Portrait of Mary (Polly) Stevenson Hewson, ca. 1770
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probably London
Pastel on paper; H. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm), W. 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm) (oval)
Collection of Theodore E. Wiederseim, a direct descendant of the Stevenson-Hewson-Bradford family
Mary (called Polly) Stevenson, the daughter of Franklin's London landlady, became in some ways a substitute for his own daughter, Sally. This may be a wedding portrait, since Polly was married in 1770 to a brilliant physician, William Hewson. Their marriage ended in 1774 with his death from blood poisoning, contracted when he dissected an infected corpse during his experiments.
Included in BF300 Exhibit.
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