Ansel Williamson was sold to A. Keene Richards of Kentucky after working as an enslaved trainer in Alabama. He was later sold to the owner of Woodburn farm, Robert A. Alexander. After emancipation he was employed as a trainer to H. Price McGrath, owner of Aristides, the thoroughbred that won the first Kentucky Derby. He purchased a home on North Market Street, now Florida Avenue, and when he died in June 1881 he left it to his daughter and her family.
In this painting by Edward Troye, completed in 1864, he is shown with Woodburn Farm's Asteroid. Williamson, Asteroid's trainer, is shown on the right, with Edward Brown, his jockey, kneeling beside an unnamed handler.