(North Kingstown, Rhode Island, 1755 - 1828, Boston, Massachusetts)
Phebe Lord (Mrs. Thomas C. Upham)
30 7/16 in. x 25 1/2 in. (77.31 cm x 64.77 cm)
North America, United States
Medium and Support
oil on canvas
Gift of Edward D. Jameson
In his compelling portrait of twenty-year-old Phebe Lord, garbed in a fashionable dress and an embroidered scarlet shawl, Gilbert Stuart captures her determined gaze, suggesting a woman of keen intellect and commitment to principle. A Kennebunkport, Maine, native and the daughter of a wealthy ship owner, she married Thomas C. Upham in 1825 and moved to Brunswick, where Upham served as Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy. An early supporter of the antislavery movement, Phebe befriended novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. An active member of the First Parish Church, Phebe organized prayer meetings and lobbied for women’s voting rights. She also wrote several books on religion and theology, including a pamphlet highlighting the piety of the formerly enslaved woman Phebe Ann Jacobs, who was also a First Parish Church member.
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