This hand-tinted sixth-plate ambrotype, in a leather case with oval brass mat (2 1/2 inches w. x 3 inches h.), c.1855-1861, is a portrait of Williamsburg, Mass., resident Stephen Meekins (1812-1894). It was probably taken when Meekins was visiting President George Washington's home at Mount Vernon, on the Potomac River in Virginia. Meekins was an industrious, thrifty and prosperous farmer in Williamsburg, raising sheep and growing teasels (a prickly herb with a flower head used to raise a nap on cloth when dried). Meekins married Williamsburg resident Wealthy Bradford (1812-1875) in 1835. They had no children. Meekins was the benefactor of the Williamsburg, Mass. A free town library, named for him, was the 'hobby and dream of his life.' He left a bequest of more than $30,000 when he died in 1894, and the library was established by 1895. The library building was dedicated on February 1, 1897. Meekins is buried in the Village Hill Cemetery in Williamsburg, his grave on the hill marked by a large granite monument.
Permission to publish the image must be obtained from the Meekins Library by writing to email@example.com or Meekins@cwmars.org. Meekins Library, Williamsburg, Mass. must be credited as the original source of the item for all use.
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