Peter Marié’s collection

Peter Marié (1825-1903). Courtesy of

Many years ago, now, I visited a cousin outside Baltimore with the marvelous name of Camille Steward Marié (1918-2002).[1] He was the son of one of my great-grandfather’s first cousins, but because of the way our families were constructed, Camille was closer in age to my father than to my grandfather, his actual second cousin. In part this was due to the two marriages of our common ancestor, John Steward (1777-1854): I am descended from the first one, while Camille’s grandmother was the sole survivor of the second.

There were actually two Steward-Marié marriages during the nineteenth century: Camille married Rachel Steward in 1856, and his brother Albin married Rachel’s niece Sarah Slosson a year later. Today, the most famous member of this Marié generation was a third brother, Peter, whose collection of portrait miniatures adorns the New-York Historical Society.

I had the impression that Peter Marié’s collection – of society beauties from the last decades of the nineteenth century – contained images of my Steward relatives, some of them members of the Marié family, and I recently found an early list of Peter’s bequest to confirm it.

Click on charts to expand them.

In addition to subjects still well-known today, like Mrs. Edward Wharton (the novelist Edith Wharton), Mrs. Elliott Roosevelt (the former Anna Rebecca Hall, and the mother of Eleanor Roosevelt), and the actress Maude Adams, Peter collected several images of Steward (as well as Marié) connections:

One might stretch this list even further, to include Mrs. Barnwell’s son, Clermont Livingston Barnwell, who married his cousin Elizabeth Steward Morris Burrill, bringing in another member of the John Steward family. Elizabeth Steward Morris (Burrill) Barnwell was the daughter of Drayton Burrill and Elizabeth Steward, and the granddaughter of Daniel Jackson Steward and Mary Anna Bogert. D. Jackson Steward (1816-1898) was the brother of Elizabeth (Steward) Slosson, John Steward (my great-great-grandfather), and Mary Young (Steward) Van Alen, and the half-brother of Rachel Young (Steward) Marié, who married Peter’s brother Camille; it was the son of this last marriage, Léon Marié, whose third marriage produced Cousin Camille, who entertained me at lunch one day years ago!


[1] Camille was named for his paternal grandmother’s family, so Steward is correct.

About Scott C. Steward

Scott C. Steward was the founding editor at Vita Brevis; he served as NEHGS Editor-in-Chief 2013-2022. He is the author, co-author, or editor of genealogies of the Ayer, Le Roy, Lowell, Saltonstall, Thorndike, and Winthrop families. His articles have appeared in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, NEXUS, New England Ancestors, American Ancestors, and The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, and he has written book reviews for the Register, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

One thought on “Peter Marié’s collection

  1. Dear Mr. Steward,
    Thank you for such an interesting article! You are fortunate that so many miniature portraits of your family were “taken” before the advent of photography.

    You might be interested in a collection of miniatures now on exhibit at the Lyman-Allyn Museum in New London: The Way Sisters: Miniaturists of the Early Republic.

    The miniatures are all of interrelated families in the area––including a few Saltonstalls. You might find a few more of your people pictured.

    Best wishes,

    Pamela Ehrlich

    PS: My husband Brian was the instigator of the exhibition and was involved in producing it. The NEHGS website was invaluable for his research this exhibition was based on. Here is a link to his first article about the Way sisters: This article by Laura Beach about the exhibition is a good overview:

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