||Cited from Hope Jillson Vernon, The Poems of Maria Lowell (Providence: Brown University, 1936) pg. 27.
James Russell Lowell on daguerreotypes:
On 12 May 1845, James Russell Lowell wrote to his sister-in-law Louis [White Howe] about daguerreotypes of Maria (his wife) and himself:
"The latest intelligence of any interest which I have to convey is that Maria and I have been sitting to the Sun for our portraits. It was not, however, at the request of that distinguished and useful luminary, but at that of a son of the Mr. Pennock with whom (you will recollect) we stayed a short time in the country. . . It is generally thought that Mr. Phoebus has made a decided hit; not that we either of us have received a stroke of the Sun, but the likenesses are excellent. Portraits of this kind are generally satires upon their originals, and this (though the fact is not commonly known) is the origin of their namea satire being usually, and in its primitive signification always, a dagger o' type with which a gentleman stabs at the reputation of another. Maria's is so beautiful that I am very positive that your mother, in direct contravention of one of the Commandments. . . will covet it. There were several taken before I was satisfied, and Mr. Langenheim (who holds the responsible office of assistant and brushcleaner to the erratic artist who took the likenessesI have taken them since myself) requested permission to keep one of the rejected ones, which he will ornament with a background of clouds and place in his gallery. The beauty of the sitter was assigned as the reason for this request. He desired me also to sit for an additional portrait to be used for the same purpose. You can draw your own inference from this last fact."