March 26, 1852

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1852.

Friday March 26  Mrs S Ames returned from Boston last

night, had unpleasant weather for two days.  She called

at Mr Orrs found them all well. Julia is there

yet with her little one  Mrs S Ames & Witherell

called on Mrs Elizabeth Lothrop and invited me

to go with them but I felt it more my duty to call

on Mrs Swain, did so, and was prevailed upon to 

spend the afternoon & evening.  She has weaned her

babe, has been quite unwell but is now better

Two young women closely connected to Evelina recently weaned their babies. Hannah Lincoln Gilmore, wife of Evelina’s nephew Augustus, had just weaned her seven month old son, Willie. Ann Swain, wife of the head clerk of the shovel works, John Swain, had done the same with her five month old boy, John.

Weaning was an anxious time for both babies and mothers, although in this circumstance it appears the babies came through the ordeal better than their mothers, at least at first. Both Hannah and Ann had been unwell during the process. Evelina, in her attentive way, had spent time with the two young mothers while they ailed. As a practiced mother who had nursed and weaned five babies of her own, she may have offered advice and provided significant comfort to the younger women.

In Boston on this day in 1852, far from the concerns of the nursery, a new house of worship, the Temple Ohabei Shalom, the first synagogue in Boston, was consecrated. Although the temple, built on Warren Street, is no longer standing, we know that was architecturally handsome and well-appointed. It could seat 400 worshipers and also offered an area for a Hebrew School, a meeting room, and a bath, known as a mikveh.* A temple by the same names exists today on Beacon Street in Brookline.

Although Easton now has a synagogue, the Temple Chayai Shalom, it did not have one, nor did it have a visible Jewish community, in 1852.

 

* Jim Vrabel, When in Boston, Boston, 2004, p. 160