Mary Ann Adelaide (aka Ada) Russell (1843-1894)
This carte de visite is identified as Adelaide Russell. The photo was taken by J. S. Masseck in Milford, New Hampshire. It is from an old photo album that has a number of identified Russell family members. Adelaide shares the page with photos of James Russell and Mary A. Russell. On the back of Adelaide’s picture is a 2 cent revenue proprietary tax stamp. Unlike postage stamps, these stamps were sold to provide tax revenue during the Civil War. Many items such as matches, perfumes, patent medicines, playing cards and photographs were taxed. It helps to date the photo to about 1865. The handwritten cancellation on the stamp “565” may stand for May of 1865.
Further research reveals that Adelaide was born Mary Ann Adelaide Russell, named after her mother, Mary Ann Sutherland Russell. Her father was James Russell. Born in Amherst, New Hampshire on August 25, 1843, it appears that Adelaide lived all of her life in Amherst. She was a tailoress who never married. Her profession makes one wonder if she made the dress that she is wearing. Adelaide had two older brothers, both of whom served in, and survived, the Civil War. She died at the age of 51 on November 20, 1894 of “Chronic Bright’s Disease of the kidneys.” She is buried in Meadow View Cemetery in Amherst, New Hampshire.