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Ames, Ezra (05 May 1768–23 February 1836), painter, engraver, and gilder, was born Ezra Emes in Framingham, Massachusetts, the son of Jesse Emes, a soldier and farmer, and Betty Bent. Ames’s mother died when he was seven. Nothing is known of his education; he may have been educated at home. In 1790 his father, who had remarried, moved the family to Staatsburg, New York. By that time Ezra had chosen to spell his surname Ames and was working as a journeyman painter and craftsman in Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1793 he settled in Albany, New York, which was his home for the rest of his life. In October 1794 he married Zipporah Wood of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, and returned with her to Albany, where their three children were born....

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Johnston, Thomas (1708?–08 May 1767), engraver, organ builder, and decorative painter, was a prominent . His parentage and place of birth are unknown. Several artists and artisans named Thomas Johnston (or the variant Johnson) were active in eighteenth-century America and England, and early references sometimes confuse them. Nevertheless, his is one of the better-documented careers among craftsmen of colonial Boston....