A Puzzle from Vermont


Patty Hoenigman’s cousin from Vermont sent a number of photos to her he had found amongst his family photos. I have used the photo of George Elder here (see my post “George Elder” – Ed.), he also sent a photo of J.L. Riker, plus two unidentified photos.

We are thinking that the bearded man in the civilian clothes may be John L. Riker pre-war, though Patty wonders if it is in fact his brother James. Who the other gentleman is, standing by the table, we have no idea… can you help? – Ed.

Patty writes:

“My cousin who lives in Vermont… just sent me these photos that he found among his family photos. He didn’t know who they were, so I was able to fill him in about Riker in his Civil War uniform. It is a larger view than the photo of him that was just sent to me. It’s also very much like the one of the Smithsonian site with that wonderful article, except this is a much better quality of picture than what they used. Alas!

“What I’m thinking is that the one of the man (in civilian clothes – Ed.) is also him, as a younger man… a bit more hair, same position of his hands…not in uniform…but they sure do look alike! My hesitation is that I know John’s brother James Riker, the well known historian of the earliest settlers of New York, looks very much like him, based on a portrait I have of James from a museum in New York…when he was an elderly man. But I’d love to have you look closely at these two pictures and let me know what you think about who this other man might be. Maybe you’ve seen it before?

I don’t know who the man is who is standing by the table. It’s a very Victorian pose, but unfortunately it’s not labeled.”

Submitted by Patty Hoenigman (Great-great granddaughter of John L. Riker)



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