Walker & Adams

1848                136 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Walker & Adams (Samuel Lear Walker & George Adams) were recorded in three advertisements and one announcement in the Worcester Daily Spy (Worcester, Massachusetts).  The first advertisement ran on July 6 & 7, 1848.  “A. W. Van Alstin, late of Lowell.”   It was not my intention to notice you again, satisfied as I was that instead of answering facts, you would have recourse to falsehoods to sustain yourself.  You allude to a law suit I had in Norwich.  True, I had the misfortune to have a competitor a miserable fellow—a fit boon companion of yourself, a man by name of N. S. Bennett who according to his own statement escaped from a jail in Canada, a man only to be known to be depressed.  This fellow after persuing nearly the same course towards me that you have since done, tore my sign from my door in my presence, and I did, in the excitement of the moment, throw one of his at his head, for which he brought a suit against me and recovered 25 cents damage, which was duly collected by Mr. Warren of this city.  As to the Sag Harbor advertisement, it is only necessary for me to say, that it was written by N. S. Bennett, and published in the Norwich News at the instigation of said Bennett, during the absence of the responsible Editor.  Mr. Faulkner, the Editor of the News, upon ascertaining the facts, fully contradicted the false statement made by Bennett, at the same time speaking of him as he deserved.  As to the character I sustain in Norwich, I would refer to the Editor of the Norwich News.  Mr. Failkner, Wm. L. Hommedieu, Esq., P. M. and indeed, to any of the business men of Norwich.  Many of the citizens of Worcester know the course you have persued towards me, since I came to this city.  I came here with the intention of persuing my business as I had a right to do.  I said nothing respecting you or your pictures, and treated you with civility.  But you, envious of the superiority of my pictures and my increasing business, commenced your low and miserable acts towards me.  You first endeavored to excite a prejudice against me, stating that I tore your Bills down—a base falsehood, which I have dared you to prove.  Failing in this, you hired a room in the Exchange, with the intention and boast of running me out of town in one month.  You, at that time, put out your sign to take pictures for 50 cts., but the public understood your motive and avoided your room, and you was obliged to sail under false colors, and pretend to sell out to get any custom.  At the same time you offered the Worcester Brass Band $25, to induced them to have me leave.  But they “scorned the bribe” and exposed you in the Transcript and Telegraph.  You, at the same time, tore down my bills at night; which statement I can prove, when called upon.  While I was in the Exchange, you copied my card, word for word, as anyone can see buy reading yours and comparing it with the one I had printed previously.  You have since boasted, that you would have a show case, made to hang at the door, exactly like mine, so that strangers would think your room was mine.  If you deny it, I will prove it.  You have stated that I did not pay my operators, and spoke of Mr. Lyon as an instance, at the same time you knew that it was a base and malignant falsehood.  You have heaped your abuse upon me daily, and now I challenge you to produce any evidence that I have ever done any mean or dishonorable act.

Notwithstanding your paid-for puffs, and ridiculous statements, respecting your business the public have not been deceived, but have compared your pictures with those made by me, and have patronized me accordingly.  In one of your letters, you say that you have pictures of mine that you have taken over which you will sell for 14 cts. per lb.  I will give you $50,00 per lb. For all you can produce.

For want of patronage, it seems that you and your man in the Exchange are to take Daguerreotypes for 50 cts.—I never knew before what you estimated your pictures to be worth, but, as you have set your own value on them, the public will probably consider that high enough.  The writer of your communication has called me many hard names, but I shall not return the compliment by bestowing common epithets on you.  I can call you something you are ashamed of, a name that you for more than a year endeavored to hide from the citizens of Worcester, that name is “a. w. van alstin” late of Lowell.  In conclusion I would say, respecting your threat of introducing me to friend Mathews, that, whenever you are ready, you will find me at 136 Main St.  G. Adams

The announcement appeared on September 27, 1848.  Splendid Daguerreotypes.  On Monday we called by invitation at the Daguerreotype Rooms of Walker & Adams, and examined, with great satisfaction, a suite of pictures, prepared by them for the Mechanics Fair, now open in this city.  They were certainly che  d’oeures in the art, and cannot be excelled by any establishment in the country; and we have never seen any French or English daguerreotypes equal to them.  We presume these specimens are now to be seen at the exhibition, where others will have the opportunity to judge whether our eulogium is over wrought or not.  We learn with pleasure, that the success of these enterprising artists is such that they have been obliged to add another room to their suite, and will soon have it open, extending through the whole length of the building from front to rear, when they will be able to accommodate their numerous visitors better than they can do now.

The second advertisement ran fromJanuary 2 to 18, 1849.  To The Public.  In justice to my late partner Mr. S. L. Walker, and myself, I am reluctantly compelled to appear before the public and make a statement of a few facts relative to the Report of the Committee on Fine Arts at the Mechanics Fair held in this City in Sept. Last.  Agreeably to the invitation of the Mechanics Association, we were induced to enter for competition and examination at said Fair specimens of Daguerreotypes made by us.

Since the Report of the Fair has been published.  I have had conversation with five of the six members of the committee on Fine Arts. and they have informed me that at the examination of the Daguerreotypes of the different Artists, at said Fair, the Committee were UNANIMOUS in the opinion that those made by Walker & Adams were very superior and the BEST submitted to their examination.  Such having been the decision of the Committee, some of its members, as well as the public, were surprised in reading the Chairman’s Report, to find that an artist, whose specimens they considered second best, has received an award for pictures of the first class.  But the following may, perhaps, throw some light on the subject: I was informed by the chairman “that the Committee considered Walker & Adams’ types the Best; that the Report was so made out, but that the Association suggested, that, as there had been an old quarrel between Adams and a rival artist, they had better smooth it over and give them both a medal.”

Such is the case, the inference to be drawn is, that the Association awarded medals, not on the score of merit, but to settle old difficulties, and smooth over old quarrels.  Is this one of the objects of the Association?

Will the Association, or those interested, put us to the “proof positive” of the above statements?

Geo. Adams, late of Walker & Adams.

The third advertisement ranfrom June 20 to 23 1851.  In reference to a certain article that appeared in the Spy, dated June__, I would say, in reply, being requested so to do by that Daguerrian Artist to “take notice” who it was that took the medal in 1848.  It was Walker & Adams, not Adams alone, as be stated.  Who was it that took the medal alone, in 1848? 

A. W. Van Alstin.

Adams; perhaps the public will say.  Why not A. W. Van Alstin?  Because he was in California.

Who was it that took so many poor pictures in my room while I was there?

Moses S. Chapin.

Where is George Adams operating at the present time?

Providence, R. I., not in Worcester.

Who is in the rooms formerly occupied by Adams?

Moses S. Chapin.

I hope that the remainder of the Artist’ will soon appear, and place him in his proper position, which is at the bench, with a saw and jack-plane.  A. W. Van Alstin.

Walker & Adams are not listed in other photographic directories as partners.  Both Samuel Lear Walker and George Adams are recorded in other directories, etc.

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