Vermonters and other New Englanders have traditionally been considered industrious, pragmatic and thrifty. Vermont is an agricultural state with no major cities. Hardscrabble family farms, called hill farms, were the norm for much of the state’s history. The man in this portrait looks to me like a hard-working, no-nonsense farmer who doesn’t take days off and who would be alarmed at the prospect of an entire day without chores. He’s sitting for his portrait because his family insisted, and only then because it’s winter and his fields are covered with snow.
The cabinet card was made by Seth W. Corse (1860-1943) of Montpelier and Barre, Vermont.