Here, three generations are gathered in a comfortable room. The picture revolves around the grandfather, seated in front of the fireplace. The relics of his military service in the Revolutionary War are displayed on the walls, and his portrait as a young man keeps company with the bust of Washington in the corner. The old man’s son and his wife are well dressed and the prosperity of the intervening years is reflected in their surroundings. Everyone’s attention is focused on the young grandson, in officer’s uniform, just arrived and already launched on the story of his experience in the Mexican War.  Behind the door at right the black servants cluster to hear the tale.  They are waiting in the wings, just off stage, like the “irrepressible conflict” that will soon erupt over the issue of slavery, and bring this era to a close. 

download high-res image | online record







AAS Home | AAS Collections | AAS Catalog | About | Site Thumbnails | Bibliography | Site sections: | Introduction | The Paterfamilias | Home Life Disrupted | Occupations & Trades | Associations | Militia | Fashion | Physical Culture | Conclusion

This site and all contents © 2011 American Antiquarian Society