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Recorded as from Massachusetts. A brother of Reverend Ozias Eells [1755-1813].[1] The Reverend's wife, Phebe Eells [née Ely; 1760-1829]; by whom given to her son Ozias Shelton Eells [1794-1890], Johnsonville, Ohio, on the event of his marriage in 1828; by whom given in 1882 to Reverend William Woodward Eells [not related; 1811-1886] Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;[2] bequeathed to Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity, Hamilton College, Clinton, New York; by whom given in 1924 to Mrs. Benjamin E. Tilton [née Annie Powers Henderson, great niece of William Woodward Eells], Utica, New York; by whom given in 1949 to the Milford [Connecticut] Historical Society in 1954, in exchange for a donation for the restoration of the house and a copy of the portrait, through (Hirschl and Adler Galleries, New York, to Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch; gift to NGA, 1971.

Starr, Frank Farnsworth. The Eells Family of Dorchester, Massachusetts, in the Line of Nathaniel Eells of Middletown, Connecticut, 1633-1821, With Notes on the Lenthall Family. Hartford, 1903: iv, 102-120.
Eells, Emma Seymour. A History of the Eells-Stow House in Milford, Connecticut. Milford, 1920: 5-22.
Eells, Reverend Earnest Edward. The Eells Family History. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1966: 3-15.
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 273, repro.
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 400, repro.
Chotner, Deborah, with contributions by Julie Aronson, Sarah D. Cash, and Laurie Weitzenkorn. American Naive Paintings. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 468-471, repro. 469.
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