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Emma Kitchel Gardner Mouton
The Face of Pocahontas

Born August 9, 1820
Died March 1, 1897
Age 77
Education Emma Willard Young Ladies Seminary in Troy, NY
Brother Gen. Franklin K. Gardner
Brother-in-law Gen. Alfred Mouton
Spouse Gov. Alexander Mouton
Children 6
Religion Catholic
Burial St. John Cathedral Cemetery

1820 - 1897

Emma Kitchel Gardner Mouton, was born in New York, the daughter of  Colonel Charles Kitchel Gardner of the War of 1812 and Ann Eliza McLean.

In 1843 she married U. S. Senator Alexander Mouton, who was on the verge of becoming the 12th governor of Louisiana.  They are interred in St. John Cathedral Cemetery in Lafayette.

The image on the left is cropped from the painting The Baptism of Pocahontas by famed artist John Gadsby Chapman.  Emma Gardner was one of the belles of Washington society when her face was selected by the artist as a model for the face of Pocahontas.

Chapman was commissioned by Congress on February 28, 1837 to paint the huge 12-by-17 foot mural. Unveiled on November 30, 1840, the painting hangs in the U. S. Capitol Rotunda.

It was not known that Emma Gardner's face had been used in the painting until it was exhibited and her friends recognized her portrait.  Chapman had captured many faces of belles of Washington and did not know whose face he had selected until being presented to Miss Gardner and recognizing that the face he had studied was indeed hers.

After their marriage, Senator Mouton soon resigned to return to Louisiana to campaign for governor.  He was elected in 1843.  After his service as governor, they lived on their Ile Copal Plantation near Lafayette.

Alexander Mouton was President of the Louisiana convention which on January 26, 1861 voted 113 to 17 for the Ordinance of Secession of Louisiana from the union with the United States.

Emma Kitchel Gardner Mouton's brother is Franklin K. Gardner.  He was an 1843 West Point graduate in the same class as Ulysses Grant.  He was born in New York, his mother was from Louisiana, and he married Marie Celeste Mouton of Louisiana after graduating from West Point. 

Marie Celeste Mouton, Franklin Gardner's wife, is Alexander Mouton's daughter from his marriage to Zilia Rousseau, who died at age 26.

Governor Mouton's son, Alfred Mouton, a CSA Brigadier General, is Franklin Gardner's brother-in-law.  He is buried in a different part of the cemetery under a large memorial.

Emma Kitchel Gardner's father, Capt. Thomas Gardner, was a young volunteer brigade wagon master during the Revolutionary War. Her maternal great-grandfather, Abraham Kitchel,  was also in the colonial service.

Emma Kitchel Gardner's maternal grandfather was Gen. John McLean, a tent mate of future President James Monroe.

President Jackson appointed her father, Col. Gardner to the post of Assistant Post Master General.


The Baptism of Pocahontas

by artist John Gadsby Chapman, 1840

Exhibited in the Capitol Rotunda


St. John Cathedral Cemetery

Lafayette, Louisiana

Entrance Gate

Alexander Mouton
Born Nov. 19, 1804,
Died Feb. 12, 1885.

Also his wife

Emma K. Gardner
Born Aug. 9, 1820,
Died March 1, 1897.


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