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F. W. Olin Library

Special Collections and Archive

Cameron (James and Emma) Papers, 1846–1876

475 items, Rosalind Keep Estate

James Cameron, portrait and landscape painter, was born in Scotland about 1816 and came to America before 1839, according to the New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America. His correspondence indicates that he was in Italy from 1846–1848. In 1849 he was in Philadelphia and from then until 1867 in various parts of the east and south—Washington, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, and environs. By 1871 he had acquired the title Reverend and was serving a church in Maine. In 1874–1876 he was in California, part of the time as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in San Bernadino. The collection contains letters he wrote to his mother (1848–1859) and to his wife (1861–1859).

Emma Cameron is listed in the New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America as the wife of James Cameron, an artist in Philadelphia. The collection contains her letters to her mother-in-law (1851–1860) and to her husband (1861–1862) as well as her notes on travels in Italy (1846–1848) with some original drawings by Hiram Powers, the sculptor.

The couple's correspondents include Thomas B. Ashton, wood engraver, landscape and genre painter; Joseph Mozier, sculptor; and Sarah Brown Ingersoll Cooper, contributor to the Overland Monthly and pioneer in the kindergarten movement. A letter by Walter J. Miller, dated March 14, 1853, describes a voyage on the steamer Tennessee, that ended in a wreck off San Francisco Bay.

These papers came to the Library from the estate of Rosalind Keep, who hoped to publish them, according to her brother, Winthrop Keep.




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Last Updated: 9/28/18