Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas; 73 x 60.5 cm (28 3/4 x 23 13/16 in). National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Athenaeum portrait. Oil on canvas.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas; height: 42.55 cm (16.75 in), width: 32.39 cm (12.75 in) Redwood Library and Athenaeum, Newport, RI.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas; 30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm). Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, MA.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas; 895 x 698 mm. Tate, London, England.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas; 35 1/2 in. x 27 1/2 in. (902 mm x 699 mm). National Portrait Gallery, London, England.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas; 26 1/2 in. x 22 1/4 in. (673 mm x 565 mm). National Portrait Gallery, London, England.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas; 91.6 x 76.4 cm (36 1/16 x 30 1/16 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian), Washington, DC.

America had a common language, unlike the European nations, none of which was linguistically homogeneous. in 1789 the majority of Frenchmen did not speak French but were divided by a variety of provincial patois. Englishmen from Yorkshire were incomprehensible to those from Cornwall and vice versa. By contrast, Americans could understand one another from Maine to Georgia. It was very obvious why this should be so, said John Witherspoon, president of Princeton. Since Americans were much more unsettled, and move frequently from place to place, they are not as liable to local peculiarities, either in accent or phraseology.

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