b. ca 1778 -d. 1859. Mother of Dr. Daniel T. Jones, mother-in-law of Eliza Jones. Born in Connecticut, married Daniel Jones, Jr., and had three children.
b. 31 May 1812 in Onondaga County, NY - d. 15 Dec 1902 in Baldwinsville, NY; oldest daughter of Judge James R. Lawrence and Christy McLaren Lawrence; attended "The Hive," a Quaker school in Skaneateles, NY, and then the Homer and Onondaga Academies; graduated 1829 from the Hartford Female Seminary, CT; in 1841 married Dr. Daniel Terryll Jones (17 Aug 1800 - 29 Mar 1861); while living in Washington DC got to know the likes of President Fillmore, Sam Houston, General Winfield Scott, Charles Dickens, and William Thackeray; buried in Riverview Cemetery, Baldwinsville, NY; husband Daniel born in Hebron, CT, graduated from Yale (1826); he moved to Amboy, NY to practice medicine, later to Baldwinsville, where he was an early Postmaster; elected to US House of Representatives as a Democrat (1850, 1852); Eliza and Daniel lived in Washington during his two terms; he did not run again in 1854 and resumed practice of medicine in Baldwinsville; chaired Republican State Convention in Syracuse (1858); Daniel died in Baldwinsville, buried Riverview Cemetery. [See Lydia Jones]
b. 6 Oct 1814 at Fort Miller, NY - d. 2 Sep 1893; son of Otis and Mary [Payn] Bigelow; married Hannah Munro 27 Oct 1841 and produced 11 children; well-respected businessman who resided in Baldwinsville, NY [Onondaga County, NW of Syracuse]; in 1874 named President of Oswego & Onondaga Fire Insurance Company of Phoenix, NY and sometime after 1875 appointed the second President of Baldwinsville State Bank; in late 1870s owned a grist mill in the Baldwinsville area; also in 1850 very first member initiated into Baldwinsville's Seneca River Lodge #160 Ancient and Free Accepted Masons, a lodge which is still in existence today. This painting is characterized by Cook's trademark red seat, and the waist-length pose indicates the sitter was a man of means. This portrait is signed on reverse "Painted by Nelson Cook. Saratoga Spgs. 1849." The 1849 date is significant in that Cook was commissioned by at least two other sitters from rural Baldwinsville during this same year [see Lydia White Jones (1849) and Eliza Lawrence Jones (1849)]. Cook's success in Baldwinsville at this time may have given Cook the impetus he needed to head further west in New York State from 1851 - 1856 in search of other portrait patrons in more heavily populated Rochester and Buffalo.
b. 25 Jan 1823 - d. 24 Mar 1902; daughter of David and Abigail [Carpenter] Munro; married Payn Bigelow 27 Oct 1841 and produced 11 children; in 1870 elected President of the Female Charitable Society of Baldwinsville, founded in 1817 and considered to be the oldest purely women's association in the country and still active today. As with her husband's companion portrait, this painting also shows a hint of Cook's characteristic red seat. This portrait is signed on reverse "N. Cook, Pinxit [Latin for "he painted this"] 1849."
b. ? - d. ?. Though the sitter is unidentified, this wonderfully crafted portrait is respectfully known as "The Barron" by its past owners. The painting has been beautifully restored and possesses all the hallmarks of a classic, mid-century Cook portrait: superb artistry, a red chair, a book alluding to the sitter's profession placed on a table in the foreground, and tubular, Daliesque fingers. The painting changed hands in 1998 when it was sold for $2,300. The portrait was then sold again at auction (Kennedy's in Tennessee) on October 26, 2013 for $402.50, including a 15% commission. The lower price from 15 years before was due to the canvas warping since its restoration.
