Right Window, East Side: Tracy

The center figure of the fifth window is that of a white-robed angel, sitting on an outcropping stone in a sequestered woodland nook. The trees cast their dark shadows onto a carpet of lush grasses, gay with red and white lily blossoms. The bright light that shines through the angel’s halo and from the edges and tips of her wings is softened to misty loveliness from the reflected colors of blossoms and grasses, and a like-colored green sash that holds her gown close under the folds of her robe. The face of the angel is turned heavenward, and her uplifted arm and finger-tipped hand points to the mauve, pink, and violet of the twilight skies. Traceries of the top oval section support an almost abstract portrayal of what could be an assent into heaven. The darker colors suggest a bit of subdued almost mysterious cover for the scene below. Inscribed at the bottom in two lines are the words “James Grant Tracy” and “Sarah Osgood Tracy.” This window was a gift of Osgood Vose Tracy and William Gardner Tracy in memory of their father and mother.

James Tracy was born in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1781. He was educated in private schools, began his career as a Civil Engineer, and moved to Albany. His first job was that of a surveyor. During this period he met Sarah Osgood, youngest daughter of Dr. George Osgood and Sara Vose Osgood, of Salem Massachusetts, who was teaching in the Albany School for Young Ladies. They were married in 1837 and when James was appointed as Agent for the William James Estate, he and his wife and one-year old son, James, moved to Syracuse in 1839. Of this union were born three additional sons: Osgood Vose, William Gardner, and Edward Winslow Tracy. He developed a successful real estate business of his own under the name of The Syracuse Land Company.

As New Englanders James and Sarah were warmly welcomed in Syracuse. They soon found themselves involved in the business community and in church activities. They were among the first forty who were members of the Syracuse Unitarian Society in 1839-1840. They had a happy home with a seeming assurance of a useful life for each. But, during the early spring of 1850, James succumbed to an attack of pneumonia and died very suddenly. The blow was a sad one to his wife and four sons under 13 years of age. Added to this grief was the death of the youngest son, six year old Edward, within the year following that of his father. Sons Osgood and William went on to become successful Syracuse businessmen and stalwart second generation Tracy men in our church.