The full-length carte de visite portrait of Protestant Episcopal minister Rev. Richard Henry Barnes Mitchell (1803-1869) was taken at the studio of Palmer Lenfield Perkins (1824-1900), 207 Baltimore Street.
Mitchell was born in Kent County, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, son of Capt. John Mitchell, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, and Catharine Barnes Mitchell.
References to Rev. Mitchell in records of the Protestant Episcopal Church indicate that in his early years as a minister, he served a parish in Virginia, and William and Mary (Ridge) Parish in St. Marys County, Maryland. He spent many years as the rector of Christ Church in Bordentown, New Jersey. At the time of his death, he was rector at Trinity Church, Elkton, Maryland.
Sources are contradictory regarding the number of Mitchell’s marriages. I’ve found three wives, and this agrees with some genealogical sources, but there is a fourth listed on the back of one of the cartes de visite pictured above.
His will, posted on ancestry.com by a family researcher, mentions a fourth wife, Margaret S., and this must be the “Miss Wirt of Elkton Md.” mentioned on the back of the carte de visite.
He had eight children with his first wife, Lucinda Compton, and three more sons with his second wife, Susan Binney. Among his sons, Walter Alexander Mitchell and Whittingham Doane Mitchell both became Episcopal ministers; Andrew R. Mitchell became a physician and settled in Wilmington, Delaware.
So far, I have only located the graves of Rev. Walter A. Mitchell and his wife, Susan Thomas Mitchell, are buried in the cemetery of All Faith Episcopal Church, Mechanicsville, St. Mary’s County, Md.
And now, to the photographer, Palmer Lenfield Perkins. Like Rev. Mitchell, Perkins was of the Methodist Episcopal persuasion. Perkins was born in Beverly, Burlington Co., New Jersey. Originally he studied for the ministry at Prnceton University, but left without taking a degree. In 1850, he opened a daguerreotype gallery at North and Baltimore and pursued the photography business at various locations on Baltimore Street until his retirement sometime between 1880 and 1890.
After his death, his son, Harry Lenfield Perkins, carried on the business into the early 1900s.
Perkins had, as the Sun put it, “at an early age, manifested a fondness for military organization.” “Colonel” Perkins, as he styled himself, helped organize the Fourth Regiment of the Maryland National Guard, one of the two regiments that participated in the infamous acts of violence against striking B & O railroad workers in 1877.
Perkins ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a Prohibition Party candidate in 1890.
He was an active member of Ascension M. E. Church in Baltimore. You can see the church as it appeared in the early 1870s in a Chase stereoview .