Young Boy at Father’s Grave (Blog Exclusive)

 

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January, 1925: 4-year-old John McNamara Jr. taking flowers to the grave of his father, who died in 1922 at 41 years old. His grave is located in East New Market Cemetery, in Maryland. John Jr. died in 1969 at the age of 48.

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Posthumous Painting [ Original! ]

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Against all odds, online research turned up a photo of the original painting shown in our posthumous daguerreotype [ Archive Image #3348 ]!! Sadly, it’s not part of our Archive, but was sold at auction in 2012 for around $12,000. The auction describes it as a circa 1840 unframed oil on canvas, measuring 47″ x 30″. If you look closely, you will see the boy is wearing a hoop earring, which I found interesting. Unframed and unsigned, though attributed to Joseph Goodhue Chandler, an itinerant painter who worked around northern Massachusetts in the 1840s.  Unfortunately the children are not identified anywhere on the work.

Handwritten Letter & Locks of Hair (Archive #3340)

 

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Handwritten letter, and lock of hair, accompanying the post-mortem photo of the emaciated girl (Archive #3340).

A very key word that I am unable to make out is, second line from the bottom, “the ____. It is so sickly.” It appears to be “Shawl”, but that wouldn’t make much since considering the next few words. It also wouldn’t make much sense that he would capitalize the S, when he hadn’t done so anywhere else in the letter.

Here is my translation.. feel free to add comments here, or if you’re an Archive member, on the website.

Yonkers June 16th
My Dear Aunt,
Grandmother’s box started this morning and will be at Mr. Maynards about Wednesday.
You must write and let us know as soon as you receive it. Enclosed is two dollars for the
(Shawl?), it is so sickly I don’t think I shall go to B___ this summer. 
In haste (?) Dwight

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