This portrait, housed in the dining room of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, is of Epes Sargent VI (1813-1880). In 1828 Epes was introduced to Russian culture when he sailed to Russia with his father, Captain Epes Sargent V. This early exposure to travel would influence Sargent throughout his life, particularly in his involvement in the literary arts. Sargent wrote about his travels through Russia in the literary journal he founded on his return to Boston Latin School.
Sargent would become the editor of several publications including the Boston Daily Advertiser, New York Mirror, and the Boston Evening Transcript. In addition to his editorial work, Sargent was a published poet and playwright. Many of his plays focus on European culture and historical events including his plays The Bride of Genoa and Velasco: A Tragedy in Five Acts.
Sargent was very involved with important literary figures of the time. He and Nathaniel Hawthorne sent letters to one another and Sargent shared some of his poems with Hawthorne. In response to Sargent’s poem, “Adelaide's Triumph,” Hawthorne wrote that it was “perfect” and “brought tears into my eyes, though I am as hard-hearted as a grindstone.”
Later in life Sargent became an advocate for the spiritualist movement, a practice employing mediums as vessels to communicate with spirits of the dead. Sargent hosted séances and published books on spiritualism including The Scientific Basis of Spiritualism and The Proof Palpable of Immortality.
Epes Sargent was the half-brother of Hannah Dane Sargent, the wife of Frederic Dan Huntington. His half-sister and her husband were the 4th generation of the family to reside at Forty Acres.