Angelica's father, Colonel Richard Singleton, owned a large cotton plantation near Sumter, SC. She attended a seminary in Philadelphia, and after her completion there enjoyed two social seasons in Washington. Befriended by Mrs. Dolley Madison, she was introduced to President Van Buren and his son, Abraham. A courtship ensued, resulting in their elegant wedding in November, 1838. For a wedding trip they traveled to Europe, where they were received by Queen Victoria and by Louis Philippe. Upon her return to the United States she became President Van Buren's hostess at the White House.
The miniature was probably painted in 1838 during the couple's wedding trip. It portrays an elegantly coiffed and pretty young lady in glistening colors. The intricately shaped brooch backed by mother of pearl is a proper complement to the portrait.