(American/Philadelphia, 1796-1865, active New Orleans early 1820s)
"Portrait of Mrs. Negus (1789-1879) with Her Granddaughter Sarah Negus (1840-1915)", 1851
oil on fine linen
signed, dated, localized and sitters identified en verso, old handwritten note attached to stretcher, Philadelphia supplier stamp en verso canvas.
23-1/2" x 20-1/4", framed 52-1/4" x 44-3/4"
Provenance: J. Engle Negus, Esq., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; by descent in family; Estate of Dr. Carroll Ball, Jackson, Mississippi.
Notes: The sitters, both named Susan Engle Negus, are the mother and daughter of James Engle Negus (1809-1884) of Philadelphia and Somerset, New Jersey. His mother was born Susan Engle in Philadelphia on June 18, 1789, the daughter of patriot, lawyer and later Speaker of the Pennsylvania House James Engle (1757-1821) and his wife Margaret Adam (1760-1821). She married tavern keeper John Negus (1784-1823) in 1808, and their son James was born in Philadelphia on June 2, 1809. He became a prosperous merchant and chief weigh-clerk at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, and married Isabella Van Syckel (1814-1892) of Mercer County New Jersey in 1835. Their first daughter Susan Engle Negus, named after her grandmother, was born on November 3, 1840 in Philadelphia and baptized there on April 7, 1841 at the Tenth Presbyterian Church. (At the time of this portrait in 1851, grandmother Susan E. Negus would have been 62 and granddaughter Susan 11.) In June of 1854, James Engle Negus was exposed with uncharacteristic and inexplicable short-weighting at the Mint and, when confronted, confessed to the depredation of $14,000 in gold. He made full and immediate restitution and moved with his family to Bound Brook, Somerset County New Jersey, where he eventually became a rehabilitated and respected country gentleman. His mother died there on February 22, 1879, and he on August 17, 1884. Susan Engle Negus the younger never married but traveled extensively and was active in both the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Mayflower Society. She died on July 16, 1915 in Atlantic City. She, her father, and her grandmother are all buried in Woodlands Cemetery in Philadelphia.