Jul 15, 2021 - Sale 2576

Sale 2576 - Lot 54

Estimate: $ 2,500 - $ 3,500
Vassar College, Tintype Album circa 1865.
Harriet Griggs Barnes (1845-1918)

Miniature album containing fifty-two gem portrait tintypes, approximately seventeen identified in pencil, with a note taped inside the ffep identifying Griggs, and mentioning Vassar; Griggs and her mother are both represented and identified; the majority of the images depict women, although whether any others attended Vassar is unclear; male sitters include four images of the same young man at different ages, including two in which he wears his military uniform, his kepi has the initials "JG"; and two photos of a puppy; rouge has been added to cheeks of most sitters, some plates trimmed to ovals; a few with surface cracking, the last three album pages empty; the album in period gilt-tooled red morocco with brass clasp, aeg, spine panel detached, chipped at head and tail, some of the paper overlays holding the photos to the heavy card album pages torn, 3 1/2 x 3 in.; the tintypes 3/4 x 1 in.

Harriet (Hattie) Griggs (1845-1918) enrolled as a freshman in the inaugural Vassar College class for its first school year in 1865. She was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts to parents from the East coast. The family was living in Ohio when her younger brother was born, and then moved to Minnesota in the 1860s. She lists Faribault, Minnesota as her hometown at the time of her college enrollment and is recorded living at the same location on the census of 1870. Although she did not graduate, she did go on to marry Civil War veteran Elmer John Barker of the 5th New York cavalry in McHenry, in Illinois in 1876. She had three sons who lived to adulthood and a daughter who passed away in her first year. The details of Griggs's life seem to indicate that her parents explored an adventurous lifestyle in the middle part of the 19th century. She eventually settled in Crown Point, New York, on the west shore of Lake Champlain. Although Griggs herself never graduated, her daughter-in-law, Harriet Provost Fisher (1886-1974) successfully completed her Vassar degree in 1907, and her granddaughter, Janet Barker (1916-1973) was in the graduating class of the college in 1937. (cf. Vassar College. Alumnae Biographical Register Issue, page 438; Poughkeepsie, N. Y., 1939.)