National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; bequest of Armida B. Colt
In this playful group portrait painted in Washington, D.C., Sarah Weston Seaton's (1789-1863) son Augustine (1810-1835) holds a bunch of cherries just beyond the reach of his sister Julia (1812-1889). The book in his right hand makes his purpose clear: The Art of Teasing Mad[e] Easy Washing[ton] 18- . Sarah's husband, William Seaton, and her brother, Joseph Gales Jr., were co-owners of the National Intelligencer. Under their editorship, this important newspaper covered congressional proceedings and was the official printer for Congress. The Seatons, whose home was on E Street, NW, between Seventh and Eighth Streets, played leading roles in Washington's political and cultural affairs. Charles Bird King, whose studio was at Twelfth and F Streets, was one of Washington's major portrait painters, best known for his portraits of members of the tribal delegations that visited Washington in the 1820s and 1830s.