b. 1787 - d. 1844; also known as Mary; originally from Duchess County, NY; wife of Dr. Oliver Davidson of Plattsburgh, NY and later Saratoga, NY and mother of nine, mostly sickly, children, including well-respected and internationally-famous poets Lucretia Maria Davidson and Margaret Miller Davidson (who shared her mother's name) and lesser-known writer of verse, Levi P. Davidson; writer of fiction and the direct inspiration (e.g., she introduced daughter Margaret to Washington Irving) for three of her children to engage in writing. Although Cook's original portrait of Mrs. Davidson has not been located, the below Rawdon, Wright, & Hatch engraving based on Cook's painting appeared in Graham's Magazine in 1849. Interestingly however, an undated (c. 1885) newspaper article noted that a steel plated copy of Cook's portrait of Mrs. Davidson was in the artist's Saratoga Springs studio. The anonymous author of what appears to be a posthumous article for Graham's apparently knew little of Mrs. Davidson's background other than to write: "The biographer conveys no more than a just idea of the loveliness of the picture here presented to view." Interestingly, Edgar Allan Poe was the first editor of Graham's Magazine in 1841. However, despite such distinctive contributors to the publication as Poe himself, William Cullen Bryant, James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and James Russell Lowell, Poe quit the periodical in 1842 because he disapproved of Graham's desire to include "namby-pamby" fashion plates and sentimental engravings.
[Special note re the below Davidson sisters: A May 25, 1841 Saratoga Whig newspaper article stated that portraits of the renowned Davidson sisters were on exhibit at Cook's Saratoga studio. The article also added this intriguing note about the paintings of the deceased sisters: "The semblance of those 'golden bowls broken at the Fountain,' and now continually 'mirrored in Time's stream,' was rescued from far-off Forgetfulness by the fair hand of the accomplished lady of Mr. Cook." And then nearly 50 years later an April 25, 1890 retrospective mention in the Plattsburgh Sentinel newspaper also said Mrs. Cook had painted the Davidson girls. Based on these two references it appears very probable that Nelson's wife, Esther, was herself a portrait painter during her husband's early career. But still unclear is exactly when these portraits were made. Given Lucretia's 1825 death, in all likelihood she was painted posthumously. But Margaret could have sat for her portrait sometime between 1833 and 1838 during a Cook visit to Saratoga from Canada, or perhaps she too was painted after her death.]
b. 27 Sep 1808 in Plattsburgh, NY - d. 27 Aug 1825 in Plattsburgh, NY; daughter of Dr. Oliver Davidson and fiction writer Margaret Miller Davidson and older sister of Margaret Miller Davidson; a gifted child who crafted her first known poem, Epitaph on a Robin, when only 9; briefly attended the Emma Willard School in Troy before dying of consumption (tuberculosis); nearly 300 poems survive from her short lifetime. In 1829, prior to his development of the telegraph and the Morse Code, renowned painter Samuel F. B. Morse published a collection of Davidson's poems along with one of his sketches. Also in 1829 Robert Southey wrote a biography of Davidson, which was especially complimentary of the poet's beauty and writing. However, Edgar Allan Poe felt the quality of Davidson's work did not live up to the quality of her "poetic soul."
b. 26 Mar 1823 in Plattsburgh, NY - d. 25 Nov 1838 in Saratoga Springs, NY; daughter of Dr. Oliver Davidson and fiction writer Margaret Miller Davidson and younger sister of Lucretia Maria Davidson; strongly encouraged by her mother to fill the poetic void left by her sister's untimely death, which resulted in a talented child, who at age 10 penned in two days time a dramatic play entitled The Tragedy of Alethia; died of consumption (tuberculosis) at the age of 15. As a young girl, Margaret was introduced by her mother to Washington Irving, who in 1841 posthumously honored Margaret with a biography.
