Newburgh: Abel A. Peck, 1860s. 3 ½ x 2 ¼ albumen print on larger mount. Good. Item #List025
A carte-de-visite copy of a folk art painting probably painted c. 1820s-1830s. William Seymore (1786-1846) was a Methodist minister in Bellvale, New York. Edward Ruttenber and L.H. Clark, in their 1881 History of Orange County, describe him as follows: "In 1817, William Seymour, a colored man, was licensed to exhort; afterwards he was given a local preacher's license, and for many years preached in the vicinity of Bellvale. As one of the first laborers under God, his name is remembered by some still living in this place. His home, while here, was at the house of William Wisner. His portrait, gift of Mr. Samuel Wilson, is in the Bellvale parsonage. William Seymour died at the house of Isaac Still, in the town of Monroe. He retired for the night, after a very happy meeting during the evening in the place, and when called for breakfast he was found dead in the bed. The Master came, his work ended, and he entered into rest." Abel Peck, the photographer, practiced on Water St. in Newburgh.
A quite uncommon photographic example of folk art of an identified African-American minister. Most photographic reproductions of folk art from the nineteenth century are unidentified, and the vast majority of those identified show white subjects. A good copy with some fading and faint marginal discoloration, well preserved overall.