A rare survival of a triple portrait inscribed by William Matthew Prior, this likeness depicts three children in the Sweetser family: Mary Ellen Sweetser (1848-1916), dressed in red, Harriet A. Sweetser (1850-1855), dressed in blue, and between them their brother, Frederick (b. 1853). Their father, Salathiel Chase Sweetser (1822-1912), was a ship joiner who was born and died in Maine, but from about 1852 to the early 1860s, he and his family were living in Chelsea, Massachusetts and the neighboring town of East Boston, where Prior advertised as a portrait painter in the 1850s and 1860s (Philip Starr Sweetser, Seth Sweetser and His Descendants (Philadelphia, 1938), pp. 100-101; Chelsea, Massachusetts City Directory, 1861); Jacquelyn Oak and Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, Artist and Visionary, William Matthew Prior Revealed (New York Historical Association Press, 2012), p. 29). Two of the sitters died young and the painting descended to the third, Mary Ellen Sweetser who in circa 1873 married Daniel Libby Cummings (1848-1923). The couple are buried in Houlton, Maine and the painting descended to her son Salathiel Fred Cummings (1876-1964) who removed to Mazon, Illinois and by 1989, to Mary Ellen's great granddaughter, Susan J. Moran, the last family owner of the portrait (US Federal Census Records; Ancestry.com. U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011, SAR Membership Number: 79534).