Rachel Burgess Francis (1768-1850)

                                     Portrait by William Warner Major


England ?

Rachel Burgess Francess (spelled "Francis" in the family records on familysearch.org),  ca. 1844

Location: Private ownership (Owned by Frank and Gwen Wilcox in 1965.)

Photograph from Pioneers of Utah Art, (Logan: Kaysville Art Club, 1968),1.

Description: watercolor 7" X 5 1/2"

There is no known history for this painting, but it appears to be a W.W. Major painting with a book painted in tiny hands.   I place it tentatively in the London era because Rachel Burgess Francess never emigrated to America.  She was born October 9, 1768 and died in 1850, both in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England (family records, familysearch.org). A daughter, Eunice Francis Neslen,  joined the Church about 1852 and arrived in Salt Lake in Sept 1853 ( Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah).  W.W. Major left on a mission to England in June 1853 (Jesse Bigler Martin Journal).  It appears that Rachel Francess or her daughter Eunice never met W.W. Major.  There is one possibility. A daughter, Mary Ann Francis, died in London in May 1844 (family records, familysearch.org).   If mother and daughter went to London and had some connection to the Church, W.W. Major may have painted the portrait then.

Another possibility is the portrait is not of Rachel Burgess Francess but some other pioneer.  In that case, I would date it to the Utah period (1848-1853) because it is a watercolor and Major created at least eight watercolors in the Utah Area.  Two are about the same size as this portrait. There are no known watercolors created in Nauvoo.