I won this beautiful daguerreotype on ebay. I bought it because I loved the image of the two men. But, the part I love the most now is the writing I found in the case, behind the photo. These two young men definitely had a sense of humor.
“Taken form (?) John B. Gillette & R. B. Fairchild at the ages of 25 & 23 – look as if we might be about 45 or 50 – August 30th 1859”
The sitters are John B. Gillette, born April, 1834, son of Abel Ferris and Lucy (nee Plat) Gillette, and Robert Bruce Fairchild, son of David Burton and Amy (nee Wayland) Fairchild, born June 9, 1836.
In 1840, both boys were living in Newtown, Fairfield county, Connecticut. By 1850, John was still in Newtown, but tragedy had befallen Robert. His father was killed in 1841 by an accident while blasting rock and his mother died in 1848, leaving Robert an orphan at the age of eleven. In 1850, he lived with the Rufus Couch family in nearby Danbury. The boys were distantly related; John’s Great Aunt, Mary Gillette, had married Zadock Fairchild, Robert’s first Cousin three times removed.