Ben Cotton Jr., 1877
This photograph was given to Charles Nelson Cotton by his nephew, Ben Cotton Jr. (1854-1880). The reverse side of the image is inscribed, and dated, June 28, 1877. Three years later, in 1880, he died of consumption, apparently contracted while performing with a troupe in England.
The American Team played for several years in the United Kingdom, between 1876 and 1877. All of the members of that troupe - Burt Wayne, Joseph Lovely, Robert Birdue and Ben Cotton Jr. - died of tuberculois a few years after their trip abroad.
While in England Ben Cotton Jr. married Mrs. Mary E. Marshall, a dancer. Following the death of her husband, in poor health herself, she moved to Hartford, Connecticut. She was 62 when she died there in 1904.
Ben Cotton Jr. was buried in the same plot as his mother, Rebecca (Russell) Cotton, in Bristol, Rhode Island. He was all of 26.