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Have You Seen this Man?

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

On the East wall of the Homestead 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!


2nd photo: J. B. Wakeman by Francis d’Avignon


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