MARY P. PUTNAM
Schoolgirl watercolor memorial
Lunenburg, MA c.1814
Mary, was attending school at about age16 when she painted this lovely watercolor memorial to her younger sisters
depicting a classic female figure by the monument. It is inscribed: Dorothy Lovina Putman/ Died/ May 25th 1806
Aged 7 Years/ Nancy Putnam Died Feby 22, 1814 Aged 19 Months.
Mary (1797-1816) was the oldest of eight children born to Daniel Putnam (1772-1831) and Mary Sawyer (1774-1856)
of Fitchburg, MA. Two of Mary’s siblings were named after the Dorothy and Nancy on the monument, naming a
newborn the same name as their deceased sibling was a common practice in early America. Mary was named for her
maternal grandmother who took over her husband’s tavern ( The Sawyer Tavern) after his death. The tavern
was run by Mary’s father from 1796 to 1802 after which the family moved to Lunenburg, MA. There her father kept
a store, and was known to be a tender husband and father and a benefactor of the poor. He was the Justice of the
peace, was extremely active in town politics, school boards, and the church.
Mary died unmarried at the age of 19, about 3 years after she painted this memorial.
Watercolor on paper: 17 1/8” x 18 5/8” framed.
STEPHEN & CAROL HUBER
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