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Title: Browere's Life Masks of Great Americans
Author: Hart, Charles Henry
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Browere's Life Masks of Great Americans" ***

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     The De Vinne Press certifies that fifty copies of this book were
     printed on Dickinson antique hand-made paper, of which this is No.
     ____



                        BROWERE’S LIFE
                        MASKS OF GREAT
                        AMERICANS

[Illustration: THOMAS JEFFERSON

Age 82]



                            BROWERE’S LIFE
                            MASKS OF GREAT
                             AMERICANS BY
                          CHARLES HENRY HART

                            [Illustration]

                        PRINTED AT THE DE VINNE
                        PRESS FOR DOUBLEDAY AND
                         McCLURE COMPANY 1899

              Copyright, 1897, 1898, by S. S. MCCLURE CO.

              Copyright, 1899, by DOUBLEDAY & MCCLURE CO.

                           TO THE MEMORY OF

                            JAMES P. SMITH
                           MINIATURE PAINTER

                 WHO FIRST DEVELOPED MY TASTE FOR ART

                      I INSCRIBE THIS VOLUME AS A

                          TOKEN OF GRATITUDE



Proem_


“Great oaks from little acorns grow.” How big results may flow from
small beginnings is typically illustrated by the possibilities of the
present volume. It began with the bare knowledge that there was, once
upon a time, a man by the name of Browere, who had some facility in
making masks from the living face. This was the seed that was destined
to expand into the present publication. To tell how this germ grew,
would be to anticipate the recital in the following pages; but the
lively interest shown by the wide public and by the narrow public, the
people and the artistic circle, in the articles upon Browere’s Life
Masks of Great Americans, contributed by the writer to “McClure’s
Magazine,” has called for a more expanded history of the artist and his
work, for which fortunately there is ample material.

To the grandchildren of Browere, who have reverently preserved the works
of their ingenious ancestor and generously placed them at my disposal
for reproduction, are due the heartiest thanks; and in view of the
possibility of the dispersal of the collection, it should be secured,
_en bloc_, by the Government of the United States, and the most
important of the life masks cast in imperishable bronze.

CHARLES HENRY HART.

Philadelphia, October 1, 1898.



Contents_


                                                                    PAGE

Proem                                                                 ix

I The Plastic Art                                                      1

II The Plastic Art in America                                          4

III John Henri Isaac Browere                                          12

IV The Captors of André                                               28

V Discovery of the Life Mask of Jefferson                             36

VI Three Generations of Adamses                                       50

VII Mr. and Mrs. Madison                                              56

VIII Charles Carroll of Carrollton                                    60

IX The Nation’s Guest, La Fayette                                     63

X De Witt Clinton                                                     70

XI Henry Clay                                                         73

XII America’s Master Painter, Gilbert Stuart                          76

XIII David Porter, United States Navy                                 93

XIV Richard Rush                                                      98

XV Edwin Forrest                                                     102

XVI Martin Van Buren                                                 104

XVII Death Mask of James Monroe                                      109

Addendum to Chapter VIII                                             115



_List of Plates_


Thomas Jefferson, Profile                                  _Frontispiece_

                                                             FACING PAGE

John H. I. Browere                                                    12

John Paulding                                                         28

Isaac Van Wart                                                        32

David Williams                                                        34

Thomas Jefferson                                                      40

John Adams                                                            50

John Quincy Adams                                                     52

Charles Francis Adams                                                 54

James Madison                                                         56

“Dolly” Madison                                                       58

Charles Carroll                                                       60

Marquis de La Fayette                                                 66

De Witt Clinton                                                       70

Henry Clay                                                            74

Gilbert Stuart                                                        78

David Porter                                                          94

Richard Rush                                                          98

Edwin Forrest                                                        102

Martin Van Buren                                                     104

James Monroe’s Death Mask                                            112



LIFE MASKS



I

_The Plastic Art_


The plastic art, which is the art of modelling in the round with a
pliable material, was with little doubt the earliest development of the
imitative arts. To an untrained mind it is a more obvious method, of
copying or delineating an object, than by lines on a flat surface. Its
origin is so early and so involved in myths and legends, that any
attempt to ascribe its invention, to a particular nation or to a
particular individual, is impossible. Its earliest form was doubtless
monumental. Frequent passages in the Scriptures show this, and that the
Hebrews practised it, as did also their neighbors the Phœnicians;
while excavations have revealed the early plastic monuments of the
Assyrians. For more than two thousand years the Egyptians are known to
have associated the plastic arts with their religious worship, but,
being bound within priestly rules, made no perceptible progress from
its beginning; yet these crude monuments of ancient Egypt are now the
records of the world’s history of their time.

Associated with architecture from its earliest development, it has, in
its narrower form of sculpture, been called, not inaptly, “the daughter
of architecture.” Indeed, in the remains of ancient monuments, the two
arts are so intimately combined, that architecture is frequently
subordinated to sculpture, particularly in the buildings of the middle
ages, where they appear as very twin sisters, sculpture often supplying
structural parts of the erection.

Among the Greeks the plastic art existed from time immemorial, and among
them attained its highest proficiency and skill. That they exceeded all
others in this art goes without saying; their familiarity with the human
form enabling them to portray corporal beauty with a delicacy and
perfection, that no society, reared in any other situation or surrounded
by other influences, could ever attain. With them beauty was the chief
aim, it having in their eyes so great a value that everything was
subservient to it. As has been said, “It was above law, morality,
modesty, and justice.” Greek art, as we know it, began about 600 B.C.;
but it did not arrive at its perfection until the time of Pericles, a
century and a half later, in the person of Pheidias, who consummately
illustrates its most striking characteristics--the simplicity with which
great efforts are attained, and the perfect harmony which obtains
between the desire and the conception, the realization and the
execution. The frieze of the Parthenon, which easily holds the supreme
place among known works of sculpture, is ample proof of this.

It was a Greek of the time of Alexander the Great, in the century
following that of Pheidias, who invented the art of taking casts from
the human form. This honor, according to Pliny, belongs to Lysistratus,
a near relative of the famous sculptor Lysippus, who made life casts
with such infinite skill as to produce strikingly accurate resemblances.
The art of making life casts did not, however, come into general use
until the middle of the fifteenth century, when Andrea Verocchio, the
most noted pupil of Donatello, and the instructor of Perugini and of
Leonardo da Vinci, followed it with such success as to lead Vasari,
Bottari, and others to ascribe to him its invention. It was this art of
taking casts from the human form, so successfully followed in this
country, nearly four hundred years later, by John Henri Isaac Browere,
that has afforded the occasion for the present work.



II

_The Plastic Art in America_


Before entering upon the subject of Browere and his life masks, it seems
proper, if not actually necessary, to take a survey of the development
of the plastic art in that part of America now embraced within the
limits of the United States, prior to the time of Browere, so as to
understand what influences may have been exerted upon him in the
direction of his career. This becomes the more important from the fact
that while there have appeared in print, from time to time, numerous
references to this subject, not a single consideration of the topic,
known to the writer, has presented the facts with that accuracy without
which all deductions must be in vain. From the present consideration the
plastic work of the aborigines is necessarily excluded, as it belongs to
another and very different department of study; this having to do with a
branch of the fine arts, and that with a phase of archæology.

Prior to the war of the Revolution, while there were among us several
painters exercising their art, both those of foreign and those of native
birth, no note has come down of any modeller or sculptor in our midst,
save one--a very remarkable woman named Patience Wright. It may be that
we had no need for the sculptor’s art. We were mere colonies without
call for statues or for monuments. It is true there was the leaden
figure of King George, on the Bowling Green, in New York; but it came
from the mother country, and soon furnished bullets for her rebellious
sons. Likewise came from across the ocean the odd bits of decoration
intended as architectural aids in the building of old Christ Church, in
Philadelphia, and of a few other noted buildings. But our first
practitioner of the plastic art was, as has been said, a woman.

Patience Lovell was born in Bordentown, New Jersey, of Quaker parentage,
in 1725, and died in London, March 23, 1786. When twenty-three she
married Joseph Wright, who, twenty-one years later, left her a widow
with three children. She had early shown her aptitude for modelling,
using dough, putty, or any other material that came in her way; and,
being left by her husband unprovided for, she made herself known by her
small portraits in wax, chiefly profile bas-reliefs. In 1772, she sought
a wider field for her abilities by removing to London, where for many
years she was the rage, not only for her plastic work, but for her
extraordinary conversational powers, which drew to her all the political
and social leaders of the day. By this means she was kept fully advised
as to the momentous events transpiring relative to the colonies; and
being on terms of familiar intercourse with Doctor Franklin (whose
profile she admirably modelled, it being afterward reproduced by
Wedgwood), she communicated her information regularly to him, as shown
by her numerous letters preserved in his manuscript correspondence.

Mrs. Wright had a piercing eye, which seems to have penetrated to the
very soul of her sitters, and enabled her to read their inner-selves and
fix their characters in their features. Of her three children, one
daughter married John Hoppner, the eminent portrait-painter; another,
Elizabeth Pratt, followed her mother’s profession of modelling small
portraits in wax; and the son, Joseph, we shall have occasion to mention
on a subsequent page. Some idea may be gathered of the meritorious
quality of Mrs. Wright’s work from the fact that she modelled in wax a
whole-length statue of the great Chatham, which, protected in a glass
case, was honored with a place in Westminster Abbey. Although Patience
Wright never aspired to what is recognized as high art, still her
abilities were of a high order, and her career is a most interesting one
to follow and reflect upon, as she was the first native American, of
American parentage, to follow the art of modelling as a profession. Her
knowledge must have been wholly self-acquired, and in an environment not
conducive to the development of an artistic temperament.