b. 8 Mar 1768, Rye (Westchester County), NY - d. 31 May 1852, Ledyard (Cayuga County), NY; buried Field-Howland Cemetery in Ledyard; daughter of Seaman Hawxhurst and Dinah/Dianah Carpenter Hauxhurst; on 18 May 1784 married Jesse Field from Harrison/Purchase (Westchester County), NY and they had 4 children (Richard, Rebecca, Sarah, and Deborah); c. 1814 the Fields left Westchester County and settled in Cayuga County; an influential and prominent minister of the Orthodox Society of Friends (Quakers), who was well respected in central New York state for her preaching and charitability. This painting is a superb example of Cook's mid-career artistic craftsmanship --- not only are Phebe's facial features and flesh tones meticulously rendered, but so too are the folds and texture of her clothing. And the delicacy of her lace cap is exquisitely painted. As noted in other early 1850s portraits, Cook has abandoned his sitter's characteristic red seat and has placed Phebe in a more subdued yellow chair. [See The Pittses (1853) in their green seats.] The portrait is signed on reverse by the artist: "Portrait of Phebe Field. Aged 82. Painted by Nelson Cook, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., 1850." Other inscriptions appear on the back of the canvas presumably added later by Humphry Howland, who apparently commissioned the portrait, or by William Howland, who eventually took possession of the painting: "Phebe Field, Nee Hawxhurst, Born 8th 3rd mo. 1768, Died 31st 5th mo. 1852, for Humphry Howland." And running up the right canvas stretcher as viewed from reverse: "This portrait is the property of William Howland." Humphry (also Humphrey) Howland (1780-1862) was Phebe's son-in-law, having married Phebe's daughter, Sarah, in 1811. As a young man, he was a surveyor in central NY for wealthy NYC landowners, and in the process acquired large tracts of land of his own. In 1812 he was a member of the NY State Assembly from Cayuga County, after which he became a successful merchant in the same area for the next 50 years. William Penn Howland, who is mentioned on the stretcher as the owner of Phebe's portrait, was Humphry's and Sarah's son.
b. 25 Apr 1828 in Aurora, NY - d. 15 Nov 1889 in Buffalo, NY; only son of the President; lawyer & father's personal secretary in White House, 1850-53; attended Harvard. The brochure of the Museum indicates that this life-size (79X56.25") painting -- apparently oil on mattress ticking -- is an early instance of an American depicted as a sportsman, vs a "pioneer"; Fillmore leans on a double-barreled percussion cap shotgun; his powder horn is of a glass made in western New York, and he has a leather holder for two different kinds of shot; the background is said to be Point Gratiot at Dunkirk on the south shore of Lake Erie. This portrait, exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (Oct-Nov 1967), differs from most of the artist's known works in that the subject is placed in a landscape [but see James G. Averill] ; while the painting is not mentioned in the Cook correspondence in Saratoga or in the NY State Archives in Albany (unusual for Cook, since the subject's father was a known political figure), his letters do make it clear that he very much wanted to be a landscapist. In the early 1850s Cook was working in the Rochester /Buffalo area; Dunkirk is some 40 miles west of Buffalo. As an interesting side note, it would appear this portrait has another unique distinction beyond its depiction of Millard Powers Fillmore as a sportsman. While researching the use of glass powder horns in 18th and 19th century America, Jane Shadel Spillman (Curator of American Glass, Corning Museum of Glass) underscored their rarity by observing in 2004 that this is the only painting she has ever encountered that shows a hunter with a glass powder horn. Sold at auction by Sotheby's, New York City, in November 1973 for $2,900.
Courtesy of the Genesee Country Village and Museum, acc #G. 79
b. 30 Nov 1774, Guilford, MA - d. 4 Apr 1860; Cook's mother; portrait noted in an undated (c. 1885) newspaper article as one of several paintings in Cook's Saratoga Springs studio.
The identity of the sitter is unknown; the oil portrait is an oval approx 16"x20"; it is said to have been relined, although the back appears original with the script certainly Cook's: "Painted by N. Cook Rochester 1851" [his signature is somewhat less ornate here than that developed by 1854 -- see A Closer Look]; it is possible, though unlikely, that this "young girl" is the Portrait of a Woman, 1851 noted by SIRIS. This framed portrait was purchased in January 2006 for $680.
b. ? d. ?; In all likelihood this is the same portrait sold by Harlowe-Powell Auction Gallery in November 2010 as a still unidentified "Portrait of a Lady". The painting is a 22.5" X 18.5" oil on canvas, which was restored, restretched and lined in 1972 by Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, CT. The portrait is signed on reverse: "Painted by N. Cook, Rochester, 1851." The estimated auction price was $800 - $1,200 with a final actual bid of $350. Although the portrait sold below Harlowe-Powell's estimate, this was true of most items at this auction. Unlike most of the known subjects from his early 1850s Rochester years, Cook painted this sitter with no seating, little facial modeling and animation, and a less expressive Mona Lisa-like smile. All of which was probably dictated by the size of the sitter's commission rather than Cook's artistic ability, which he clearly displayed in the woman's clothing by effectively contrasting the light, lacy quality of her white blouse with the heavier opaque texture of the black shawl draped over her shoulder. Noted by Smithsonian Institution Research Information System.
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