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Murphy, Gerald Cleary (26 March 1888–17 October 1964), painter, businessman, and friend to artists and writers, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Patrick Francis Murphy, the owner of an upper-scale leather goods store, and Anna Elizabeth Ryan. Patrick Murphy moved his business, the Mark Cross Company, and his family to New York City in 1892. Gerald’s father was a strict disciplinarian who expected his son to receive a sound education and join the family business. His mother was such a devout Catholic that she changed Gerald’s birthdate from 26 March to 25 March, the Feast of the Annunciation. Murphy resisted his parents’ business and religious pressures, although he temporarily joined Mark Cross after graduating from Yale in 1912....


Revere, Paul ( December 1734–10 May 1818), craftsman, patriot, and businessman, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Paul Revere, a goldsmith, and Deborah Hichborn (or Hitchborn). Revere’s father, born Apollos Rivoire, emigrated from France to Boston in 1715 at the age of thirteen and apprenticed with John Coney, a prominent local gold/silversmith. Shortly before his marriage he changed his name, first to Paul Rivoire and then to Paul Revere. The son’s birth date has long been the source of confusion since only his baptismal date, 22 December 1734 OS and 1 January 1735 NS, is recorded. Revere’s early life, fairly typical of boys of his day and economic status, included basic schooling at the North Writing School. During his teens he entered into a formal agreement with fellow North End youths to ring the bells at Christ Church for a fee. Revere’s own words, “My Father was a Goldsmith. … I learned the trade of him,” confirm that as the eldest surviving son, he apprenticed with his father, thus beginning his most enduring occupation. Though overshadowed by the fame of his son, the elder Revere’s skill as a gold/silversmith may actually have equaled that of his son. The younger Revere noted that his father died “in the year 1754, he left no estate, but he left a good name.” Just nineteen years old, Revere ran the shop with the help of his mother. In 1756 he received a commission as a second lieutenant of artillery and spent the better part of a year on an unsuccessful expedition to capture the French fort at Crown Point on Lake Champlain....


Paul Revere. Drawing by Charles Févret de Saint-Mémin. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-7407).


Story, William Wetmore (12 February 1819–07 October 1895), sculptor and writer, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Story, a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and Harvard law professor, and Sarah Waldo Wetmore, the daughter of a prominent Boston judge. During his formative years spent in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Story was exposed to the vibrant intellectual communities of Harvard College (now University) and antebellum Boston, and he pursued a variety of creative pastimes while simultaneously preparing to enter the family profession of law. Upon graduating from Harvard in 1838 and Harvard Law School in 1840, he was admitted to the bar and proceeded to distinguish himself as a Boston attorney. He also served as a reporter to the U.S. Circuit Court and published important treatises on the laws of contracts (1844) and personal property sales (1847). In 1843 he married Emelyn Eldredge of Boston, a childhood acquaintance. Artistic ambitions earlier awakened continued to occupy Story, however, and despite the pressures of his legal practice he managed to participate in local artist associations, contribute verse and criticism to some of the day’s bolder opinion journals, and develop a modest reputation as an amateur painter and clay modeler....