Mrs. Wright is not known to have essayed sculpture, or to have worked in
any resisting material, so that the first native American sculptor was
William Rush. He was born in Philadelphia, July 4, 1756, being fourth in
direct descent from John Rush, who commanded a troop of horse in
Cromwell’s army, and, having embraced the principles of the Quakers,
came to Pennsylvania the year following the landing of William Penn.
From the emigrant John Rush was also descended, in the fifth generation,
the celebrated Benjamin Rush, physician and politician, and one of the
signers of the Declaration of Independence. The father of William was
Joseph Rush, who married, at Christ Church, Philadelphia, September 19,
1750, Rebecca Lincoln, daughter of Abraham Lincoln, of Springfield
Township, now in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. She was of the same
family as Abraham Lincoln, the martyr President of the United States. I
am thus minute in tracing the ancestry of William Rush, in order to
establish and place upon record, beyond a question or doubt, that he was
the first American sculptor by birth and parentage, and thus set at
rest, the claim, so frequently made, that this honor belongs to John
Frazee,[1] a man not born until 1790.

Rush served in the army of the Revolution, and it was not until after
peace had settled on the land that he seems to have turned his attention
to art. He soon became noted for the life-like qualities he put into the
figureheads, for the prows of ships, he was called upon to carve, and so
noted did these works become, that many orders came to him from Britain,
for figureheads for English ships. The story is told that when a famous
East Indiaman, the _Ganges_, sailed up that river, to Calcutta, with a
figure of a river-god, carved by Rush, at its prow, the natives
clambered about it as an object of adoration and of worship. Benjamin H.
Latrobe, the noted architect, in a discourse before the Society of
Artists of the United States, in 1811, says, speaking of Rush: “His
figures, forming the head or prow of a vessel, place him, in the
excellence of his attitudes and actions, among the best sculptors that
have existed; and in the proportion and drawing of his figures he is
often far above mediocrity and seldom below it. There is a motion in his
figures that is inconceivable. They seem rather to draw the ship after
them than to be impelled by the vessel. Many are of exquisite beauty. I
have not seen one on which there is not the stamp of genius.”

Rush was a man of warm imagination and of a lively ideality. These are
shown by his figures symbolical of Strength, Wisdom, Beauty, Faith,
Hope, and Charity, carved by him for the Masonic Temple; by his figures
of “Praise” and “Exaltation,” two cherubim encircled by glory, in St.
Paul’s Episcopal Church; and by his “Christ on the Cross,” carved for
St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church. His best-known work is his
whole-length statue of Washington, carved in 1815, from recollection, by
the aid of Houdon’s bust, which it closely resembles, now in the old
State-house, or Independence Hall, Philadelphia. Another noted work of
his, from Miss Vanuxem, a celebrated Quaker City belle, having posed for
the model, is the graceful figure of a nymph, with a swan, located upon
a rocky perch opposite the wheel-house at Fairmount water-works,
Philadelphia.

Beside carving in wood, Rush modelled in clay, and his portrait-busts
have always been recognized as truthful and satisfactory likenesses. The
bust most commonly seen of Lafayette is his work. William Rush died in
the city of his birth on the seventeenth day of January, 1833; and
considering the era in which he lived and its uncongenial atmosphere,
his achievement is most noteworthy and commendable.

Twelve days after the birth of Rush, Joseph Wright came into the world,
inheriting from his mother her artistic temperament. At sixteen he
accompanied the family to England, and received instruction from
Benjamin West and from his brother-in-law, Hoppner. He returned to
America late in 1782, bringing a letter of commendation from Franklin to
Washington. In 1783, he painted a portrait of Washington from life, at
Rocky Hill, New Jersey, and the next year was permitted to make a cast
of Washington’s face, which is said to have been broken irreparably in
removing from the skin,--a story the veracity of which may be akin to
that in regard to Browere’s mask of Jefferson, hereafter to be told.
However this may be, Wright made a bust of Washington, for which
Congress paid him “233⅓ dollars,” and also modelled in wax a
laureated profile portrait of Washington, which is of both artistic and
historical value. Wright died in Philadelphia, during the yellow fever
epidemic of December, 1793, and his bust, by his friend Rush, whom he is
said to have instructed in clay modelling, belongs to the Academy of the
Fine Arts, at Philadelphia.

Patience Wright, her son Joseph, and William Rush are the only native
Americans that we know to have worked at the plastic art during the
period we have limited for this review; and thus John Frazee, who
claimed to be, and therefore is commonly credited with being, the first
native American sculptor of American parentage, need not be considered;
for he was only two years old when Browere was born, and therefore can
have had no part in influencing Browere’s career.

There were, however, two foreigners who certainly did exercise a decided
influence upon art in America, and cannot properly be omitted from any
consideration of the causes that helped the plastic art onward in these
United States. Both of them were men of commanding ability and
importance in sculpture. One was the eminent French statuary Houdon, who
visited this country in 1785, to prepare himself to produce his famous
statue of Washington; and the other, the not much less able Italian,
Giuseppe Ceracchi, who came here, in 1791, for love of freedom, and
lived among us about four years. Ceracchi’s plan for an elaborate
monument to commemorate the American Revolution, which was warmly taken
up by Washington and members of the cabinet, and received the
consideration of Congress, made his artistic proclivities better known,
and gave the subject a wider range than the limited scope of Houdon’s
work. Yet the influence of both these eminent devotees of the plastic
art left, without doubt, a strong impression upon the minds of the
people--an impression constantly refreshed by the sight of their works,
which helped to create a healthy atmosphere for the development of a
taste among us for the plastic art.

     NOTE. John Dixey, an Irishman about whom little is known, and John
     Eckstein, a German by birth and an Englishman by adoption and
     education, settled here toward the close of the last century, and
     both did some work in modelling and in stone-cutting; but they were
     of mediocre ability, and left no impression upon the artistic
     instinct of the people.



III

_John Henri Isaac Browere_


What one generation fails to appreciate, and therefore decries and
sneers at, a subsequent one comprehends and applauds. It is
conspicuously so in discovery, in science, in poetry, and in art; so
much depends upon the point of view and the environment of the observed
and of the observer. Were these remarks not true, the very remarkable
collection of busts from life masks, taken at the beginning of the
second quarter of the present century, by John Henri Isaac Browere,
almost an unknown name a year ago, would not have been hidden away until
their recent unearthing. The circumstances that led to their discovery
are as curious as that the busts should have been neglected and
forgotten for so long.

John Henri Isaac Browere, the son of Jacob Browere and Ann Catharine
Gendon, was born at No. 55, Warren Street,

[Illustration: JOHN HENRI ISAAC BROWERE]

New York city, November 18, 1792, and died at his house opposite the old
mile-stone, in the Bowery, in the city of his birth, September 10, 1834,
and was buried in the Carmine Street Churchyard. He was of Dutch
descent, one of those innumerable claimants of heirship to Anneke Jans,
through Adam Brouwer, of Ceulen, who came to this country and settled on
Long Island, in 1642. Adam Brouwer’s name was really Berkhoven, but the
name of his business, Brouwer or Brewer, became attached to him, so that
his descendants have been transmitted by his trade-name, and thus, as is
often the case, a new surname introduced. His second son, Jacob Adam
Brouwer, or Jacob son of Adam the Brewer, married Annetje Bogardus,
granddaughter of Reverend Edward Bogardus and Anneke Jansen (corrupted
to Jans); and among the most persistent pursuers of the intangible
fortune of Anneke Jans has been the family of Browere.

John Browere was entered as a student at Columbia College, but did not
remain to be graduated, owing doubtless to his early marriage, on April
30, 1811, to Eliza Derrick, of London, England. He turned his attention
to art and became a pupil of Archibald Robertson, the miniature-painter,
who came to this country from Scotland, in 1791, with a commission from
David Stuart, Earl of Buchan, to paint, for his gallery at Aberdeen, a
portrait of Washington. Later on, Archibald Robertson, with his brother
Alexander, opened at No. 79, Liberty Street, New York, the well-known
Columbian Academy, where, for thirty years, these Scotchmen maintained a
school, for the instruction of both sexes in drawing and in painting,
and where Vanderlyn, Inman, Cummings, and other of the early New York
artists, profited by their training. At the present time, when
miniature-painting is again coming into vogue, it is interesting to
reflect that the letters which passed between Archibald Robertson in
this country, and his brother Andrew in Scotland, form the best treatise
that can be found upon the charming art of painting in little. These
letters, after having remained in manuscript for the better part of a
century, have recently been given to the public, in a charming volume of
“Letters and Papers of Andrew Robertson,” edited by his daughter, Miss
Emily Robertson, of Lansdowne Terrace, Hampton Wick, England.

Determined to improve himself still further, Browere accepted the offer
of his brother, who was captain of a trading-vessel to Italy, to
accompany him abroad; and for nearly two years the young man travelled
on foot through Italy, Austria, Greece, Switzerland, France, and
England, diligently studying art and more especially sculpture.
Returning to New York, he began modelling, and soon produced a bust of
Alexander Hamilton, from Archibald Robertson’s well-known miniature of
the Federal martyr, which was pronounced a meritorious attempt to
produce a model in the round from a flat surface. Being of an inventive
turn, he began experimenting to obtain casts from the living face in a
manner and with a composition different from those commonly employed by
sculptors. After many trials and failures, he perfected his process,
with the superior results shown in his work.

