Eddie Barrett, ca. 1865.15. Glosser (New York).  Eddie Barrett, ca. 1865.  From a carte de visite (source undiscovered).

Eddie (Nelson E.) Barrett was the first of two sons born to Edwin Shepard Barrett and his first wife Maria T. Gilmore, who were married in 1863. After Maria's death in 1875, Edwin married again and started a second family.

A successful wholesale leather dealer in Boston, Edwin Barrett was the great-great-grandson of Colonel James Barrett, one of the best-known of the embattled farmers who faced the British at the North Bridge on April 19, 1775. Keenly aware of his family's importance at the outset of the Revolution, in 1879 Barrett built Battle Lawn, an elaborate home (no longer standing) overlooking Daniel Chester French's Minute Man and the version of the North Bridge erected for the 1875 centennial celebration of the Concord Fight.

As adolescents, Eddie Barrett and his younger brother Harry lived at Battle Lawn with their father and his second family.

Harry Barrett died in February of 1898, at the age of twenty-nine. Plagued by financial difficulties, declining health, and the loss of his son, Edwin Shepard Barrett died in December, ten months later, a possible suicide (although never described as such in accounts of his death).

This photograph of baby Eddie dressed in a formal gown was taken in a proud, happy, hopeful period of his father's life, when he had every reason to look forward to the future.

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