Cleora Griffin, daughter of Augustus and Lucretia Griffin, was born in 1799. She was married in 1830 to James McNeil, who died at age eighty-three on February 14, 1864. Cleora died the very next day. By their very nature, portrait miniatures are personal and intimate, often tokens of love or affection. This was painted about the time of Cleora’s marriage to McNeil and was very likely a gift from one to the other. The artist, John Wood Dodge, was born in New York in 1807, studied at the National Academy of Design, and was exhibiting there at the age of twenty-two. By the 1830s he was one of the most prominent painters of miniatures in New York. This miniature is a gift of Fred Griffin Prince.