Saturday

Brown, John Henry - portrait of Mrs Eliza Tessieire



Painted in 1858 is this miniature portrait, signed "J Hy Brown 1858" for John Henry Brown. The sitter has been identified, with kind assistance from the Rosenbach Museum and Library, as Mrs Eliza Tessieire. Brown charged $180 to paint this portrait. Eliza Caroline Morgan married Anthony Tessieire on March 19, 1813 in Philadelphia.
Eliza's mother, Mrs Geo. W Morgan is the sitter in a miniature by George Lethbridge Saunders elsewhere in this American 1 gallery. Based upon the census information in the attached comments, Eliza was born in 1798 and thus only 15 when she married, and 60 when this miniature was painted. She was widowed before 1850, but by 1870 she had a personal fortune of $200,000, equivalent to around $10,000,000 today.
Little is known about the Tessieire family, although on page 159 of "Salons Colonial and Republican", Anne Hollingsworth Wharton observes that a large number of the leading citizens of Saint Domingo immigrated to America when they were driven hither by the uprising in the island. These immigrants included the Tessieire (Tesseire) family and presumably Anthony was one of these.
Mrs Eliza Tessierie is belived to be the mother of Antoinette Tessieire (Mrs John Ringgold Wilmer) who is the sitter in the adjacent portrait and of Mary Tessieire who married James Cowles Fisher. As can be seen from the census detail, there were various and continual misspellings of her surname.
This means there are three generations of sitters in the collection; Mrs Geo W Morgan as mother; Mrs Eliza Tessieire as daughter; and Antoinette Wilmer as granddaughter. It seems most likely that these three portraits, together with the one of Mrs James C Fisher had belonged to one of the children of James Cowles Fisher and Mary Tesseire Fisher, and were passed down until sold by auction in 2005. 1101

Later, a kind visitor advises;
1- The portrait miniature of 'Mrs Geo W Morgan - Grandmother
Tessiere's mother' is of Hester Leib, wife of George Washington
Morgan. George Washington Morgan was born in 1776; he was the son of
Gen Jacob Morgan of the American Revolution. The Morgans were
merchants and heavily involved in shipping and the West Indies (sugar)
trade. George Washington Morgan and Hester Leib had 4 surviving
children: Eliza Caroline (m.Anthony Teisseire), Mary (m.Saturnius
Destouet), Harriet Adelaide (m.Thomas Ashton Morgan), and George Leib
Morgan (m.Lucretia Elizabeth Hamersley).

2- The Destouet family ('portrait of Mary Morgan Destouet').
Saturnius Destouet and his two brothers, Bartholomew & John E, were
merchants in Philadelphia under the name 'Destouet Brothers'. Bartholomew may have
died or returned to France by the late 1820s; only Saturnius and John
E show up in the later records. Their father's name was John; there
were also two sisters, Adele and Zelie, born about 1802 and 1807
respectively. The father, John, along with Adele and Zelie, left the United States
in 1831 to travel in Europe; I haven't found any record of their
return to the US. Eliza Caroline Destouet, daughter of Saturnius & Mary
(Morgan) Destouet, married her 1st cousin, Thomas Hamersley Morgan,
son of George Leib & Lucretia Elizabeth (Hamersley) Morgan. The Rev Brockholst
Morgan who married them was Thomas' brother.

3- The wives of John Ringgold Wilmer ('portrait of Antoinette
Teisseire') were cousins. JRW's first wife was the daughter of
Anthony and Eliza Caroline (Morgan) Teisseire. JRW's second wife, Marie Jeanne Nathalie
de Chazournes, was the daughter of Felix and Marie Louise (Brugiere)
Chazournes. Marie Louise (Brugiere) Chazournes was the daughter of Charles and
Marie Antoinette (Teisseire) Brugiere. Marie Antoinette (Teisseire)
Brugiere was the sister of Anthony Teisseire.

Charles Brugiere originally worked for the firm 'Tarascon Brothers,
James Berthoud & Co'. They were Philadelphia merchants who later
established the town of Shippingport, Kentucky. After the Teisseire family's
arrival in Philadelphia in about 1800, Charles Brugiere and Anthony
Teisseire established the firm of Brugiere and Teisseire.

In about 1843, Charles and Marie Antoinette (Teisseire) Brugiere's
son, William, married Mary Morgan, daughter of Thomas Ashton and
Harriet Adelaide (Morgan) Morgan, thus completing the circle of Morgan,
Teisseire, and Brugiere.

One additional note - Thomas Ashton Morgan and his wife, Harriet
Adelaide Morgan were also cousins. Thomas' father, Benjamin, was a
brother of Gen Jacob Morgan. Gen Jacob Morgan was Harriet Adelaide's grandfather.

6 comments:

Don, the collector said...

The family has been located living in Lower Dublin Township, Philadephia Co in the 1850 census, and where Eliza's name is incorrectly recorded as Elizabeth Tersaire. Living there were;
Elizabeth Tessieire 52f $2500, Jno R Wilmer 36m Merchant $15000, Antoinette Wilmer 26f (see adjacent miniature), James Fisher 26m None $30000 (this must be James Cowles Fisher),(blank) Fisher 24f (this must be Mary Tessieire (aka Mary Tesseire), William W Fisher 2 3/4m, and Tersaire Fisher 1f (first name also a misspelling). There were also at least eight servants living with the family, who were obviously wealthy, by their assets disclosed above.

Don, the collector said...

In the 1860 census, Eliza is recorded as Eliza C Tressaire 62f $30000 $6000. She is still living with the Fishers, but now in the 10th precinct of the 23rd ward in Philadelphia: Jas Fisher 42m Gentleman $75000 $5000, Mary T Fisher 34f, William W Fisher 12m, A Tressaie (sic) 11f, James C Fisher 9m, Eliza C Fisher 7f, and nine servants.

Don, the collector said...

In the 1870 census, Eliza is recorded with yet another name variation, now a very wealthy woman, and still living with the Fishers. This time as Eliza Tessar 72f $200,000, Jas C Fisher 50m Stock Broker $40000 $60000 Mary T Fisher 45f, William W Fisher 22m Farmer. Anthony T(essieire) Fisher 20m, James C Fisher 19m, bothe clerks in dry goods store, and Eliza T Fisher 17f, together with five servants.

Don, the collector said...

Eliza is not living with James and Mary Fisher in the 1880 census and has presumably died by this date. James 62m and Mary 55f are living with two servants.

History Buff said...

The Fisher property in what once was Lower Dublin Twp., Philadelphia County, is now the southern third of the massive, 63-acre Delaire Landing apartment/condo complex along the Delaware River on State Road in the Torresdale section of the City of Philadelphia. The old Dolan and Carson estates comprise the other two-thirds. Next the river, one out-building remains from the Fisher estate, as does the landing. On a 1910 map, Mary T. Fisher, who was 85 by that time, is listed as the owner.

History Buff said...

History Buff, George W. Morgan (b.1776) enlarged the house and used the stones from the old bake house for the stable wall. is the outbuilding you speak of the stable?