Portraits of Colonials

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Artists  |  British  |  Colonials  |  Enslaved People  |  French  |  Germans  |  Natives  |  Spanish  |  Others

From New England Colonies

Connecticut

  • Ethan AllenFarmer, businessman, patriot, politician, founder of the state of Vermont
  • Benedict ArnoldTalented Continental Army general who defected to the British
  • Silas DeaneMerchant, Continental congressman, diplomat to France
  • Samuel HuntingtonLawyer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, CT governor
  • Israel PutnamMilitia general, fought with distinction at the British at Bunker Hill
  • Roger ShermanLawyer and politician from CT; signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • John TrumbullAmerican artist, soldier at the Battle of Trenton

Massachusetts

  • Abigail AdamsWife of John Adams, mother of John Quincy Adams
  • John AdamsSigner of the Declaration of Independence, diplomat, second President
  • John Quincy AdamsDiplomat, senator, sixth President, congressman
  • Samuel AdamsBoston revolutionary leader, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Mather BrownAmerican-born painter, active in England
  • John Singleton CopleyAmerican painter, principally active in London after 1774
  • Ralph EarlAmerican painter, principally of portraits
  • Elbridge GerrySigner of the Declaration of Independence, vice president under Madison
  • John HancockMerchant, signer of the Declaration of Independence, MA governor
  • Thomas HutchinsonLast Royal Governor of MA
  • Henry KnoxContinental Army general, chief artillery officer, first Secretary of War
  • James Otis, Jr.Lawyer, politician, Boston revolutionary
  • Paul RevereArtisan, Boston revolutionary, militia soldier, foundryman
  • Betsy RossPhiladelphia seamstress and upholsterer
  • Joseph WarrenBoston doctor, revolutionary, militia general
  • Mercy Otis WarrenPlaywright, historian, sister of James Otis, Jr., wife of James Warren

New Hampshire

  • John SullivanContinental Army general, Continental Congress delegate, NH governor

Rhode Island

  • William EllerySigner of the Declaration of Independence from RI
  • Nathanael GreeneContinental Army general; key to winning the war in the South
  • Gilbert StuartAmerican painter of quintessential portraits, including George Washington

From Middle Colonies

Delaware

  • George ReadLawyer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, senator for DE

New Jersey

New York

Pennsylvania

  • John DickinsonLawyer, politician, writer, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Benjamin FranklinPhiladelphia printer, writer, scientist, inventor, diplomat to France
  • Robert MorrisSigner of the Declaration of Independence, “Financier of the Revolution”
  • Thomas PaineAuthor, revolutionary, political philosopher
  • Rembrandt PealeAmerican painter, son of Charles Willson Peale
  • Benjamin RushPhiladelphia doctor, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • William RushAmerican sculptor
  • Arthur St. ClairContinental Army general, surrendered Fort Ticonderoga to the British
  • Anthony WayneContinental Army general, defeated the British at Stony Point
  • Benjamin WestAmerican-born painter who moved to England in 1763
  • James WilsonLawyer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Supreme Court justice

From Southern Colonies

Maryland

South Carolina

  • Ralph IzardFinancier, Continental congressman, U.S. senator
  • Henry LaurensMerchant, planter, slave trader, president of Continental Congress
  • John LaurensContinental Army officer, aide-de-camp to Washington, son of Henry Laurens
  • Charles PinckneySoldier, Constitutional Convention delegate, South Carolina governor
  • Charles Cotesworth PinckneyLawyer, soldier, delegate to the Constitutional Convention
  • John RutledgeSC governor, second Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

Virginia

  • Horatio GatesContinental Army general, won the Battles of Saratoga
  • Patrick HenryLawyer, orator, VA governor
  • Thomas JeffersonLawyer, polymath, drafter of the Declaration of Independence, third President
  • Arthur LeeDiplomat to France, Continental congressman
  • Charles LeeContinental Army general, formerly a British officer
  • Francis Lightfoot LeeVA politician, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Henry Lee III”Light Horse Harry”; Continental Army officer, VA governor
  • Richard Henry LeeVA revolutionary, signer of the Declaration of Independence, senator
  • William LeeMercantilist, diplomat
  • James MadisonConstitutionalist, congressman, Secretary of State, fourth President
  • John MarshallSoldier, lawyer, politician, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
  • George MasonPolitician, author, political philosopher, Anti-Federalist
  • James MonroeSoldier, lawyer, VA governor, diplomat, fifth President
  • Daniel MorganMilitia soldier, military tactician, Continental Army general
  • Edmund RandolphLawyer, VA governor, Constitutional Convention delegate
  • Peyton RandolphLawyer, VA politician, first president of Continental Congress
  • George WashingtonCommander-in-chief of the Continental Army; first President
  • Martha WashingtonWife of George Washington, First Lady; 1731 – 1802
  • George WytheLawyer, teacher, scholar, signer of the Declaration of Independence

For all their artistic and philosophical brilliance, the Greeks were failures at politics; Hamilton, in the Federalist, expressed horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were agitated. The Romans captured the American imagination because they had done what the Americans themselves hoped to do — sustain an extensive republic over a course of centuries. So the society of Revolutionary War officers called themselves Cincinnati; president, congress, and senate were all Roman terms. But the Roman example was also cautionary, for when they lost their virture, they slid into empire. When Franklin said, in response to a question from Eliza Powel, that the constitutional convention had produced a republic, if you can keep it, he and she would have remembered that the Romans had failed to keep theirs.

Richard Brookhiser
Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington (1996)