Browere’s first satisfactory achievement was a mask of his friend and
preceptor, Robertson, and his second was that of Judge Pierrepont
Edwards, of Connecticut. But the most important of his very early works
was the mask of John Paulding, the first to die of the captors of André;
and this mask, made in 1817, was followed later by masks of Paulding’s
coadjutors, Williams and Van Wart; so that we owe to Browere’s nimble
fingers the only authentic likenesses we have of these conspicuous
patriots of the Revolution.

Browere wrote verse and painted pictures in addition to his modelling,
and, in the spring of 1821, made an exhibition at the old gallery of the
American Academy of the Fine Arts, in Chambers Street, New York, which
called forth the following card from his early instructor, Robertson,
who was one of the directors of the Academy. It is interesting,
notwithstanding the unconscious partiality one is apt to have for a
former pupil, and is addressed:

                       _To the American Public._

     Having for many years been intimately acquainted with John H. I.
     Browere, of the City of New York, I deem it a duty which I owe to
     him as an artist, and to the public as judges, to say that from my
     own observation of his works both as a painter, poet, and sculptor,
     I think him endowed with a great genius by nature and first talents
     by industry. This my opinion, his works lately exhibited in the
     Gallery of the American Academy of Fine Arts, New York, fully
     justify and is amply corroborated by all, who with unprejudiced
     eye, view the works of his hand.

ARCHIBALD ROBERTSON.

     NEW YORK, May 21, 1821.

It was left, however, for “The Nation’s Guest” to lift Browere’s art
into prominence. At the request of the New York city authorities,
Lafayette permitted Browere, in July of 1825, to make a cast of his
face. This was so successful that from this time on, Browere was devoted
to making casts of the most noted characters in the country’s history,
who were then living, with the purpose of forming a national gallery of
the busts of famous Americans. He intended to have them reproduced in
bronze, and devoted years of labor and the expenditure of much money to
the furtherance of his scheme. He wrote to Madison: “Pecuniary emolument
never has been my aim. The honor of being favored by my country biases
sordid views.” In 1828 he wrote to the same: “I have expended $12,087 in
the procuration of the specimens I now have.” These included masks of
Presidents John and John Quincy Adams, Jefferson, and Madison, and later
was added that of Van Buren; Charles Carroll of Carrollton; Lafayette;
De Witt Clinton; Generals Philip Van Cortlandt, Alexander Macomb and
Jacob Brown; Commodore David Porter; Secretary of the Navy Samuel L.
Southard of New Jersey; and Secretary of the Treasury Richard Rush of
Pennsylvania; Justice of the United States Supreme Court Philip
Pendleton Barbour; and the great commoner, Henry Clay; Doctors Samuel
Latham Mitchill, Valentine Mott, and David Hosack; Edwin Forrest and Tom
Hilson, the actors; Charles Francis Adams and Philip Hone; Thomas Addis
Emmet and Doctor Cooper of South Carolina; Colonel Stone and Major Noah,
of newspaper notoriety; Dolly Madison and Francis Wright; Gilbert
Stuart, Paulding, Williams, and Van Wart; and other personages favorably
known in their day, but who have slipped out of the niche of worldly
immortality, so that even their names fail to awaken a recollection of
themselves. Such is the mutability of fame.

The time, however, was not ripe for the public patronage of the Fine
Arts. There was, too, a feeling abroad that it savored of monarchy and
favored classes, to perpetuate men and deeds by statues and monuments.
Another cause that hampered Browere was the lack of protection accorded
to such works. He complains to Madison: “I regret to say that as yet no
law has been passed to protect modelling and sculpture, and therefore I
have been hindered from completing the gallery, fearful of having the
collection pirated.” So disheartened did he become with the little
interest shown in his project and the work he had accomplished for it,
that at one time he contemplated visiting Panama, and presenting the
busts of the more prominent subjects to the republics of South America,
in order to incite them to further efforts for freedom. Finally he was
forced to abandon his scheme of a national gallery, owing to want of
support, and the direct opposition--“jealous enmity,” Browere calls
it--of his brother artists, the old American Academy faction led by
Colonel Trumbull, and the new National Academy followers led by William
Dunlap.

They maligned his pretensions because he was honest enough to call his
method for accomplishing what he attempted “_a process_.” Surely,
judging from results, it was superior to any other known method of
obtaining a life mask, and it seems most unfortunate that his “process”
has to be counted among “the lost arts”; for neither he nor his son, who
was acquainted with both the composition and the method of applying it,
has left a word of information on the subject. When the public press
attacked Browere and his method for the rumored maltreatment of
President Jefferson, he replied: “Mr. Browere never has followed and
never will follow the usual course, knowing it to be fallacious and
absolutely bad. The manner in which he executes portrait-busts from
life is unknown to all but himself, and the invention is his own, for
which he claims exclusive rights, but it is infinitely milder than the
usual course.” That his method of taking the mask was accomplished
without discomfort to the subject is fully attested by the number of
persons who submitted to it, as also by the many certificates given by
Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Lafayette, Gilbert Stuart, and others to that
effect.

In the following letter from Browere to Trumbull it will be seen the
writer does not attempt to conceal his feelings of resentment:

NEW YORK, 12 July, 1826.

_Sir_:

     The very illiberal and ungentleman-like manner in which Col.
     Trumbull treated the execution, &c., of my portrait-busts of
     Ex-President Adams and Honorable Charles Carroll with the statue of
     Ex-President Jefferson, late displayed in the banquetting hall of
     the Hon. Common Council of New York, has evidenced a personal
     ill-will and hostility to me that I shall not pass over in silence.
     The envy and jealousy inherent in your nature and expressed in
     common conversations intimate to me a man of a perverse and
     depraved mind.

     Rest assured, Sir, I fear not competition with you as a portrait or
     historic painter; I know your fort, and your failings. To convince
     you that I know somewhat of the Arts of Design, I shall
     immediately commence an analysis of your four pictures painted for
     Congress, and shall endeavor therein to refer to each and every
     figure plagiarized from English and other prints. Your assertion to
     me that you made your portraits therein to correspond with their
     characters, will assuredly go for as much as they deserve. In my
     opinion, ideal likenesses ought not to be palmed on a generous
     public for real ones.

     Remember what was said on the floor of Congress in reference to
     your four celebrated pictures: “Instead of being worth $32,000 they
     were not worth 32 cents.” In remembering this remember that “nemo
     me impune lacessit.” And by attending to your own concerns you will
     retain a reputation or name of being an able artist and not a
     slanderer.

BROWERE, _Sculptor_.



Colonel Trumbull has endorsed this letter: “_Browere. Poor man! too much
vanity hath made him mad._”

However, from a letter written three years later to the Directors of the
American Academy of the Fine Arts, and “_Favored by Col. Trumbull_,” it
would appear that the two artists had healed their differences; but
Browere’s feeling of resentment toward the National Academy of Design
knew no abatement. He was kept out of the National Academy by Dunlap,
who also ignored him in his malevolent and unreliable “History of the
Arts of Design in the United States.” The cause for this, as stated by
Browere’s son, was that before Browere had ever met Dunlap he was asked
his opinion of Dunlap’s painting of “Death on the Pale Horse,” then on
public exhibition. He replied: “It’s a strong work, but looks as if it
were painted by a man with but one eye.” This remark was reported to
Dunlap, who actually had but one eye. He was mortally offended at the
sculptor’s insight, and became his undying enemy. Browere wrote to the
Academy as follows:

NEW YORK, 31 July, 1829.

_Gentlemen_:

     For several years past I have strictly devoted myself to the
     profession of the liberal arts and flatter myself that my efforts
     have not been detrimental to their interests. The reason why or
     wherefore I, an American artist, bearing with me an unblemished
     moral reputation, should have been selected for exclusion by both
     the American Academy of Fine Arts, as well as the self-denominated
     Academy of Design, appears mysterious and illiberal, and not in
     accordance with the principles of religion or democracy. Had not an
     enthusiastic love of and devotion to the Fine Arts guided my
     reason, at this day I should have become one of the most inveterate
     enemies to both institutions. Philosophy has made me what I now am,
     viz., the sincere friend of man and admirer of the works of his
     hands. As such I have,--written injuries as sand--favors on the
     tablet of memory.

     As one of the great body of artists of America I deem it an
     incumbent duty to advance the beauteous arts by all honorable
     means, and to chastise arrogance, presumption, ignorance, and
     wilful malevolence. With chagrin I have viewed the sinister and
     aristocratical proceedings of the National Academy, and the ill
     results that must eventually follow its longer continuance, and
     therefore have publicly deprecated its wickedness. As one of the
     regenerators of the old or American Academy of Fine Arts, I now
     make bold in saying to its directors a few things, which if duly
     weighed and followed must result favorably to its vitality and best
     interests, and be the medium of establishing the reputation of
     artists on firm and lasting basis, viz.: by collecting around the
     American Academy and with it all the genius and talent in the arts
     of design which our country possesses and creating a fund
     sufficient to all its wants and expenditures.

