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Maine Memory Network

Eternal Images: Photographing Childhood

Marcus Camillus Knox, 1791

Marcus Camillus Knox, 1791

Item 10096 info
Montpelier, The General Henry Knox Museum

Portraiture, an older medium than photography, first captured images of children.

Because so many children died in infancy, post-mortem portraits and later, photographs, became a preferred method for parents to remember deceased children.

Joseph Wright painted this portrait of Marcus Knox, son of Henry and Lucy Knox, in 1791. The painting was paid for after the boy's death, leading to speculation that it was done after he died in an accident at age eight.

Of thirteen children born to the Knoxes, only three made it to adulthood.

Henry Knox was a Revolutionary War general and the country's first Secretary of War. He moved to Thomaston in 1795.


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