Ben, Idalene, & Nellie Cotton
The relatively democratic arrangement of the three performers at this table is quite a contrast with the photograph of Ben and his first wife, Rebecca, taken ten or more years before. Nellie Cotton, Ben's second wife, was in the theatre business. They probably met in Chicago. For much of the late 1870s and 1880s the Cotton's toured in the midwestern states. The gathering at the round table gives a sense of the partnership that they operated, whether or not under the nominal management of any number of show business folks.
This photograph was taken in Providence, during one period when they had returned to Rhode Island.