     Already, twenty-five artists of respectability of this city await
     one effort of the American Academy to reëstablish its original
     standing and reputation, and they will join heart and hand to
     oppose the Academy of Design (truly so called) by every work of
     their hands done and to be done. The one effort alluded to is to
     procure at a reasonable rent say from 800 to 1000 dollars per annum
     the second story of the large and splendid building now erecting
     corner of Anthony Street and Broadway. The undersigned is perfectly
     well assured that from $1000 to $1500 per annum can be realized
     (exclusive of rent) from daily exhibitions of the works of living
     artists not in connection with the National Academy. He is fully
     satisfied from late observations that twenty-five new pieces or
     paintings can be procured monthly, all of which may be procured on
     loan for one month at least. This being the case the Academy must
     eventually and in a very short time supplant the puny efforts of a
     few National Esquires, a majority of whom are scarce entering their
     teens.

     The subscribing artist respectfully informs you that the exhibition
     of the rough specimens of his art, viz., “The Inquisition of
     Spain,” at No. 315 Broadway, did positively realize to him, in
     eighteen months, _Seven thousand and sixty-nine dollars_. If, then,
     such an exhibition could realize such a sum, what would an
     exhibition of splendid historic and allegoric subjects, with
     portraits, miniatures, and landscapes by our native artists, not
     realize under the guidance of such a respectable board of directors
     as is that of the American Academy of Fine Arts?

     The names of Trumbull, Vanderlyn, Frothingham, etc., alone would
     act as magic on a discriminating public, provided fair specimens of
     their talents be judiciously arranged for public inspection. Boston
     has done wonders this year in her Athenæum. Why, then, should we,
     equally blessed with native talent, despair, and sit down in
     sack-cloth and ashes, when a single effort can make us her equal
     and rival? Gentlemen, I am enthusiastic, and yet have maturely
     weighed each and every reason against your regeneration, and boldly
     assert more is for you than against you. The three preceding
     mentioned gentlemen are equal to, if not superior in talent to, any
     Boston can produce. Our portrait-painters generally bid fair to
     excel. All that is wanted is your help as a body corporate, your
     co-operation as lovers of the Fine Arts. Where, if you become
     extinct, shall we go to study the models of antiquity? Alas! we
     know of no other place wherein the experience of ages is collected,
     en masse, no place wherein to receive that instruction so essential
     to a knowledge of our profession. Mr. Bowen, the proprietor, has
     offered to you through Colonel Trumbull, the room alluded to at a
     fair compensation; it now rests with you to say for once and for
     all, “We will,” or, “we will not continue the patrons of art.”
     Wishing to yourselves individually, and collectively as a body
     corporate, health and peace, I remain,

            Gentlemen, truly your Friend in the Fine Arts,

JOHN H. I. BROWERE.



No formal action is known to have been taken upon this communication;
but the antagonism plainly evident as existing between the new Academy
of Design and the old Academy of the Fine Arts, forms a lively chapter
in the history of American art. Full particulars of the strife are given
in Dunlap’s book and in Cummings’s “Historic Annals of the National
Academy of Design.” But these accounts are from biased adherents of the
new institution and bitter opponents of the old, so that, for a brief
but philosophical and judicial consideration of the subject, one must
turn to John Durand’s sketch of Colonel Trumbull in the “American Art
Review” for 1880.

Browere died, after only a few hours’ illness, of cholera; and it is
pathetic to picture the disappointed sculptor, on his deathbed,
directing, as he did, that the heads should be sawed off the most
important busts, and boxed up for forty years, at the end of which
period he hoped their exhibition would elicit recognition for their
merit and value as historical portraits from life. This directed
mutilation was not made; but the busts never saw the light of day until
the Centennial year, when a few of them were placed on exhibition in
Philadelphia. But not being connected with the national celebration,
they were a mere side-show, and were not in a position to attract
attention. Indeed, the fact of their exhibition was unheralded, and has
only recently become known.

Call Browere’s work what one will,--process, art, or mechanical,--the
result gives the most faithful portrait possible, down to the minutest
detail, the very living features of the breathing man, a likeness of
the greatest historical significance and importance. A single glance
will show the marked difference between Browere’s work and the ordinary
life cast by the sculptor or modeller, no matter how skilful he may be.
Browere’s work is real, human, lifelike, inspiring in its truthfulness,
while other life masks, even the celebrated ones by Clark Mills, who
made so many, are dead and heavy, almost repulsive in their
lifelessness. It seems next to marvelous how he was able to preserve so
wonderfully the naturalness of expression. His busts are imbued with
animation; the individual character is there, so simple and direct that,
next to the living man, he has preserved for us the best that we can
have--a perfect _facsimile_. One experiences a satisfaction in
contemplating these busts similar to that afforded by the reflected
image of the daguerreotype. Both may be “inartistic” in the sense that
the artist’s conception is wanting; but for historical human documents
they outweigh all the portraits ever limned or modelled.

Browere left a wife and eight children, his second child and eldest son,
Alburtis D. O. Browere, inheriting the artistic temperament of the
father. He was born at Tarrytown, March 17, 1814, and died at Catskill,
February 17, 1887. After his father’s death, he entered the schools of
the National Academy of Design, and, in 1841, gained the first prize of
$100, in competition with twenty-four others, for his picture of
“Canonicus Treating with the English,” as detailed in Thatcher’s “Lives
of the Indians.” Previous to this, when only eighteen years old, he was
awarded a silver medal, by the American Institute in New York, “for the
best original oil painting,” the title of which has been forgotten. He
painted several pictures with Rip Van Winkle as the subject, and among
his contemporaries and friends was highly appreciated as an artist and
as a man. He went to California soon after the opening to the east of
that El Dorado, where he remained several years, painting many pictures
of mining scenes. It was he who added the draperies to the busts made
from his father’s life masks--an addition much to be regretted; but, on
the other hand, it was his filial reverence that preserved these
invaluable human documents, and has permitted us to see and know how
many of the great characters who have gone before really appeared in the
flesh, how they actually looked when they lived and moved and had their
being.

[Illustration]



IV

_The Captors of André_


“While Arnold is handed down with execration to future times, posterity
will repeat with reverence the names of Van Wart, Paulding, and
Williams.” These words of Alexander Hamilton, written to John Laurens
shortly after the taking of André, form a fitting text for the chapter
introducing Browere’s busts of those patriots. It is fitting, because of
the varying winds that have blown over the subject, swaying public
opinion first one way and then the other; until finally the full
prophecy of Hamilton is accepted as the right judgment of posterity. Of
course, my comments refer only to the captors of André; there never has
been but one judgment as to the execrated Arnold.

It required more than a generation for any voice to let itself be heard
questioning the sincerity and patriotism of the three

[Illustration: JOHN PAULDING Age 59]

lads who brought André to justice. And then it was the voice of only one
man, Colonel Tallmadge, who had come under André’s winsome fascinations,
while acting as officer of the guard over the unfortunate spy from his
capture to his execution. The occasion for the unworthy onslaught of
Tallmadge, was a resolution offered in the House of Representatives, at
Washington, to increase the beggarly pension of $200 per annum, awarded,
with a silver medal, by the Continental Congress, to each of the
three,--Paulding, Williams, and Van Wart. Tallmadge opposed it, not upon
the ground that these men had not done the deed history accords to them
and thereby possibly saved the new nation, but because André, the
captured spy, while in captivity, had told his keeper that they deceived
him into believing they were British soldiers, and when he found they
were not, but were American militiamen and he their prisoner, he could
have bought his freedom if he had been weighted down with gold. Suppose
this story of André, as retailed by Tallmadge, thirty-seven years after
the happening of the event, is accepted at its fullest value--what does
it signify? At best it is a mere surmise, hardly even the expression of
an opinion; and that it was baseless is shown most emphatically by the
express denial of each one of the captors, under oath, when Tallmadge
made his ill-judged and unpatriotic charge. British gold was ever
present during the Revolution to debauch patriots and make them
traitors, acting upon the doctrine of Sir Robert Walpole, that every
man has his price; therefore André surmised that three ragged, unpaid,
militiamen would easily have yielded could they have seen the yellow
glitter; but subsequent events clearly disprove that the prisoner could
have bought his freedom.

The fact is, such a halo of romance and supposed chivalry has garlanded
itself over André, owing to his youth and charming personality, that the
best judgments are warped and influenced, in his favor, when they take
up a consideration of his unhappy fate. Yet his case was an aggravated
one. He entered upon the errand of a spy with his eyes wide open to its
dangers and its consequences. He was taken red-handed, and suffered the
penalty of his daring, after a trial, not by his peers, but by his
superiors. His suppliant plea that he was unwittingly betrayed within
our lines by the very man with whom he knew he was holding unlawful
communication, and that he should be protected by the word and passes of
the traitor Arnold, are pathetic in their puerility; yet his cause has
not failed of advocates upon this plea. After all, it is merely the
settling of a sentimental point in history, and the consensus of opinion
is that André suffered justly and that posterity should “repeat with
reverence the names of Van Wart, Paulding, and Williams.”

The truth is, there is too much unnecessary iconoclasm abroad in regard
to historic characters. Where false reputations have been built upon
foundations laid by others, or impinge upon the honor due to another, it
is meet and right that they should be exposed and honor be given to whom
honor is due. But there is no such condition here; it is a mere attempt
to tarnish one of the most important acts of the American Revolution in
its far-reaching consequences, so that it shall be deprived of some of
its brilliancy. On the present question we can do no better than accept
the judgment of Washington--a man never carried away by his feelings,
but always calm, judicial, and just. He wrote to Congress: “I do not
know the party that took Major André, but it is said that it consisted
only of a few militia, who acted in such a manner upon the occasion as
does them the highest honor and _proves them to be men of great virtue_.
As soon as I know their names I shall take pleasure in transmitting them
to Congress.” And later, in forwarding the proceedings of the Board of
War, to Congress, he writes: “I have now the pleasure to communicate the
names of the three persons who captured Major André and _who refused to
release him notwithstanding the most earnest importunities and
assurances of a liberal reward on his part_. Their names are John
Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac Van Wart.”

