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Nathaniel Babson was a Gloucester merchant and a town selectman from 1847 to 1850, and again in 1860. He was a strong supporter of abolition and brought speakers into town to lecture on the subject. He was part owner of two schooners, the "Dianna" in 1855 and the "Flying Cloud" from 1855 to 1859.
According to notes on his drawings, Lane made a painting for Nathaniel Babson of Stage Rocks, and three paintings for his two daughters of their family home.
Nathaniel Babson (1810–63) married Emmeline Davis Rogers (1816–44) on January 16, 1838. He was the son of Capt. Nathaniel Babson and Eliza Gorham Low and a cousin of Edward and John James Babson, his father and their father being brothers. Emmeline was the daughter of Shubael Gorham Rogers and Mary (Davis) Rogers. They had three children: Emmeline Rogers (1839–1903) who married William Hovey Friend; Maria Rogers (1840–1913), who did not marry, and an unnamed daughter who died in the year of her birth, 1844. In the 1860 census, after his wife’s death, Nathaniel Babson was described as a [house] painter and their daughter Emmeline as a dressmaker.
Shortly before his death, ownership of Nathaniel Babson's home went to Maria and Emma's uncle, Gustavus Babson (1820-1897)
Sawyer Free Library