Agnes Susan Jay Collection - PP109

Collection finding aids of Photograph Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Maryland Historical Society Library

ca. 1880s

Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society 
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Finding aid created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, July 1999



Located on Mount Royal Avenue near Aberdeen in Harford County (Md.), the Swansbury estate (also known as Swan Creek) has been in the possession of the Griffith-Smith-Lee-Jay family since ca. 1750. The house’s notable architecture features a Palladian window, and several interesting motifs (acanthus, bead and star). During the Federal period, Swansbury was inhabited by Martha Griffith Smith, whose first husband was Col. Alexander Lawson Smith, a cofounder of the Society of the Cincinnati. Her second husband was Samuel Jay, a great-nephew of John Jay, first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In the 20th century, residents have included John and Mary G. E. Jay, and their son Edward Griffith Jay, Sr. (d. 1932), as well as Samuel S. and Annie Davis Jay and their daughter Henrietta Davis Jay (d. 1960).

Collection Origin

Gift of Mrs. H.A. Hoselman (62920).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 1 box with 3 folders containing 29 photographs and 1 album with 16 photoprints, which are either undated or from the 1880s. All are studio portraits, made primarily by photographers in Baltimore, but also Philadelphia, Paris, Brooklyn, Indianapolis, San Diego, San Francisco, and elsewhere. Subjects are mostly unidentified men, women, children; they are family and friends of the Jay family, whose home was at "Swansbury" in Harford County, Maryland.

Note: Related materials are in the Jay Collection (MS. 1947) and the Jay Papers (MS. 1828) in the Manuscripts Department of the Maryland Historical Society.


The photographs in folders are sorted by general subject:

Studio portraits, men, n.d. and ca. 1880s.

Studio portraits, women, n.d. and ca. 1880s.

Studio portraits, a group, children, and a pet, n.d. and ca. 1880s.

Container List

1 Box

Box 1: 3 Folders and 1 Album

Box 1, Folder 1
Studio portraits, men, n.d. and ca. 1880s. 8 items.

Box 1, Folder 2
Studio portraits, women, n.d. and ca. 1880s. 14 items. Identified individuals are H. M. Lee and Alice M. Jay (?).

Box 1, Folder 3
Studio portraits, a group, children, and a pet, n.d. and ca. 1880s. 7 items.

16 x 13 cm. Owned by Agnes Susan Jay of Swansbury, contains 16 studio portraits, n.d. Album has lock and mother-of-pearl tiles on cover. Identified individuals include Griffith Lee Johnson and Edward J.(?) Johnson. © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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