The master spirit of the three captors seems to have been John Paulding,
who was the first of them to die, as also the first to have his mask
taken by Browere. Indeed, his bust is from the earliest mask we have
that Browere made, and is inscribed by the sculptor: “Made 1821 from the
mould made in 1817.” The latter was the year of the Tallmadge episode,
and Paulding, when in New York in connection with that affair, was
taken, by Alderman Percy Van Wyck, to Browere’s house at No. 315
Broadway, where the life mask was made.

The attempt has also been made to throw discredit upon the service of
the captors of André by underestimating their social position in the
community in which they lived. This absurd but too common practice in a
democracy like ours, where all men are supposed to be equal, can cut no
figure here; for whatever may have been the station in life of Williams
and Van Wart, who were kinsmen (the latter’s mother and the former’s
father having been brother and sister), Paulding belonged to a family of
consideration in his native State.

John Paulding was born in New York city in 1758, and died in Staatsburg,
Dutchess county, New York, February 18, 1818. His brother, William
Paulding, represented Suffolk county in the first provincial congress
that met in New York city, May 23, 1775; was a member of the New York
Committee of Safety, and commissary-general of the State troops. He,
himself, served throughout the war of the Revolution, and was three
times taken prisoner by the British, having escaped from his second
capture only a few days before the adventure with André. His unswerving
patriotism is therefore

[Illustration: ISAAC VAN WART

Age 66]

established by his personal service. Paulding was the one who actually
made the arrest by seizing the bridle of André’s horse, and he was the
leader and spokesman on the occasion. Nearly a decade after his death,
the corporation of the city of New York caused a monument to be erected
over his grave, at Peekskill, when his nephew, William Paulding, then
Mayor of New York, made the dedicatory address. Rear-Admiral Hiram
Paulding--who, at the time of his death, October 20, 1878, was senior
officer in the United States navy--was his son, and Commander Leonard
Paulding, who commanded the _St. Louis_, the first ironclad vessel in
the United States navy, in the war of the rebellion, was his grandson;
while James Kirke Paulding, the collaborateur of Washington Irving, in
the Salmagundi papers, and Secretary of the Navy under President Van
Buren, was his nephew. Surely this brief family history is sufficient to
set at rest any ridiculous squabbling as to his respectability and
position in the community. He very possibly wore the stigma of poverty,
in which case his refusal to release André, “notwithstanding the most
earnest importunities _and assurances of a liberal reward_,” only
emphasizes him to have been, in the words of Washington, a man of “great
virtue.”

Isaac Van Wart, who next followed Paulding to the grave, died at Mount
Pleasant, New York, on May 23, 1828, having been born, in Greenburg,
sixty-eight years before. He was the youngest of the three captors. Van
Wart was a West Chester farmer, and a staunch adherent to the cause of
his country; and there is no more reason to throw doubt upon the purity
of his motives in the great affair of his life than upon the motives of
Paulding, which are beyond questioning. His social position also seems
to be established by the fact, that he was a brother of Abraham Van
Wart, Adjutant in the Continental line, whose son Henry married the
youngest sister of Washington Irving. Van Wart’s mask was made by
Browere at Tarrytown in 1826, and until its discovery by the writer
there was no likeness of him known to be in existence.

David Williams, the eldest and the last survivor of the three, was born
in Tarrytown, October 21, 1754, dying near Livingstonville, August 2,
1831. He served under Montgomery in the expedition to Canada, and
remained actively in the service until disabled by frozen feet. Many of
the details of the capture of André that we have, are from Williams’s
sworn statement, made on the day following, when everything was
perfectly fresh in his mind. He passed the closing years of his life on
a farm in the Catskills, that had belonged to the leader of Shays’s
rebellion, and it is still in the occupancy of Williams’s descendants. A
monument has been erected to his memory, by the State of New York, near
Schoharie Court House.

Browere had great trouble in securing Williams’s mask.

[Illustration: DAVID WILLIAMS

Age 75]

Twice he went by sloop and on foot for this purpose to the latter’s home
at Schoharie, only to find the veteran absent. Finally, in 1829,
Williams visited General Delavan, at Peekskill, and sent Browere word,
whereupon the artist went thither and took the mask, the only portrait
extant of the sturdy patriot.

Therefore to Browere’s art,--or “process,” whichever one pleases,--we
owe, among other causes for congratulation, the possession of the only
authenticated likenesses of Paulding, Williams and Van Wart, the three
pure and unyielding patriots who captured the unfortunate André, and
who, “leaning only on their virtue and an honest sense of their duty,
could not be tempted by gold.” Thereby they saved Washington and his
army from capture, and possibly preserved the infant nation from a
return to servitude. Each one of them received the thanks of Congress,
and from the State of New York a two-hundred-acre farm. “Vincit amor
patriæ.”

[Illustration]



V

_Discovery of the Life Mask of Jefferson_


I had been familiar, for years, with the tragic story told by Henry S.
Randall, in his ponderous life of President Jefferson,[2] of how the
venerated sage of Monticello, within a year of his decease, was nearly
suffocated, by “an artist from New York,” by name Browere, who had
attempted to take a mask of his living features; and how, in fear of
bodily harm from the ex-President’s irate black body-servant, “the
artist shattered his cast in an instant,” and was glad to depart quickly
with the fragments which he was permitted to pick up.

This unvarnished tale, copied word for word, was put into the mouth of
Clark Mills, the sculptor, by Ben Perley Poore, and published by him,
some years later, under the caption of “Jefferson’s Danger.” With these
statements fixed in my mind, I came across, while searching for
information anent my article on the “Life Portraits of Thomas
Jefferson,”[3] a letter from James Madison to Henry D. Gilpin, written
October 25, 1827, in which Madison writes, respecting Jefferson’s
appearance, “Browere’s bust in plaster, from his mode of taking it, will
probably show a perfect likeness.”[4]

I was struck by the utter inconsistency of Randall’s circumstantial
account of the shattered cast, picked up in fragments, with Madison’s
pointed observations upon “Browere’s bust,” as being in existence
fifteen months after Jefferson’s death.

The latter directly negatived the former.

This made it both interesting and important to ascertain the exact
status of the subject, by tracing it to and from the fountain source, a
task I found comparatively easy through the calendars of Jefferson and
Madison Papers, in the State Department, at Washington. From an
examination of these manuscripts, together with the newspapers of the
time, it was clearly to be seen that Mr. Randall’s method of writing
history, was to accept and repeat irresponsible country gossip, rather
than to turn to documents at his hand, that would explain and refute the
gossip.

The existence at one time of the bust of Jefferson, from Browere’s life
mask, being thus established, the next and more difficult quest was to
discover its whereabouts, if still extant. I instituted a systematic
search, that gained for me among my friends the sobriquet of Sherlock
Holmes, and my persistency was finally rewarded not only by the
discovery of this bust of Jefferson, but also of all the other busts
that had remained in Browere’s possession at the time of his death. They
were in the custody of a granddaughter of the artist, on a farm near
Rome, New York.

The positive statement of Randall, frequently repeated by others, the
last time unequivocally by Mr. Laurence Hutton, in his “Portraits in
Plaster,” that Browere’s mask from Jefferson’s face was _destroyed_, and
the indisputable fact that the bust from the perfect mask _exists_ and
is here reproduced, cause the incidents connected with the taking of
this original life mask, to have an importance that justifies recording
them at length, so that there may remain no possibility for further
question or doubt on the subject. My authorities are Jefferson, Madison
and Browere, as preserved in their own autographs, in the State
Department, at Washington.

Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743 and died in 1826, on the
semi-centennial of the adoption of the immortal instrument of which he
is the recognized father. Through the intercession of President Madison,
his friend, neighbor and successor in the chair of state, Jefferson
consented, in Browere’s words, “to submit to the ordeal of my new and
perfect mode of taking the human features and form.” For this purpose
Browere visited Monticello, on the fifteenth of October, 1825. At this
time Jefferson was eighty-two years of age and was suffering the
infirmities incident to his advanced years. During the operation, he was
attended by his faithful man-servant Burwell, who prepared him for “the
ordeal,” by removing all of his clothing to the waist, excepting his
undershirt, from which the sleeves were cut. He was then placed on his
back, and the material applied down to the waist, including both arms
folded across the body. The entire procedure lasted ninety minutes, with
rests every ten or fifteen minutes, during which rests Jefferson got up
and walked about. The material was on Jefferson’s face for eighteen
minutes, and the whole of the mould of his features was removed
therefrom in three minutes. This was accomplished before the alarmed
entrance of his granddaughters, the Misses Randolph, into the room. They
were brought there by their brother, who had been peeping in at the
window, and begging for admission, which was denied him. It was the
exaggerated report of what young Randolph thought he saw, that induced
the sudden entrance of his sisters, and this report found its way
subsequently into the local newspapers of Virginia, with the remarkable
result indicated.

