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Martha (Dubose) Porcher Egleston

Scarborough, William Harrison
Place Made:
Charleston South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
paint on canvas
HOA: 41″; WOA: 35 1/2″
Accession Number:
SITTER: Martha (Dubose) Porcher Egleston (1807 – September 25, 1865) was the daughter of Samuel Dubose (1758-1811) and his third wife, Martha (Walter) Dubose of Murrells Plantation. Her father was a prominent planter and political figure in St. Stephen’s Parish, outside of Charleston. Martha’s first husband was a fellow Huguenot, Philip Porcher (1793-1833), the son of Phillip Porcher (1762-1817) and Catherine (Cordes) Porcher of Oldfield Plantation in St. Stephen’s Parish. After his death, she wed the Massachusetts-born lawyer, George Washington Egleston (1795-1863). After his death during the closing years of the Civil War, Martha and her children from both marriages left the Lowcountry and were refugees in the town of Winnsboro, Fairfield County, South Carolina, where she is buried.

ARTIST: William Harrison Scarborough (1812-1871). Portrait and miniature painter, born November 7, 1812, at Dover (Tennessee). After studying art and medicine in Cincinnati and working as a portraitist for a few years in Tennessee, Scarborough moved to South Carolina in 1830. In 1836 he married into a prominent family there and he lived in Darlington District for several years before settling in 1843 at Columbia, where he made his home for the rest of his life. He enjoyed considerable success as a painter of portraits and miniatures in North and South Carolina and Georgia, and also made frequent visits to New York City, though he never had a studio in the North. In 1857 he went abroad for a year of European study. Scarborough died in Columbia on August 16, 1871. His sketchbooks, diaries, and many examples of his portrait work are owned by descendants in South Carolina.

RELATED OBJECTS: The MESDA Collection has on loan portraits of both George Washington Egleston and his wife Martha (Dubose) Porcher Egleston by William Harrison Scarborough (MESDA acc. 5792.1-2). The collection also has on loan a pitcher by Charleston, South Carolina, silversmith John Ewan that belonged to Martha (Dubose) Porcher Egleston (MESDA acc. 5912).

REFERENCES: Helen Kohn Hennig, “William Harrison Scarborough” (Columbia, South Carolina: 1937)

Descended in the family of the sitter.
Credit Line:
Loan courtesy of Robert J. Egleston