Charles & Mary Chapman. Tintype.
Charles Chapman was Arabella’s youngest brother. He is photographed here with his wife Mary. The caption reads “Mary Chapman + Charlie.”
By the 1880 census, 15 year old Charles Chapman was a waiter in a hotel, like his father who was head waiter at Albany’s Delavan Hotel. The records of the Albany Rural Cemetery suggest that Charles died in October 1894, seven months after his son Charles Jr. died of meningitis. By 1896, Albany’s city directory reported Mary as living as a widow and boarding at 164 Third Street.
This image of Arabella’s brother, a young man who died just shy of his 30th birthday, underscores the part that the photo album played in constructing the Chapman family memory. It was likely Arabella’s daughter Alfarata Miller who penciled the caption below this image. Alfarata never knew her uncle Charles, but family stories ensured that she recognized his image and kept it intact through the album.