The intrusion of the Randolphs into the room caused delay in removing
other parts of the mould, and this did cause the venerable subject to
feel a little faint and to experience some other discomforts. But
Browere remained at Monticello overnight, dining with Jefferson and the
Randolphs, and chatting with his host through the evening until
bed-time, which would scarcely have been the case had the artist nearly
suffocated and otherwise maltreated his subject, so that for his safety,
the cast had to be shattered to pieces. But we do not have to speculate
and surmise. We have direct and unimpeachable proof to the contrary.

The very day on which, according to Randall and his followers, the
“suffocation” and “shattering” took place, Jefferson wrote:

     At the request of the Honorable James Madison and Mr. Browere of
     the city of New York, I hereby certify that Mr. Browere has this
     day made a mould in plaster composition from my person for the
     purpose of making a portrait bust and statue for his contemplated
     National Gallery. Given under my hand at Monticello, in Virginia,
     this 15th day of October, 1825.

TH: JEFFERSON.



Four days later President Madison, who, with his wife, was Browere’s
next subject, writes: “A bust of Mr. Jefferson, taken by Mr. Browere
from the person of Mr. Jefferson, has been submitted to our inspection
and appears to be a faithful likeness.” That Jefferson did suffer some
inconvenience, from the application of the wet material, is undeniable.
Three

[Illustration: THOMAS JEFFERSON

Age 82]

days after the taking of the mould he wrote to Madison: “I was taken in
by Mr. Browere. He said his operation would be of about twenty minutes
and less unpleasant than Houdon’s method. I submitted without enquiry.
But it was a bold experiment, on his part, on the health of an
octogenary worn down by sickness as well as age. Successive coats of
thin grout plastered on the naked head and kept there an hour, would
have been a severe trial of a young and hale man.”

But the newspapers had gotten hold of the “suffocation” and “shattering”
story, and any one familiar with the newspapers of that day knows what a
scarcity of news there was. Therefore the press over the land laid the
Virginia papers tribute for this bit of sensationalism. Richmond, Boston
and New York vied with each other in keeping the ball moving. But “those
teachers of disjointed thinking,” as Dr. Rush called the public press,
were getting too rabid for Browere, so he published, in the Boston
“Daily Advertiser” of November 30, 1825, a two-column letter, in which
he calls the attack by the “Richmond Enquirer,” the most virulent of his
assailants, “a libel false in almost all its parts and which I am now
determined to prove so by laying before the public every circumstance
relating to that operation on our revered ex-president, Thomas
Jefferson.”

A copy of this published letter Browere sent to Jefferson under cover of
the following important but effusive epistle:

NEW YORK, May 20, 1826.

_Most Esteemed and venerable Sir_:

     As the poet says “there are strings in the human heart which once
     touched will sometimes utter dreadful discord.” Per the public
     vehicles of information, the ex-President has perceived the very
     illiberal manner in which my character and feelings have been
     treated, and that of those of his honor have been unintentionally
     wounded. Mine have been publickly assaulted, upbraided and
     lacerated. And why? Because through the error of youth, I
     unwittingly, in a confidential letter to M. M. Noah, Esq., editor
     of the New York National Advocate, had written in a style either
     too familiar or that the whole of said letter (instead of extracts
     therefrom) had been made public. In my address to the Boston
     public, the ex-president will perceive I set down naught but facts.
     That I intended not to wound your feelings or those of the ladies
     at Monticello, I acknowledged the urbanity of Mr. Jefferson and the
     hospitality of his family. Possibly the ex-president is not aware
     that a young gentleman, one of his family, did, previous to my
     departure from Monticello, (the very afternoon of the day on which
     I took the bust) go to Charlottesville, and publickly declare I had
     almost killed Mr. Jefferson, first almost separating the ears,
     cutting the skull and suffocating him. What were my feelings? What!
     would not any man of spirit and enterprise resent such assertions
     and rebut them? I was in this state of feeling when I indited the
     letter to M. M. Noah, which letter I fear has forfeited me your
     confidence and regard. But a letter confidential and therefore not
     to be attributed as malign or censorious.

     Your character I have always esteemed, and I now intend evidencing
     that regard by making a full-length statue of the “Author of the
     Declaration of American Independence,” which (if the president be
     not in New York on the 4th of July next) I intend presenting for
     that day to the Honorable the Corporation of New York, to be
     publickly exhibited to all who desire to view the beloved features
     of the friend of science and of liberty.

     The attitude of your statue will be standing erect; the left hand
     resting on the hip; the right hand extended and holding the
     unfolded scroll, whereon is written the Declaration of American
     Independence. If possible, History, Painting, Sculpture, Poetry and
     Fame will be attendant. The portrait busts of Washington, John
     Adams, Franklin, Madison, John Q. Adams, Lafayette, Clinton and
     Jay, will be on shields, hung on the column of Independence,
     surmounted with the figure of Victory. May you enjoy health, peace
     and competence. May the God of nature continue to shower down his
     choicest blessings on your head and finally receive you to himself
     is the prayer of your sincere friend,

J. H. I. BROWERE.



This communication Jefferson acknowledged, within a month of his
decease, in a letter of such ruling importance in this connection, as it
_settles the question forever_, that I am glad of the opportunity to
publish it in full.

MONTICELLO, June 6, ’26.

_Sir_:

     The subject of your letter of May 20, has attracted more notice
     certainly than it merited. That the operé to which it refers was
     painful to a certain degree I admit. But it was short lived and
     there would have ended as to myself. My age and the state of my
     health at that time gave an alarm to my family which I neither felt
     nor expressed. What may have been said in newspapers I know not,
     reading only a single one and that giving little room to things of
     that kind. I thought no more of it until your letter brot. it again
     to mind, but can assure you it has left not a trace of
     dissatisfaction as to yourself and that with me it is placed among
     the things which have never happened. Accept this assurance with my
     friendly salutes.

TH: JEFFERSON.



Notwithstanding this “very kind and consolatory letter,” as Browere had
good reason to call it, the report that the venerable Jefferson had been
nearly suffocated and otherwise maltreated by the artist, was so widely
circulated that Browere’s career was seriously affected by it; and so
much easier is it to disseminate error than truth, that his hopes were
not fulfilled that the publication of Jefferson’s letter would, as he
wrote to Madison, “in some manner turn the current of popular prejudice,
which at present is great against my _modus operandi_.”

In acknowledging Jefferson’s letter of the 6th, Browere writes
concerning the statue: “On the very day of the receipt of yours, the
13th inst., I had completed your full length statue (nudity) and
to-morrow I intend, if spared, to commence dressing it in the costume
you wore at the time of your delivery of the Declaration of American
Independence. Understanding that your dress corresponded with that of
Mr. Laurens, President of Congress in 1778, I have commenced the suit.
But if Mr. Jefferson would condescend to give a full and explicit
account of the form and colour of his dress, at that very interesting
period, he will be conferring a particular favor on me and on the whole
American Nation. Dispatch in forwarding the same will be pleasing to the
Honorable the Common Council of New York, for whom I am preparing your
statue for the 4th of July, 1826.”

An examination of such of the New York newspapers of the period as could
be found, fails to reveal any mention of this remarkable, colored and
habited, statue of Jefferson, our whole knowledge of which is derived
from the letters of the artist. It would seem to have belonged to the
Eden Musée variety of freaks, from Browere’s own description of it. Here
is what he writes to Madison from New York, July 17, 1826: “You are
aware that two months ago I tendered to the Common Council of New York,
my services and those of my son to complete a full length figure or
statue of Jefferson. The memorial was unanimously accepted and referred
to the Committee on Arts and Sciences, who would superintend its being
placed in the Banqueting Room of the Common Council, on the approaching
anniversary or jubilee. Without money and without power I was enabled in
five weeks of unremitting exertions, to finish and place it in the Hall,
exactly at the hour of the dissolution of Mr. Jefferson.” It may not be
unamusing to read a description of his statue in the City Hall
banqueting-room.

“His lofty and majestic figure standing erect; his mild blue and
expressive eyes beaming with intelligence and good will to his fellow
men. The scroll of the Declaration, which gave freedom to millions,
clutched in his extended right hand, strongly contrasted with the
decrepitude of his elder associate, the venerable John Adams, gave an
effect to the whole which will not ever be forgotten here. His left hand
resting on the hip, gave a carelessness yet dignified ease that pleased
thousands. On his right hand was the portrait bust of the venerable
Charles Carroll of Carrollton, like that of Adams, clothed with white
drapery. Beside and behind these figures were placed various flowers and
shrubbery. Immediately over the head of the author of the Declaration of
American Independence hovered the American Eagle; a civic crown
suspending from his beak was ready to drop on the temples and crown with
immortal honors the wisest and best of men. His likeness is perfect. If
the congratulations of Governor De Witt Clinton, His Honor the Mayor,
the City authorities of New York and the general mass of reputable
lives, can affix the seal of truth in likeness, rest assured the beloved
features will not soon be forgotten.

“Now should the University of Virginia desire to erect in marble or
bronze a statue to the memory of its founder be pleased, Sir, to note
that I will be ready at all times to complete such a work. Moreover
that, should appropriate funds at this period be lacking, it matters
not: I will furnish one and await the pleasure of the institution for
pecuniary emolument. All that would be required at first, would be a
sufficiency to defray actual expenditures for materials and the
indispensable requisites to the support of my young family. Should this
proposition meet the approval of the visitors of the Virginia University
and the citizens at large, a satisfactory answer will meet with my
cordial thanks.”

