September 25, 1851


Thursday Sept 25th  Julia has been here to day and has

cut two french print dresses.  She had but

very little trouble with them and I think they

sett very well  she also cut Susans doll a frock

Susan had a very comfortable night & appears

quite smart to day  The Dr came here to day

which makes the third visit says it is not necessary

for him to come again

Julia Mahoney, a young dressmaker who had recently immigrated from Ireland, worked at Evelina’s today.  She immediately set about cutting sections for two dresses to be made from the French print fabric that Evelina had just bought in Boston. Evelina was pleased with Julia’s work today, which wasn’t always the case.  To help keep little Susie Ames occupied as she recovered from a terrible case of nettle rash, Julia cut “a frock” for Susie’s doll.

The doctor – we don’t know which one in Easton had been called – visited today and confirmed Susie’s imminent recovery.  The little girl was appearing “quite smart,” a phrase that Evelina occasionally used to note marked improvement in someone’s appearance, health, or wits.

There was no question that fall had arrived.  Not only had the autumnal equinox occurred, officially ushering in the season, but Old Oliver had recorded several small frosts recently, including “a large frost last night.”  Daylight was shrinking slightly every day. As she quilted today, Evelina must have been turning her thoughts toward winter.  She may also have paused to remember that ten years ago on this date, her fourth son, Henry Gilmore Ames, had died at age 2 1/2.

April 14, 1851



April 14 Monday  Julia Mahoney has been here to day

to work on my foulard silk It is bad to 

work on and she has not succeeded very well

but is coming again to finish it. Jane has

done the washing and her clothes dry

Orinthia has finished the shirt for Oliver that

was cut out March 31st Weather Pleasant

Mrs Witherell Mrs G Ames & Mrs S Ames called evening

In his journal today, Old Oliver noted that his son, Horatio Ames, was visiting. Although Horatio would have been, literally, under the same roof as Evelina and Oakes, Evelina didn’t mention his visit. She might not have seen him, of course, although she must have known he was in town and probably staying in the other part of the house.  Horatio, like their brother William, was on poor terms with Oakes and it appears that neither wanted to encounter the other.

Another heartfelt topic that found no tongue today was the anniversary of the birth of Henry Gilmore Ames, the son of Evelina and Oakes who did not survive childhood.  Henry would have been twelve years old today, but died at age two-and-a-half of an unrecorded cause.

In the future – 1876 in fact – family graves would be disinterred from their original locations and moved to a dedicated family cemetery behind the new Unitarian church on Main Street. Oakes Angier would oversee the relocation; among the graves moved would be the small one for Henry.  At the time, Oliver (3) made a few observations about the relocation, including one of the little brother they had lost: “Bro Henry was moved to day and his hair was as perfect as when he was buried. His hair was smooth and parted.”  Oliver (3) also noted that his father’s coffin was so heavy that it took seven men to lift it from its original resting place.

If Evelina remembered today’s date, she indicated nothing.  She was busy with overseeing laundry day (not that Jane McHanna needed any direction on what needed to be done,) as well as Orinthia Foss’s completion of one last men’s shirt, and Julia Mahoney’s sewing on her silk dress.  Many needles at work.