Susannah W. Cary, Houlton, 1840
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Susannah Cary (1814-1871) of Houlton sat for artist Albert Tracy on May 17, 1840. Her pose, with a long gold chain wrapped around the index finger of her left hand, shows off a gold and sapphire ring.
In 1840, Houlton was a sparsely settled town on the Maine frontier, the center of struggles over the border between Maine and New Brunswick. Susannah and her husband, Shepard, were major landowners and heavily involved in the timber trade. Shepherd had served in the Maine House of Representatives and was later elected to the Maine Senate.
Tracy, who changed his name from Albert Tracy Haddock, was a decorated soldier and was in Houlton with the troops sent there during the Northeast Boundary Dispute. He painted portraits of both Shepard and Susannah Cary and signed and dated both on the back.