This is just an addendum to yesterday's entry. It occurred to me I left out a crucial piece of evidence. I insert it here, rather than revise the previous entry, for people who have read it already, formed their conclusion, and wouldn't be likely to go back and read an addendum, there.
Okay, I had certain strong subjective reactions to a historical portrait, which I had no reason to suspect from the historical record, several years ago. And now I find a story, which I take to be about the same girl, which I have determined is written by Mathew a year or so after the courtship and rejection would have taken place, which I only recently discovered.
So far, so good--but the skeptical mind will object, "How do you know that the story relates to that particular girl, the one in the portrait, and not some other, unnamed girl?
Mathew took care of that for us. He left a clue. I won't quote it, here, but in his round-about way, he tells us that while some people say she lived very close by, others insist that she lived 30 miles away. In fact, both were true (which is what he is saying), since this particular girl lived only a mile or two from his home, when she attended the local college (in 1827); but after she quit, she went back to her home in Marblehead, Mass., which is precisely 30 miles from Mathew's hometown of Haverhill.
Mathew did this once before, in 1848. Long story, but he was writing about seeing a slave auction in New Orleans. This was the product of a very dangerous piece of investigative journalism, and it was being published in the most radical newspaper in Boston--the "Chronotype." I have evidence suggesting that the editor knew Mathew was there, and was quite worried about him. But it is written and published after he gets back in Boston. Wisely or unwisely, intentionally or unintentionally, he revealed his identity by casually mentioning that his family was 3,000 miles away (i.e., from New Orleans). It so happens that his family--his second family, an arranged marriage--was in St. John, Canada, which is almost exactly 3,000 miles away.
Personally, I think Mathew was leaving a trail of clues, so that his best work could be identified by posterity. I have one clue that he actually wanted himself to find it, in a future incarnation. But in any case, there are two instances where he has casually dropped a hint about his identity, using a precise distance which would be idiosyncratic for him.
Keep in mind there are a great many other clues. In one story, he dances with this girl at a party, but his friend takes her home. In another story, by his first wife, Abby, she refers to the girl as the "coquette" of his "youthful idolatry." There was only one, before Abby. I didn't know any of this when I reacted to the portrait. I think there are enough triangulating clues pointing to her, to make a positive ID.
So to your skeptical mind, I say, I didn't just pull this out of thin air.
Enough, I have barely enough time to get this posted before my break is over.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page, "The Inspector," by Wally Badarou,
from the album "Echoes"