Text: Arthur Hobson Quinn, “illustration - 10,” Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography (1941), p. 86a


[page 86a, unnumbered:]

Jane Stithe Craig Stanard


From the oil painting by James Worrell, formerly in the collection of J. H. Whitty and in his possession for over twenty-five years. Reproduced for the first time through the courtesy of Mr. William H. Koester of Baltimore.



The portrait reproduced here by Quinn has been widely attributed as being Mrs. Stanard, but a very different claim was made in 1976 that the portrait is actually of Marianne Elizabeth Tabb, who became Mrs. Marianne Tabb Barksdale in 1815 (see L.B. Taylor, Jr., The Ghosts of Richmond and Nearby Environs, 1985, pp. 168-171). According to this source, the portrait shown above is a copy of the original portrait done by Worrell about 1815, although Taylor gives the name of the artist as James Warrell. The copy was made about 1860, by Thomas Sully. The original was hanging in the hall of Clay Hill, a plantation owned by the Tabb family, as late as January 1861, when a fire broke out and the house was burned to the ground. The portrait was cut from its frame and saved, but later disappeared. About 1923, the copy was acquired by James Howard Whitty, who seems to have been the person to initially claim Mrs. Stanard as the sitter. From his collection it passed into the possession of William H. Koester. Although most of Koester’s magnificent Poe collection was sold to the University of Texas about 1966, Koester’s widow kept the portrait. When the portrait was put up for auction in Baltimore in June 1976, Mrs. Gibson McConnaughey, Mrs. Tabb’s great-great-granddaughter, presented her evidence against the claim that it showed Mrs. Stanard. She purchased the portrait of her ancestor and proudly displayed it at her home, Haw Branch Plantation in Amelia County, Virginia, for many years. Its current whereabouts are unknown, but it is presumably still with Mrs. McConnaughey or her descendants. (This information was kindly provided by Chris Sempter of the Richmond Poe Museum.)


[S:1 - EAP:ACB, 1941] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Articles - E. A. P.: A Critical Biography (A. H. Quinn) (illustration - 10)