In 1874, Mote produced one of his most unique portraits, A painting of the child Stella Blanch Johnson. Born in 1872, Stella was the child of prominent Richmond businessman Peter Johnson, who owned an appliance store on Main Street. As the story goes, Stella’s mother was pushing her down main street in Richmond when Marcus Mote came along and stopped them, he remarked “You have a beautiful baby, you should let me paint her portrait.” Although he makes no note of it in his diary, this work is thought to be one of Mote’s photo-portraits. It is impossible to differ from an oil painting without removing a layer of paint and thus destroying the work to see if cardboard or glass lies underneath. But due to its oval shape, incredible detail and likeness to the child, this is thought to be one of Mote’s few photo-portraits. The portrait stayed in the Johnson family until it was donated to Earlham College by Stella’s son in 1993.