Jacob Cox was born in Montreal, Canada in 1828. He died in Massachusetts in 1900. He spent his childhood in New York before entering Oberlin College in 1846 at the age of 18. After his graduation in 1851, he was admitted to the bar in Warren, Ohio. In 1859 he was successful in his bid for the Ohio State Senate. He read and spoke French and German, and was a student of the Classics. During the ensuing Civil War, Cox, now a General, commanded a large contingent of the army at Fort Jackson in Columbus, Ohio. His appointment as Brigadier-General of the United States Volunteers became effective in 1877. In 1862 he became a Major General and in 1863 he was given command of the District of Ohio and a Division of the Twenty-third corps. His active duty included service at the siege of Atlanta, the Battle of Franklin and the Nashville Campaign. He also saw action at the Battle of Kingston, North Carolina on March 14, 1865 before joining forces with Sherman's army at the close of the war. Following Appomattox Court House, he was elected Governor of Ohio in 1865. Following his tenure as Governor, Cox was Secretary of the Interior under President Grant from 1869 to 1871. Cox moved to Massachusetts in the 1880s and passed away in 1900.
Miss Ranson studied with Asher Durand in New York and with Hans Kaulbach in Munich. She also worked with Hicks and Huntington in Philadelphia. Her portrait of Joshua Giddings in Washington, D.C. was the first work of art by a woman to be purchased by the U.S. government. Ransome moved from Cleveland to Washington in 1875 and died there in 1910.