Portraits of Colonials

All  |  People You Should Know

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

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 Southern 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

As in the case of his career as commander-in-chief, Washington’s most important act as president was his giving up the office. The significance of his retirement from the presidency is easily overlooked today, but his contemporaries knew what it meant. Most people assumed that Washington might be president as long as he lived, that he would be a kind of elected monarch like the king of Poland. Hence his retirement from the presidency enhanced his moral authority and set a precedent for future presidents.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)