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Francis Bicknell Carpenter
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"Among the former residents of this town who have attained a national reputation is MR. FRANCIS B. CARPENTER, the artist who gave to the world the "First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation:" The history of that picture is told in his "Six Months at the White House." Mr. Carpenter was born in Homer, August 6, 1830, his father having settled here in 1800. His educational advantages were limited to the common school and one term at the academy in his native town. He early manifested a desire to become an artist and of course exhibited a strong aversion to the labors of the farm. The fences and out-buildings upon the farm were decorated by the ideal images formed in the brain of the young artist .and executed with chalk, brick-dust, lamp-black and any other materials upon which he could lay his hands. The father opposed what he regarded the "boy's nonsense," but the mother sympathized with him and at length sat for her portrait, which was so accurate a likeness that the father gave up his opposition and became the second person to sit for a likeness. Soon after completing the portrait of his father he entered the studio of Sandford Thayer, of Syracuse, where he remained about five months, receiving assistance from that artist and making rapid progress in his chosen avocation. While here he made the acquaintance of the artist Elliott, recently deceased, who encouraged him ard gave him such instruction as he thought would aid him in his work. in 1846, before he was sixteen years of age, he returned to his native town and opened a studio. Here he received little encouragement at first, the citizens distrusting his ability. As prejudice gradually wore away, he began to receive encouragement, and the field of his operations was gradually enlarged. Hon. Henry S. Randall was one of the first to encourage the young artist by his patronage, having employed him to prepare some drawings for a work which be was about to publish, and subsequently sat for his portrait. In 1850 he located in New York and has been growing in favor ever since." - History of Homer, New York
GAZETTEER and BUSINESS DIRECTORY
OF CORTLAND COUNTY, N. Y. FOR 1869.
COMPILED and PUBLISHED BY HAMILTON CHILD, SYRACUSE, NY 1869
Added by: Carol Darling
5/24/2010
 
 

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