The incongruous sylvan staging of this very serious, no-nonsense man demonstrates the decade’s mania for props that simulated the outdoors.
According to Winslow Memorial: Family records of the Winslows and their descendants, Capt. Winslow was the son of Margaret-Emily Sergeant of Morristown, New Jersey, and Vermont merchant John Winslow (1802-1839), who died at sea about the time of John Bond Winslow’s birth.
John B. Winslow’s grandfather, farmer John Winslow (1767-1852) helped to settle the town of Williston, Vermont and was a deacon of the Congregational Church for over four decades. According to the family history, the Winslows were among the first settlers of Plymouth Massachusetts, and counted Plymouth Colony Governor Edward Winslow among their ancestors.
Emily took her son to live with the boy’s uncle George T. Cobb, in New York and later in Morristown. John B. entered the banking business in Morristown, where he remained until the war.
He served in the Quartermaster’s Corps of the Union Volunteers during the Civil War, and mustered out in 1866 with the rank of captain.
In 1870, he was working as the Hampshire and Baltimore Coal Company’s shipping agent in Cumberland.
According to an 1866 report, the company owned two productive tracts, one in Piedmont, West Virginia, and one 12 miles from Piedmont, at George’s Creek.
The coal was transported by train, and either proceeded by train to Baltimore harbor, or was transferred to a fleet of company-owned C & O Canal boats at Cumberland (one boat was named the “Capt. J. B. Winslow”), and thence to the north via the inland water route.
Winslow married around 1872, but his young wife, Susan Mary Troxell, died in 1879 at the age of 27. She left him with a small son, Herbert Markley Winslow, who was born about 1873.
According to the Baltimore SUN, Winslow’s life did not end well:
“Information was received here today of the death, in Spring Grove Asylum yesterday, of Capt. J. B. Winslow, formerly of Cumberland, who was taken to the institution a year ago. The deceased was well known here, having been at one time shipping agent of the Hampshire and Baltimore Coal Company” (5 May 1887).
According to a May 1928 Cumberland Evening Times survey of veterans buried in the vicinity, Winslow is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, Cumberland.