Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Parents of Lovely Lydia Smith, a fortune begins in the commercial rail industry. Mr. & Mrs. Barney Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Barney Smith
Barney Smith: 1763-1828 of Taunton, Massachusetts [Stuart, Boston c. 1825]
Mrs. Barney Smith: 1755-1843 of Scituate, Massachusetts [Stuart, Boston 1817]

On April 27th of 2015 I did a post on Lovely Lydia Smith, who is one of the more beautiful ladies who was painted by our master.  From the Lawrence Park Volumes:

A daughter of Barney and Ann (Otis) Smith of Boston.  Her parents, her brother, Henry Barney Smith, her sister, Mrs. George Alexander Otis, and her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Abiel Smith, were all painted by Stuart. [Stuart often painted numerous members of one family, this was also considered as evidence that my Meeker was painted by Stuart, as his cousin William Meeker's portrait is included in the Park Volumes.]
To continue to read more about lovely Lydia, click on the link above.

This post presents the parents of Lydia, Mr. and Mrs. Barney Smith. Mr. Barney Smith was a wealthy importer of English goods, and is also known for having purchased the estate of Royal Governor Hutchinson (last royal Gov. of Massachusetts) in 1812, known as Unquety. The house presented an impressive Greek Revival style architecture, built overlooking Boston Harbor.[This Governor remained loyal to the royal authorities and was forced to leave the new world with nothing, thus it can be surmised that Barney got a good deal from this situation.] Barney seems to have been involved in a new means of transport, the commercial railway. He was one of 4 directors on the newly formed co. Granite Railway in 1826, the first company to have a commercial contract to carry freight by rail. The railyway moved freight, particularly stone.

From The History of Milton 1640- 1877 [editor Albert Teele pp 134-5]
Mr. Smith was of medium size, of fine form, with light complexion, and a profusion of silky hair of the purest white; his usual dress was a blue broadcloth with bright buttons, and a buff vest.  His manners were graceful and pleasant. His kind feelings and ample means prompted him to do so much for the benefit of the community around him, and particularly to his neighbors less fortunate than himself, both in health and sickness, that he was universally beloved and respected while living, and his death which ocurred in 1828, was a public loss to the neighborhood.

NOTE the signs in the painting that this individual was a merchant [similarly to my Meeker]...he is holding papers.  A contract possibly?  The formulaic style for painting "holding the contract" is very typical, where the paper(s) is held in place between the thumb and index finger. The customer would have paid more for the painting, to include the hand and paper.

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