July 24, 1851


Thurs July 24th  Have been sewing on some of Susans

clothes, altering some skirts &c  Have been thinking

over my visit yesterday  Mrs Mitchell will have

a fine place in a few years if she keeps on as

she has begun  They have a fine lot of Turkeys

Ducks & Chickens and their garden looks finely

but not many flowers.


The visit that Evelina and her sisters-in-law made to East Bridgewater yesterday was enjoyable enough to preoccupy Evelina’s mind today.  As she sat sewing she thought over the home she had visited and considered its domestic arrangements. She liked the yard she had seen.  Casting her knowledgeable, farmer’s-daughter’s eye over the property in her mind, she assessed the “fine lot” of poultry and admired the garden.  Not enough flowers for her, though.

The house in question belonged to James Mitchell, son of Nahum and Nabby Mitchell, and his wife, whose name was Harriet Lavinia Angier Mitchell.  As fate would have it, Harriet Angier Mitchell was a friend of Harriett Ames Mitchell.  The two visited one another when Harriett Ames was in town and, presumably, worked out any confusion the similarity of their names occasioned.  As they were usually referred to as Mrs. James Mitchell and Mrs. Asa Mitchell, they may have encountered less confusion than there would be today, when first name usage is so prevalent.  Terms of address were definitely more formal in 1851.


July 23, 1851



Wednesday July 23  Have been sewing before noon to day working on

different articles among the rest have made

Susan a pair of short cuffs of cambric

trimed with a wide insertion and edging

Aaron Hobart & Charles Mitchell came to the other part

of the house & dined When they returned Mrs Witherell

Mitchell, Mrs S Ames & self went to Mr James Mitchells to tea

Met Mr & Mrs Judge Mitchell Mrs & Miss Hyde & Aunt Orr there

Sewing was in the forefront of Evelina’s activities lately while gardening seemed to disappear.  Perhaps the heat and the weeding were too much, perhaps her favorite blooms had gone by and she had lost interest. Then, too, she simply may have neglected to record the time she did spend in the flower beds. Whatever the cause, Evelina was back indoors in the mornings, needle in hand.

Her social life, always a little more active in the summer, continued to thrive. She noted that Charles Mitchell, younger brother-in-law of Harriett Mitchell, and Aaron Hobart dined with Old Oliver and Sarah Witherell. This entry is the first mention of the Hobarts, a family that would become intimately involved with the Ameses in the future.  Aaron was the eldest son and namesake of Judge Hobart, a former congressman, and his wife Maria, who lived in East Bridgewater. Recently returned from working in New Orleans, Aaron became “actively identified” with the local Carver Cotton Gin Company**. His youngest sister, Catherine, was at school with Helen Angier Ames in Dorchester.

It was to East Bridgewater that the ladies went today for tea. Evelina and her sisters-in-law met with Judge Nahum Mitchell, also a former congressman and a contemporary of Old Oliver, his wife Nabby, and others.  The Mitchells were related to the Orr family, and one of their daughters (Mary Orr Mitchell Ames) was married to an Ames cousin in Springfield. Needless to say, many of the long-established families in southeastern Massachusetts had intermarried over time and thus were related in long-distance ways.

*Judge Nahum Mitchell
** Plymouth County Massachusetts Archives