Figure 1.--Here we see the Webb children about 1875. They were kiving in Shanghai. They wear matching sailor suits. This may be more a British than an American style. This was about the time the family returned to America. Notice the Argyle stockings. They were not very common in America nd rarely worn with sailot suits. Their sailboat looks to be a working model.

Webb Children (United States, 1870s)

The Webb family lived for a time in Shanghai, China during the 1870s. They no doubt lived in the international section of the city. Shanghai then as it is today the most important commercial city in China. We have no doubt what their father's first name was or what he did in China. He could have been a missionary, but given that they lived in Shanghai it seems more likely that he was a businessman. There were three children: Herbert (1869- ), Leonard (1871- ), and Ernest (1873- ). The dates are a little hard to understand. We may not have Ernest's birth year right. Portraits taken in China show both boys wearing sailor suits probably in 1874 or 75. This may reflect European more than Americans fashions. The children were all born in China. And to care for them the parents hired a Chinese nanny (arma) who they for some reason called Mile. Most Americans and Europeans with children would have hired Chinese nannies. The children must have become very attached to her because she was brought with them when they returned to America in 1875. The Webbs lived in Brooklyn, New York and seem to have had an attachment to Harford, Connecticut. That would make sence if the father worked for a trading compsny. A portrait taken after their return shows the boys dressed very differently.


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Created: 5:53 AM 1/26/2009
Last edited: 5:54 AM 1/26/2009