Mrs. John Champneys (Mary Harvey) and her stepdaughter Sarah were painted by Edward Savage in 1789. Mary was a widow when she married John Champneys and took on the task of raising his young daughter, who was probably about 14 at the time of this painting. Death of a spouse and remarriage were not uncommon, even for well-to-do Charlestonians such as these, and many children born before 1800 were raised by step-parents. Mrs. Champneys' tombstone in St. Philip's graveyard honors her for her kindness to her step-child: "A mother to her husband's daughter, she was unequalled in her maternal anxiety, attention, and affection for children."
Courtesy of the Gibbes Museum of Art/Carolina Art Association.