September 10, 1852


Friday Sept 10th  Mother Mrs Stevens Susan & self rode to

the shops this morning.  Mother seemed as delighted

as a child  we called on Mrs Shepherd also invited 

her to come here Saturday  Have passed the

afternoon at Mr Torreys Augustus & wife were

there  Mr Torrey very sociable & clever

Oakes A returned home from Burlington yesterday

and is looking much better

Oakes Angier Ames returned to Easton today, looking healthier than when he had left three weeks earlier. Family members would have hoped that the 23-year-old had recovered from his lung ailment in the fresh air of Vermont, that his indisposition hadn’t proved to be consumption. No doubt, he hoped that, too.

Another male relative also arrived in town; although not traveling together, both men must have arrived by train at Boston, then Stoughton or Taunton, and then traveled by carriage to North Easton. William Leonard Ames “came here from Minesota the 10th,”* bringing with him his five-year old son, Angier Ames. He had left his wife back in St. Paul with their older son, William Leonard Ames Jr., and their youngest child, Oliver Ames. William visited Easton periodically and always stayed with his father. He and Oakes Ames did not get on well, as we have seen before, and we can perhaps infer from Evelina’s failure to mention his arrival that she wasn’t keen on William, either.

With her friend Mrs. Stevens in tow, Evelina took her mother and daughter out on a number of calls. Her mother enjoyed the ride around the new shop, and all seemed to enjoy an afternoon visiting Col. John Torrey in the village. He was a widower of Evelina’s late older sister, Hannah. Evelina seemed to be planning a special tea for the following day, perhaps in honor of Mrs. Stevens.


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

January 3, 1852




Jan 3d Saturday 

Finished my old hood and ripped Susans

old one & washed the lining and have partly quilted

it once again  Have spent all the afternoon in 

mending Franks shop coat.  Sewed this evening

untill nearly ten have not read at all

Mrs Witherell received news last night that her

father Witherell is not expected to live and she has gone

to see him.

Three-and-a-half years earlier, Sarah Ames Witherell had lost her husband, Nathaniel Witherell, Jr.  Now, she had the sad duty of traveling to Boston to say goodbye to her husband’s father, Nathaniel Witherell, Sr. Someone must have written a letter to tell her he was ill and, ever dutiful, Sarah Witherell responded quickly to the news.  Off she went.

Better news was that today was the birthday of one of Evelina’s many nieces, Mary “Melvina” (or “Malvina” as Evelina spelled it) Torrey. The youngest daughter of Evelina’s late older sister, Hannah Howard Gilmore Torrey, Melvina turned 11. Her father was Col. John Torrey, a high-profile personage in North Easton, of whom Evelina often writes. Melvina and her sister, Abby Torrey, were great favorites of Evelina; Melvina is the niece to whom Evelina gave a bloomer hat the previous summer.

In another ten years, Melvina would marry an older man, Sanford Blake Strout, who also lived in the village of North Easton, on Center Street. She would bear two sons, Byron Howard Strout and Havilen Torrey Strout.


Illustration from Godey’s Lady’s Magazine, 1851