September 20, 1851


Sat Sept 20th  Was out shopping all day purchased a number

of articles among the rest a Cashmere & french print

dress paper for my parlour brought home two chairs

from Bigelowes  We all returned home this evening

Frank came to Stoughton after us & rode back

on the stage.  Went into Olivers awhile this evening.

Have had a great deal of trouble with my feet while

I have bee[n] gone & to night they are very sore.

The Boston spree continued for most of the day as Evelina walked and shopped for everything from fabric to wallpaper to furniture.  She and Oakes brought their purchases home on the train (or “in the cars” as they might have said) to Stoughton. It was, finally, time to return to North Easton.  Son Frank Morton Ames met them at the depot with a carriage – or wagon –  but rode home by himself on the local stagecoach. The conveyance he brought to the group getting off the train was, perhaps, too crowded with goods from town to fit everyone in.

Perhaps not wanting to let go of the many sensations that three exciting days in the city had produced, Evelina went next door to Oliver Jr and Sarah Lothrop Ames’s house. They had returned the day before, and so missed the fireworks. Surely they compared notes on their experiences at various events at the Railroad and Steamship Jubilee.  They may have compared blisters and sore shanks, too.  They did much walking and standing during their junket, and Evelina at least was feeling the effects. Her feet hurt.

Meanwhile, never having bothered to go into town for the celebration, Old Oliver was moving ahead on improvements for the shovel shop.  In his journal he noted that “this was a fair day wind south west and quite warm we put in the bottom stone for the floom at the great pond to day and the 5 foot one on the east side of it.” A flume for the factory was going in at Great Pond.

September 19, 1851


Friday Sept 19  Mr Ames went into Boston also Frank

We went to Mr Daniels store to see the procession

They were an hour and a quarter passing and we

were very much fatigued we were in the store about

four hours  We returned to Mr Orrs and dined

In the evening Mr Ames & self Mr Norris Emily & Helen

Mr Wm Harris & sister walked to see the illuminations

Oliver & wife returned home & Frank

The Railroad and Steamship Jubilee concluded today in Boston with a huge parade around the city that moved from School Street through Haymarket Square, down Merchants Row, State and Washington Streets toward Tremont, Park, and the Boston Common. There the procession traveled between a line of schoolchildren, then went along Beacon Street and turned toward Boylston, where they finished. The “civic procession” featured not just the requisite brass bands, waving pennants, dignitaries on horseback, carriages of officials, and marching men. It also offered something new: one whole marching division of selected representatives of industry, intended to showcase the thriving manufacturing of the greater Boston area. Were the Ames shovels included?

Evelina and various family members saw the parade from a shop on Washington Street. They stood for hours, first waiting, then watching as the parade rumbled by. The store owner, Mr. Daniels, was certainly kind to let the group stay for four hours. Perhaps he sold Ames shovels?

An afternoon banquet followed on the Boston Common under a special pavilion. This the Ameses did not attend (nor were they likely to have been invited – their railroad days were yet ahead of them.) The featured after-dinner speaker was Edward Everett, a minister, past president of Harvard, former U. S. Representative and one-time Governor of Massachusetts.  With all those qualifications, he was nonetheless best known for his oratory. In 1863, he would be the featured speaker at the dedication of the Gettysburg Battlefield. On this occasion in Boston, Everett spoke about ” The Beneficial Influence of Railroads.” His fitting summation to the three day celebration of the modern railroad was topped only by the evening display of illuminated buildings around the city and fireworks over Boston Harbor.

Evelina, Oakes, and a group of relatives and friends saw those “illuminations.” How memorable the whole day must have been, and how “fatigued” Evelina must have felt by the time her head hit the pillow.

September 18, 1851



Thurs Sept 18  Went to Boston with Oliver & wife

& Helen to the railroad celebration.  In company

with Mr Orrs family went to see the regatta & about

nine Returned and dined at Mr Orrs with Mrs

Witherell Emily Mrs S Ames & Helen  Mrs Stevens

&c  Afternoon went out shopping with them  All

except Mrs Witherell spent the night at Mr Orrs

Evelina traveled to Boston today to join the crowds at the Great Railroad and Steamship Jubilee.  President Fillmore, Senator Daniel Webster and dignitaries from Canada as well as the United States had arrived the day before. Speeches were made and congratulations went all around for the new “railroad communication” between the two countries. On this, the second day of the festivities, races were held, one a “grand excursion in Boston Harbor” in which cutters from both countries raced; Canada won.