Evidently the University of Virginia did not accept Browere’s
proposition, as the only statue of its founder and architect, now to be
seen there is an extremely bad one by a sculptor named Galt; and no
trace of Browere’s curious work has up to the present time been found.
Save for the truth of history, silence concerning it would seem to have
been most expedient for Browere’s reputation as a serious artist.

Surely this story is as interesting as a romance, and but for fiction it
might never have been told. How dare any man assume to write history and
set down on his pages such statements, as did Randall about Browere’s
mask of the living Jefferson, without first exhausting every channel of
inquiry and every means of search and research to ascertain the truth?
The material that I have drawn from was as accessible to Mr. Randall as
it has been to me; in fact, he claims to have used the Jefferson papers
in his compilation. It is true we have acquired more exact and
scientific methods of writing history than were in vogue when Randall
wrote, a generation or more ago. Yet this will not excuse his positive
misstatements and false assumptions. The existence of an opportunity for
such severe criticism only serves to emphasize the great necessity of
observing the inflexible rule: take nothing for granted and nothing at
second hand, without the most careful investigation and scrutiny. If the
standard of life’s ordinary action should be the precept “Whatever is
worth doing is worth doing well,” with what intensified force does it
apply to the writing of history! Pains, infinite pains, are the
requisites for good work. Nothing meritorious is ever accomplished
without hard labor. Toil conquers everything; without it, the result is
at best uncertain. While it is some gratification to have set wrong
right and done tardy justice to Browere’s reputation, it is a far
greater satisfaction to have rescued from oblivion and presented to the
world his magnificent facsimile of the face and form of Thomas
Jefferson.

[Illustration]



VI

_Three Generations of Adamses_


The allied families of Adams and Quincy are the only instances in this
country, that present themselves to my mind, of hereditary ability
manifesting itself and being recognized in the public service, for three
and more generations. The Quincy family has done its work in local and
more narrow spheres than the Adamses; yet Josiah Quincy, Jr., of Boston
Port Bill fame, and his son, bearing the same name, who for so many
years was at the head of Harvard University, have had a wide field for
the spread of their influence. But the Adams family is the only one that
has given father and son to the Presidential chair, and father, son and
grandson to the English mission. The series of double coincidences in
the Adams family connected with missions to England and treaties with
that power, is most curious. John Adams, just

[Illustration: JOHN ADAMS

Age 90]

after having served as a commissioner to arrange the treaty of peace
that concluded the Revolutionary War, was made minister to the court of
St. James; his son John Quincy Adams, immediately after signing the
treaty of Ghent, that concluded the war of 1812-15, was appointed
minister to the same court; and his grandson, Charles Francis Adams,
minister to England during the entire Civil War, took part in the treaty
that disposed of the Alabama question.

John Adams was born in 1735 and died in 1826. The coincidences in his
career, parallel with events in the career of Jefferson, are very
remarkable. They were both on the committee of five to draft the
Declaration of Independence; they both signed that American _Magna
Charta_; they both represented this country in France; they both became
successively Vice-President and then President of these United States,
being the only signers of the Declaration of Independence thus elevated
to the chair of state; and they both died, within a few hours of each
other, on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of
Independence. Is it possible that more curious historical parallels can
be found in the lives of any two men?

From Monticello, the home of Jefferson, Browere journeyed to Quincy, the
home of Adams, in order to secure a mask of the face of the
distinguished nonagenarian. But the Virginian story of the maltreatment
of Jefferson had gotten there before him, and it was with difficulty
that Browere could persuade Mr. Adams to submit. However, the old
Spartan finally yielded, and submitted not only once but twice, as
appears by his certificate:

QUINCY, MASS., Nov. 23, 1825.

     This certifies that John H. I. Browere of the city of New York, has
     yesterday and to-day made two Portrait bust moulds on my person and
     made a cast of the first which has been approved of by friends.


JOHN ADAMS.



To this certificate, his son, Judge Thomas B. Adams, added a postscript:

     “I am authorized by the ex-President to say that the moulds were
     made on his person without injury, pain or inconvenience.”

The bust from the mask of old John Adams is, next to that of Jefferson,
the most interesting of Browere’s works. I do not mean for the subject,
but for its truthful realism. There is an unhesitating feeling of real
presence conveyed by Browere’s busts that is given by no other likeness.
They present living qualities and characteristics wanting in the painted
and sculptured portraits of the same persons. Such a comparison is
easily made in the instance of John Adams, for the same

[Illustration: JOHN QUINCY ADAMS

Age 58]

year as that in which Browere made his life masks, Gilbert Stuart
painted his famous portrait of “John Adams at the age of ninety”; and
Browere’s bust will bear comparison with Stuart’s portrait. I must tell
a story connected with the painting of this portrait by Stuart, which,
while a little out of place, especially as we have a chapter devoted to
Gilbert Stuart, comes in better here than there. Stuart had painted a
portrait of John Adams as a younger man. It is the familiar portrait of
the great statesman by that artist. John Quincy Adams was desirous that
Stuart should paint another of his father at the advanced age of ninety,
and applied to the artist for the purpose. But Stuart was too old to go
down to Quincy, and John Adams was too old to come up to Boston.
Finally, Stuart agreed that he would go down to Quincy, for the purpose,
if he were paid half of the price of the picture before he went. To this
John Quincy Adams gladly assented, and Stuart went to Quincy and had the
first sitting. Then John Quincy Adams could not get Stuart to go down
for a second sitting, and, as his father was past ninety, he feared he
might die before the picture was finished. He at last succeeded in
getting Stuart to go down for a second sitting by paying him the balance
of the price of the picture. Then the artist would not go down to finish
it, and the only way John Quincy Adams got him to complete the portrait
was by promising him, if he would make the journey and do the work, he
would pay him the agreed price over again. This is only one of many
illustrations of the character of the greatest portrait-painter this
country has produced, and the peer of any portrait-painter who has ever
lived.

Browere broke his journey from Virginia to Massachusetts by a rest at
the country’s capital, and while there he took a mask of the ruling
President, John Quincy Adams, and one of his young son, Charles Francis
Adams. It was this young man who wrote to Browere as follows:

WASHINGTON CITY, October [28], 1825.

     The president requests me to state to Mr. Browere that he will be
     able to give him two hours tomorrow morning at seven o’clock at his
     (Mr. Browere’s) rooms on Pennsylvania Avenue. He is so much engaged
     at present that this is the only time he can conveniently spare for
     the purpose of your executing his portrait bust from life.

C. F. ADAMS.



John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, was born in
Braintree, Massachusetts, July 11, 1767, and died in the Speaker’s room
of the House of Representatives at Washington, February 28, 1848. He has
been called the most cultivated occupant that the Presidential chair has
ever had; but his administration was unimportant, and he

[Illustration: CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS

Age 18]

personally was the most unpopular man who has yet achieved the high
office. He seems to have anticipated Whistler in the “gentle art of
making enemies.”

Not the least interesting of Browere’s busts is the youthful head of
Charles Francis Adams, made when Mr. Adams had just passed his
eighteenth birthday, he having been born August 18, 1807, in Boston,
where he died November 21, 1886. The services of Mr. Adams to his
country, as minister to England from 1861 to 1868, covering the entire
period of the war between the States, can never be forgotten or
overestimated, and will remain among the foremost triumphs of American
diplomacy.

It is certainly of curious interest to have busts of three generations,
in one family, made by the same hand and within a few days of each
other, as is the case with Browere’s casts of John, John Quincy, and
Charles Francis Adams.

[Illustration]



VII

_Mr. and Mrs. Madison_


“Jimmy” Madison and his wife “Dolly” were prominent characters in social
as well as in public life. He early made a name for himself by his
knowledge of constitutional law, and acquired fame by the practical use
he made of his knowledge, in the creation of the Constitution of the
United States, and in its interpretation in the celebrated letters of
the “Federalist.” With the close of Washington’s administration Madison
determined to retire to private life, but shortly before this he met the
coy North Carolina Quakeress, Dorothea Payn. She was at the time the
young widow of John Todd, to whom she had been married not quite a year,
and Madison made her his wife.

James Madison was born in 1751 and Dorothea Payn in 1772, but the score
and one years’ difference in their ages did

[Illustration: JAMES MADISON

Age 74]

not prevent them from enjoying a married life of two score and two years
of unclouded happiness. Madison died in 1836, and was survived by Mrs.
Madison for thirteen years.

Madison’s temperament, like that of his young bride, was tuned to too
high a pitch to be contented with quietness after the excitement
incident to his earlier career. Therefore his retirement, like stage
farewells, was only temporary, and he became afterward the fourth
President of the United States. As we have seen, it was Madison who
brought Browere to the notice of Jefferson, and Browere was commended to
Madison in the following letter from General Jacob Brown, the land hero
of the war of 1812, and later Commander-in-chief of the Army of the
United States:

WASHINGTON CITY, Oct. 1st, 1825.

_My Dear Sir_:

     Mr. Browere waits on you and Mrs. Madison with the expectation of
     being permitted to take your portrait busts from the life. As I
     have a sincere regard for him as a gentleman and a scholar, and
     great confidence in his skill as an artist (he having made two
     busts of myself), in the art which he is cultivating, I name him to
     you with much pleasure as being worthy of your encouragement and
     patronage. I am interested in having Mr. Browere take your
     likeness, for I have long been desirous to obtain a perfect one of
     you. From what I have seen and heard of Mr. Browere’s efforts to
     copy nature, I hope to receive from his hands that desideratum in a
     faithful facsimile of my esteemed friend ex-President Madison. Be
     pleased to present my most respectful regards to Mrs. Madison, and
     believe me always

                       Your most devoted friend,

JACOB BROWN.



