Latham Avery 1775–1845
Attributed to Samuel F. B. Morse (1791–1872)
Oil on canvas, c. 1820
Latham Avery of Groton, Connecticut, went to sea as a young man after the death of his father. He made at least one voyage to China before focusing his trading interests on what is now Guyana (Demerara). He spent about twenty years in South America before returning to Groton, where in 1816 he married Betsey Wood Lester and purchased a house built by a cousin (now the Avery-Copp Museum).
The Averys’ unsigned portraits, painted within a few years of their marriage, are here attributed to Samuel F. B. Morse, who lived in New Haven in the early 1820s. They were possibly painted for Latham’s older brother Dudley, whose descendants are the present owners.