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"this, with the antique kirtle and picturesque petticoat is an Acadian portrait", Page 56
Frederic S. Cozzens Acadia; or, A Month with the Blue Noses (New York: Derby & Jackson, 1859), frontispiece. Based on an ambrotype that is now lost.
From the Preface of the book, p.iv-v.
A word in regard to the two Acadian portraits. These are literal ambrotypes, to which Sarony has added a few touches of his artistic crayon. It may interest the reader to know that these are the first, the only likenesses of the real Evangelines of Acadia. The women of Chezzetcook appear at daybreak in the city of Halifax, and as soon as the sun is up vanish like the dew. They have usually a basket of fresh eggs, a brace'or two of worsted socks, a bottle of fir-balsam to sell. These comprise their simple commerce. When the market-bell rings you find them not. To catch such fleeting phantoms, and to transfer them to the frontispiece of a book published here, is like painting the burnished wings of a humming-bird. A friend, however, undertook the task. He rose before the sun, he bought eggs, worsted socks, and fir-balsam of the Acadians. By constant attentions he became acquainted with a pair of Acadian women, niece and aunt. Then he proposed the matter to them:
"I want you to go with me to the daguerreotype gallery."
"To have your portraits taken."
"To send to a friend in New York."
"To be put in a book."
"Never rnind ' what for,' will you go ?"
Aunt and niece both together in a breath "No."
So my friend, who was a wise man, wrote to the priest of the settlement of Chezzetcook, to explain the " what for," and the consequence was our portraits! But these women had a terrible time at the head of the first flight of stairs. Not an inch would these shy creatures budge beyond. At last, the wife of the operator induced them to rise to the high flight that led to the Halifax skylight, and there they were painted by the sun, as we see them now.
Nothing more! Ring the bell, prompter, and draw the curtain.