Harford History

November 20, 2005

1788-89: Portrait by Peale

By 1788, Charles Willson Peale had attained a significant reputation as an artist. Known primarily for his miniatures, Peale painted an estimated 60 portraits of Gen. George Washington and was soon the favored artist of Revolutionary War Gen. John Cadwalader and his wife.

After the war, Peale traveled between Philadelphia and Talbot County seeking commissions. On Nov. 17, Peale noted in his diary that he dined with Samuel Hughes, owner of the Principio Iron Works and a member of Havre de Grace's first board of commissioners. He wrote that he was promised a considerable job painting the next summer. Peale completed Hughes' portrait, as he records receiving payment in 1789. But the painting has never been found.

[Harford Historical Bulletin, No. 57, summer 1993. Research by Harford County Public Library]

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