The Ameses attended a regatta out at Hull, near Point Alderton (better known today as Point Allerton.) It must have been interesting for the usually land-locked Evelina to be at the shore; she rarely got to see the ocean, as her trips to Boston were typically spent in the retail center of the city.It was to that retail center that she and other ladies in her party went in the afternoon. Time to shop.

Also on this date, some 200 miles southwest of this railroad jubilee, in another thriving retail and business center, a new newspaper was born. The New York Times was founded and sold for 2cents a paper.



Reception of President Fillmore at the Boston and Roxbury lines by the municipal authorities, 1851

September 17, 1851




Wednesday Sept 17th  Mrs Stevens left for Boston

this morning & sorry I am to have her go

Miss Eddy dined with Mrs Mitchell &

took tea at Olivers  I went in to tea but

went in but a few moments before as I have

been very busy all day.  Made about a dozen

Lbs of peach preserve & some grape jelly

Ruth Swan married to night Oakes A & Mrs H Mitchell

gone to the wedding

The Great Railroad and Steamship Jubilee kicked off in Boston today with the arrival of President Millard Fillmore and other dignitaries from the United States and Canada, all ready to express mutual congratulations over the new railroad and steamboat connection between their countries.

Evelina knew about the events in Boston but stayed focused on domestic responsibilities in North Easton. From fruit she had recently obtained, she made preserves and jelly, a day-long task that kept her “very busy”.

In the evening, her son Oakes Angier Ames and sister-in-law Harriett Ames Mitchell went to the wedding of Ruth Barrell Swan and Justin Smith Morrill of Vermont.  Ruth, a daughter of Dr. Caleb Swan and his first, late wife, was 28 years old and, in the culture of the day, was marrying late. Independent of the affection she must have felt for him, she may also have thought that he was worth the wait. Three years later, Justin Morrill was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served until 1867, when he became a U.S. Senator. He served the state of Vermont until his death in 1898. A founder of the Republican party, he was a leader in establishing the land-grant colleges with his Morrill Land Grant bill in 1862. That same year, he authored the Anti-Polygamy Act which was aimed at the Church of the Latter Day Saints. He was clearly a one-woman man, and that woman was from Easton.

Ruth Ballard Swan of Easton who married Justin Smith Morrill.

September 16, 1851



Tuesday Sept 16th  Mrs Witherell Emily & Cousin H Mitchell

went into Boston this morning and are going to stop the

remainder of the week  I made some cake

this morning & had to be away from Miss Eddy

more than I could wish  Mrs S Ames & Helen &

Oliver here to tea  Harriet came in but did not stop

long  Miss Eddy will stop the night here

A visit from Miss Eddy, a woman who has been staying with various friends – or relatives – in Easton, may have been the impetus for Evelina to bake a cake this morning to serve at tea.  It’s worth noting that despite having collected peaches and grapes during the last few days, Evelina didn’t make a fruit pie or tarts to serve. She was saving that fruit to put up for the winter, and wouldn’t have wanted to waste any of it on a tiny social occasion. Cake it was.

The Ames family from next door, Oliver Jr., Sarah Lothrop Ames, and their daughter Helen came for tea, ate some cake and presumably chatted with Miss Eddy.  Sister-in-law Harriett Ames Mitchell stopped by briefly, too. Not making an appearance in the front parlour, however, was Sarah Witherell and her daughter from the other part of the house. They had departed that morning for a planned week in Boston, traveling with a Mitchell cousin.

Sarah Witherell had headed to Boston in anticipation of a special event, The Great Railroad and Steamship Jubilee. The Jubilee was to be a “celebration commemorative of the opening of railroad communication” to Canada.”*  It recognized the creation of a railroad line from Boston to Burlington, Vermont that connected with a steamship to Canada via Lake Champlain. Travel in the United States had become international. The celebration would go on for three days, and many members of the Ames family would strive to attend some part of it.


*The Railroad Jubilee: an account of the celebration commemorative of the opening of railroad communication between Boston and Canada, Sept. 17th, 18th and 19th, 1851.