Mary Priscilla Wilson was an accomplished landscape and flower painter even before she married Russell Smith (1812-1896), a painter of stage scenery and landscapes, in 1838. She exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
in Philadelphia and at the Apollo Association in New York. Her children, Mary (1842-1878) and Xanthus (1839-1929), were both artists; Mary specialized in painting chickens and Xanthus in marines. The family went to Europe for two years in 1851, and upon their return built a castle-like house at Edgehill on the outskirts of Philadelphia.