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  The research archive of Gary W. Ewer regarding the history of the daguerreotype

I recently acquired a broadside ca. 1845 issued by a daguerreotypist named J. Dillistin. I have been unable to find any reference to him in any of the histories or directories including John Craig's recent and fairly exhaustive "Daguerreian Registry." The broadside was printed by "Seely and Baker, Printers, Jersey Shore, Penn'a." Other that this, I have no other indications of where he may have worked as an itinerant daguerreotypist. If any list members have any information or leads for future information, I would be very appreciative to hear from you. The text of the broadside includes a terrific poem, typical of mid-nineteenth sentimentality. Since the PhotoHst list is usually fairly short, and for the benefit of those of you who may enjoy it, I will give the text here: ---------------------------------------------- The following Lines were composed expressly for Mr. and Mrs. Dillistin by Mrs. Lydia Jane Pierson. Love lives beyond the grave, and when its own Grow weary, and by lifes way side lie down, How doth it shudder with a deep despair To leave the worship'd form--forever there. How with beseeching agony it prays For some resemblance of the buried face So long it's sun of joy--to shed a ray Of pensive moonlight, on it's darkened way. Art--hear'd its wail with pity, and went forth To seek a solace from the wealth of earth, Dug deep for minerals,--cull'd the tinted flowers-- Preparing colors, with her nicest powers; With which she learn'd with weary toil to trace, And tinge, bright pictures of the human face, Love hymn'd her pean--to the praise of Art-- And laid his costly portraits to her heat. But Genius--to whose radiant eyes are given Bright glimpses of the mysteries of Heaven, Grasped GOD'S own pencil--all pervading Light, At once the soul of beauty, and of sight, And on imperishable metal drew-- Herself awe struck and trembling as it grew In tracery delicate, in shade, and line, A perfect copy of a work divine; The form, the face, the traits of age, or youth, Fixed by the pencil of eternal Truth. The world stood by, with doubt and wonder fraught A moment--and the mystery was wrought, Love brought her holiest garlands, green and sweet, And laid them dew'd with tears--at Genius's feet; And every where, she weareth on her heart, The precous gems of this divinest Art.-- Oh short liv'd human Love! while yet thou may'st Secure thy treasures,--swift the moments haste, Bind to thy heart, e'er life's dear angels fly, The fair resemblance, which can never die. ----------------------------------------------------------------- mar1-95

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