was a Town meeting for the chois of representative and the freesoil + Democratic parties united + chose a locofoco Galon Silvester”. The new representative from Bristol County for the General Court of Massachusetts was Galen Sylvester, a carpenter and former selectman.

Originally from Vermont, Sylvester was a member of the Locofoco faction of the Democrats, which had developed in the 1840s in protest against Tammany Hall in New York City. Their hero was Andrew Jackson. Their name came from some friction matches they once used to light candles to illuminate an evening meeting that had been interrupted when Tammany men turned off the gas lights on them. By 1851, the label had become somewhat derogatory. Ralph Waldo Emerson said of them, ” “The new race is stiff, heady, and rebellious; they are fanatics in freedom; they hate tolls, taxes, turnpikes, banks, hierarchies, governors, yea, almost laws.”** By the middle of the 1850s, the “Los” were no longer a viable political group.

Having gotten past last night’s quarrel with Oakes, Evelina seemed to sympathize with her husband and the other Whigs over their loss. But she was again focused on her domestic responsibilities, keeping her eye on a new servant, Mary, who had done a good job with the laundry. Evelina was also minding the work of a carpenter named Frank Heath, who was building or repairing a porch.

 

*Oliver Ames, Journal, Stonehill College Archives, Tofias Collection

**Bill Kaufman, The Republic Strikes Back, The American Conservative