Have You Seen This Man? 

August 14th, 2019

      On the East wall of the Homestead, the attic is a framed lithograph of 

a somber, robed man with books and what would seem to be a clerical collar. But who might he be—and why was he consigned 

to a peg in the attic?


      At the base of the oval surrounding the portrait is a legend reading:
“Lith by F. D’Avignon from Daguerreotype by Root & Co.”


      Francis d’Avignon (1813-1871) was born in France.  From the Photo-graphic-Art Journal 1851: “Mr. D’Avignon has incontestably no 

superior in the world as a lithographer.—There have never been 

better lithographs made than those he has made for this Gallery 

from Brady’s Daguerreotypes.”


     Among others, d’Avignon did lithographs of John James Audubon, 

Millard Fillmore, Daniel Webster, and Henry Clay.


     We do know that d’Avignon did a lithograph of J.B. Wakeman 

(Jesup Wakeman) who was the grandfather of Happy Osborn 

Wakeman, the wife of Joseph Mather, Deacon Joseph Mather’s son.


     Is our attired and attic-dwelling gentleman a Wakeman, a Mather,

or…?   Answers—or guesses—are welcome!

 J. B. Wakeman by Francis d’Avignon
Photos and Text by Donn Smith

© 2017 by The Mather Homestead Foundation. 

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19 Stephen Mather Road, Darien, CT  06820

Mailing address:  PO Box 1054, Darien, CT  06820

info@matherhomestead.org, 203-202-7602

"He laid the foundation of the National Park Service, defining and establishing the policies under which its areas shall be

developed and conserved unimpaired for future generations. There will never come an end to the good that he has done."            

-Louis C. Cramton, referring to Stephen T. Mather (1867-1930)