Unknown - portrait of Mrs Letitia Austin Amory

Confusingly, this miniature portrait appears to have been cut down to fit the frame, even though the frame is a large one.

The sight size of the miniature being 80mm x 65mm. It may well have been cut down after it was painted from an original rectangular shape to fit the oval case.

The case is definitely American, probably from around 1825-1830, with a chased border, a beaded bezel and hair under glass inside a beaded bezel on the reverse.

The cutting down makes it harder to attribute an artist, even though the portrait is signed.

The concept of cutting down helps to explain the partial signature, as at the right there is a partial signature which is hard to read.

Originally, it was thought to be by Anna Claypoole Peale, but a kind visitor feels this attribution is less likely to be correct. The alternative interpretation is that the signature commences "Mme A .....", for a French artist. This interpretation is supported by the dark grey background which is more usual for French trained artists and was not used by Anna Claypoole Peale.

However, no suitable name for such an artist has been found to date.

Much later: I have been contacted by a kind visitor with an apparently identical portrait, although with not such fine detail as appears above. The visitor is unable to tell whether it is on ivory or paper, but the lesser detail as appearing below, and the much later type of frame, makes me think it is on paper and is a copy of this miniature on ivory as showing here as unframed.

The visitor also advises; "Further research showed that this portrait was of Letitia Austin who married Mr Jonathan Amory. More details I can give later. but I have a portrait of her as an old woman as well and you can see it's the same woman".

This information has enabled the location of her marriage. It was on 7 November 1826, when Letitia Austin (18 Aug 1809-1875) who most records show was born at Demerara, believed to be in British Guiana. She was known as "Lily C", and married Jonathan Amory (5 Nov 1802-1885) at Boston, Massachusetts. Jonathan's parents were Jonathan Amory and Mehetable Sullivan, known as "Hattie". Jonathan and Letitia had a son, Col. Thomas Isaac Coffin Amory who was born on 27 Nov 1828 in Boston. It appears that Letitia's family had previously come from Barbados. It also seems appropriate to believe that the cut-down name on the front of the portrait is likely "Mrs Amory".

The commission house of "Thomas C. Amory & Co." was among the first in Boston, with Jonathan Amory senior being a grandson of the founder. He was born in 1770, graduated at Harvard College 1787, entered the counting house of his uncle J & J Amory, and engaged in business with James Cutler. He married Ruth Wier, whose family then resided on the spot where the Belcher house, in which he was born, had stood previously to the great fire She died in 1795, and is buried in the southeast corner of the Boylston street Burying Ground, where stands the square marble monument of her family. After her death Mr Amory married Mrs Cutler, the widow of his partner, and the daughter of Governor James Sullivan. His brother Thomas C Amory took him into partnership, and he accumulated property. He resided from 1811 to 1828, when he died, at No 7 Park street, where now stands the house of the late Abbott Lawrence. Mrs Amory died in 1847. Their children were Jonathan Amory, James S Amory, and Thomas C Amory Jr, Mrs Samuel Meredith, and three other daughters.

The son of Jonathan and Letitia Amory, Thomas Isaac Coffin Amory (1828-1864), was born and raised in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. He was appointed a cadet at West Point by former president of the United States John Quincy Adams, and graduated in 1851 from the United States Military Academy. In 1853 he was married to Mary B. Nolan. Amory was made a Captain in the 7th United States Regular Infantry at the start of the Civil War. He was subsequently promoted to Major of the 8th United States Regular Infantry before being commissioned in the Volunteer service as Colonel and commander of the 17th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. He was then appointed as Commissary of Musters for the XVIII Corps serving in the Department of North Carolina. He was serving on active duty in Beaufort, North Carolina when he died in October 1864. Amory was brevetted Brigadier General, US Volunteers on October 1, 1864 for "gallant and meritorious services during the war.

There appear to have been other children, including;
AMORY, Charles Bean, of Boston, treasurer of the Hamilton Manufacturing Company, Lowell, was born in New York, July 30, 1841, son of Jonathan and Letitia (Austin) Amory. His paternal grandparents were Jonathan Amory of Boston and Hetty ... 429b

Later still; it has been pointed out to me that Jonathan and Letitia had many children;
Jonathan Amory (Mehetable Sullivan, James, John Owen (Eoghan)) was born on 5 Nov 1802 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. He died on 1 Sep 1885 in Newport, Newport Co., Rhode Island. Jonathan married Letitia or Laetitia Austin daughter of Dr. John Austin and Mary Parkinson or Redding on 7 Nov 1826. Letitia was born on 18 Aug 1809 in Demerera. She died in Jamaica Plain, Mass. They had the following children:
Jonathan Austin Amory was born in 1827 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He died in 1861/1875.
Colonel Thomas Isaac Coffin Amory was born on 27 Nov 1828. He died in Oct 1864.
Letitia S. Amory was born in 1830. She died in 1912.

George Washington Amory was born in 1832.
Mary F. Amory was born in 1833. She died in 1896.
Elizabeth Amory was born in 1835.
Harriet Amory was born in 1837.
William Appleton Amory was born in 1839.
Charles B. Amory was born on 30 Jul 1841.
Robert Gordon Amory was born on 12 Apr 1847 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts. Robert married Annie J. Colby, in 1874. Annie was born in 1844.
Philip Drimaresq Amory was born in 1848. He died in 1849.

Hence it is probable that there are now many descendants of Letitia.

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