Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Village Life in America.

Village Life in America.

November 21, 2010

Village Life in America, 1852 - 1872, by Caroline Cowles Richards

November 21.—Aunt Ann gave me a sewing bird to screw on to the table to hold my work instead of pinning it to my knee. Grandmother tells us when we sew or read not to get everything around us that we will want for the next two hours because it is not healthy to sit in one position so long. She wants us to get up and “stir around.” Anna does not need this advice as much as I do for she is always on what Miss Achert calls the “qui vive.” I am trying to make a sofa pillow out of little pieces of silk. Aunt Ann taught me how. You have to cut pieces of paper into octagonal shape and cover them with silk and then sew them together, over and over. They are beautiful, with bright colors, when they are done. There was a hop at the hotel last night and some of the girls went and had an elegant time. Mr Hiram Metcalf came here this morning to have Grandmother sign some papers. He always looks very dignified, and Anna and I call him “the deed man.” We tried to hear what he said to Grandmother after she signed her name but we only heard something about “fear or compulsion” and Grandmother said “yes.” It seems very mysterious. Grandfather took us down street to-day to see the new Star Building. It was the Town House and he bought it and got Mr Warren Stoddard of Hopewell to superintend cutting it in two and moving the parts separately to Coach Street. When it was completed the shout went up from the crowd, ” Hurrah for Thomas Beals, the preserver of the old Court House.” No one but Grandfather thought it could be done.

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