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The portrait on the wall…and the silver in the safe.

The presence and presents of Michael Floy in the Mather Homestead.


When Michael Floy wrote his last will, he stated “…my portrait I leave to her [Deborah Floy] during her life, and thereafter it shall belong to my son James Floy, and his heirs…”


Eventually, that heir was Stephen Mather’s wife, Jane Floy. She received it from her father, James Floy Jr. and today the portrait hangs on the north wall of the Keeping Room.


Michael Floy was the subject of an earlier blog and is still regarded as one of the leading horticulturists in New York in the early nineteenth century.


Recently, in the Homestead safe, we found confirmation of the esteem held for Michael Floy. In the safe, were two silver spoons and silver tongs presented to Michael Floy by the New York Horticultural Society. Also, within the safe was a silver teapot with Michael Floy’s initials.


Michael Floy is credited with introducing and developing several different camellias, including the Camellia Floyii and Camellia Hosackia, named for David Hosack whose life was explored by Victoria Johnson at a Mather Lecture in June of 2021.




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