|Dates of Creation||1838/10/23|
|Scope & Content||
Stony Brook Oct 23th, 1838.
Benjamin F. Thompson Esq. -
Dear Sir; I had the honour with other guests to take tea with Mr and Mrs Green and daughters last week, and I never was more politely entertained. I was pleased to meet with part of your family from Hempstead.
Mrs Thompson mentioned to me, that if my brothers and myself had anything to communicate about our rise and progress in the art of painting; that you would be pleased to hear from us, forthwith. I have mentioned to my brothers your request.
"You -are well acquainted with my fathers family, and as regards myself, if you consider that my reputation as an artist entitles me to a favourable notice in your History of Long Island, you are at liberty to make such mention as you think proper.
"In 1828 I painted my first portrait and a composition picture "The daughter of Jairus." In 1829 I commenced professionally ,as a portrait painter and occasionally painted a picture. "I will mention several of my late compositions - Sportsmans
last visit, The Undutiful Boys, Farmers nooning, The raffle, Tough Story, and Fortune-telling or dregs in the cup.
"I sent a picture lately (an artist showing his own work,) to E.L. Carey Esqr of Philadelphia. In his letter to me he says, 'I am happy to inform you that I am entirely satisfied with the picture. was more I am delighted with it. It is one of those simple natural subjects that suits me exactly the execution is deserving of all praise - It has been seen by a number of my friends and I am pleased to say that they all coincided-in-opinion-with-me.
I am at present engaged in painting portraits.
Yours very truly - Wm. S. Mount."
P.S. I wish to speak to you about the merits of my brothers - both members of the National Academy of Design. Brother Shephard is a professional portrait painter, and in that line he is rapedly improving. A portrait of a lady he exhibited in the N. Academy at the late exhibition was considered by good judges equal to the first female portraits in the collection, as regards drawing arrangement colouring and expression.
Brother Henry as a sign and ornamental painter stands at the head of of his profession in this country: he has a fine eye for colour, and ocasionally turns off a piece of still life with great truth to nature, and from some portraits that he has painted for amusement makes me regret that his time has not allowed him to practice the higher branches of the art. See Mr. Dunlaps History of the Arts of Design. I believe you have it in your library.
Please to send me a copy of your History.
William Sidney Mount.