From this introduction Browere seems to have gained the friendship of
Mr. and Mrs. Madison, who took more than an ordinary interest in the
artist and his family. They were on terms of familiar intercourse, and
an infant, born to Mrs. Browere, July 3, 1826, was, by Mrs. Madison’s
permission, named for her. Some years later this child accompanied her
parents on an extended visit to Montpelier.

That Madison was satisfied with the result of Browere’s skill is shown
by the following:

     Per request of Mr. Browere, busts of myself and of my wife,
     regarded as exact likenesses, have been executed by him in
     plaister, being casts made from the moulds formed on our persons,
     of which this certificate is given under my hand at Montpelier, 19,
     October, 1825.

JAMES MADISON.



[Illustration: “DOLLY” MADISON

Age 53]

Mr. and Mrs. Madison each submitted to Browere’s process a second time,
which is sufficient evidence that the ordeal was not severe and
hazardous. The bust of Madison is very fine in character and expression,
but that of Mrs. Madison is of particular interest, as being the only
woman’s face handed down to us by Browere. Her great beauty has been
heralded by more than one voice and one pen, but not one of the many
portraits that we have of her, from that painted by Gilbert Stuart, aged
about thirty, to the one drawn by Mr. Eastman Johnson, shortly before
her death, sustains the verbal verdict of her admirers; and now the life
mask by Browere would seem to settle the question of her beauty in the
negative.

“Dolly” Madison was in her fifty and third year when Browere made his
mask of her face, and she lived on for a quarter century. She has always
been surrounded by an atmosphere of personal interest, not so much for
what she was as for what she was supposed to be. She doubtless possessed
a charm of manner that made her a most attractive hostess at the White
House during her reign of eight years, in which particular she shares
the laurels with the winsome wife of Mr. Cleveland.



VIII

_Charles Carroll of Carrollton_


The last of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, to be
gathered to his fathers, was the distinguished Marylander, Charles
Carroll of Carrollton, who so signed his name to distinguish himself
from a younger kinsman of the same name, his object being merely
purposes of convenience, and not the patriotic purpose of identifying
himself to the British, as is commonly stated. Charles Carroll was not a
member of the Continental Congress when the Declaration of Independence
was adopted, but took his seat a fortnight afterward, in time to sign
the instrument with the rest of the sitting delegates, when it was
placed before them on August 2, 1776.

Mr. Carroll died November 14, 1832, in his ninety-sixth

[Illustration: CHARLES CARROLL OF CARROLLTON

Age 88]

year, and his last public act was to lay the corner-stone of the
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad on July 4, 1828. From the description of his
personal appearance at this time, as given by Hon. John H. B. Latrobe,
it would seem as if it had been written of Browere’s bust, so true is
Browere’s work to the life. Mr. Latrobe says: “In my mind’s eye I see
Mr. Carroll now--a small, attenuated old man, with a prominent nose and
receding chin, [and] small eyes that sparkled when he was interested in
conversation. His head was small and his hair white, rather long and
silky, while his face and forehead were seamed with wrinkles.”

At the present time, when foreign matrimonial alliances of high degree,
with American women, are of almost daily occurrence, it is interesting
to note that among the first American women to marry into the nobility
of England were three granddaughters of the “signer,” Charles Carroll of
Carrollton. They were the children of his daughter, Mrs. Caton, and
became respectively the Marchioness of Wellesley, the Duchess of Leeds,
and Lady Stafford.

Browere, when he presented himself to Mr. Carroll for the purpose of
making his mask, was armed with the following letter from the eminent
scientist, Doctor Samuel Latham Mitchill, which contains the super-added
endorsements of Archibald Robertson, Richard Riker and M. M. Noah:

NEW YORK, July 8, 1825.

_My dear Sir_:

     I approve your design of executing a likeness in statuary of the
     Honorable Charles Carroll of Carrollton. When you shall present
     yourself to him within a few days, I authorize you to employ my
     testimony in favor of your skill, having submitted more than once
     to your plastic operation. I know that you can perform it
     successfully without pain and within a reasonable time. The
     likenesses you have made are remarkably exact, so much so that they
     may be truly called facsimile imitations of the life. Your gallery
     contains so many specimens of correct casts that not only common
     observers, but even critical judges bear witness to your industry,
     genius and talents. I foresee that your collection of busts already
     well advanced and rapidly enlarging, will, if your labors continue,
     become a depositary of peculiar and intrinsic value. Without
     instituting any invidious comparison between sister arts, the
     professional branch under which you address Mr. Carroll, possesses,
     in my humble opinion, all the superiority that sculpture exercises
     over music and painting.

     Yours, with kind feelings and fervent wishes for success,

SAMUEL L. MITCHILL.



IX

_The Nation’s Guest_

_La Fayette_


Gilbert Motier de La Fayette, who had fought side by side with
Washington at Brandywine and at Yorktown, made his third and last visit
to the United States in 1824. Landing at Castle Garden, in New York, on
August 15th of that year, he set sail thirteen months later, on
September 7th, 1825, to return to France, in the frigate _Brandywine_.
He came as the invited guest of the nation, and during his sojourn here
travelled over the whole country, visiting each one of the twenty-four
States and receiving one continuous ovation.

At the request of the Common Council of the city of New York, La Fayette
permitted Browere to make a cast of his head, neck and shoulders on
July 11, 1825. For this purpose La Fayette visited Browere’s workshop,
in the rear of No. 315 Broadway, New York, accompanied by Richard Riker,
Elisha W. King and Henry I. Wyckoff, a committee of the Common Council.
The composition had been applied and had set, and Browere was about
taking it off, when the clock struck, and one of the committee remarked
that the hour for the corporation dinner in honor of La Fayette, and
which he was to attend, had arrived. “_Sacré bleu!_” said La Fayette,
starting up, “Take it off! Take it off!” which caused a piece to fall
out from under one of the eyes. This accident, which necessitated a
second sitting, led to some interesting correspondence.

NEW YORK, Tuesday 12 o’clock,
July 12, 1825.

_Dear General_:

     We have just been to see your bust by Mr. Browere and have pleasure
     in saying it is vastly superior to any other likeness of General La
     Fayette, which as yet has fallen under our inspection. Indeed it is
     a faithful resemblance in every part of your features and form,
     from the head to the breast, with the exception of a slight defect
     about the left eye, caused by a loss of the material of which the
     mould was made. This defect or deficiency Mr. Browere assures us,
     and we have confidence in his assertion, that he can correct in a
     few minutes and without giving you any pain, provided you will
     again condescend to his operations, for a limited time. We should
     much regret that this slight blemish should not be corrected, which
     if not done will cause to us and to the Nation a continued source
     of chagrin and disappointment.

Most truly your Friends

RICHARD RIKER
ELISHA W. KING
HENRY I. WYCKOFF.



This letter was followed two days later by the following to Browere:

NEW YORK 14th July 1825.

_Dear Sir_:

     Every exertion has been made to get General La Fayette to spend
     half an hour with you, so the eye of his portrait bust be
     completed, but in vain. He has not had more than four hours each
     night to sleep, but has consented that you may take his mask in
     Philadelphia. He left New York this morning at eight o’clock and
     will be in Philadelphia on Monday next, where he will remain three
     days. It you can be present there on Monday or Tuesday at furthest,
     you can complete the matter. He has pledged his word. This
     arrangement was all that could be effected by

Your friend

ELISHA W. KING.

     P. S. Previous to going get a line from the Recorder or Committee.

Upon this letter Browere has endorsed:

     NOTE.--The subscribing artist met the General on Monday, in the
     Hall of Independence, Philadelphia, and Tuesday morning [July 19,
     1825] from seven to eight o’clock was busy in making another
     likeness from the face and head of the General. At 4 P.M. of that
     day he finished the bust under the eye of the General and his
     attendant, and had the satisfaction then of receiving from the
     General the assurance that it was the only good bust ever made of
     him.

JOHN H. I. BROWERE.



The result of the second trial was a likeness so admirable and of such
remarkable fidelity, that General Jacob Morton, Rembrandt Peale, De Witt
Clinton, S. F. B. Morse, John A. Graham, Thomas Addis Emmet and others,
came forward and enthusiastically bore witness to its being “a perfect
facsimile” of the distinguished Frenchman. The written commendations

[Illustration: THE MARQUIS DE LA FAYETTE

Age 67]

of Peale and Morse are notably interesting as the views of two brother
artists, each of whom had painted a portrait of La Fayette. Rembrandt
Peale, widely known by his composite portrait of Washington, writes:

NEW YORK August 10th 1825.

     The singular excellence shown by Mr. Browere in his new method of
     executing Portrait busts from the life deserves the applause and
     patronage of his countrymen. The bust of La Fayette, which he has
     just finished, is an admirable demonstration of his talent in this
     department of the Fine Arts. The accuracy with which he has moulded
     the entire head, neck and shoulders from the life and his skill in
     finishing, render this bust greatly superior to any we have seen.
     It is in truth a “faithful and a living likeness.” Of this I may
     judge having twice painted the General’s portrait from the life,
     once at Paris and recently at Washington.

REMBRANDT PEALE.



Samuel Finley Breese Morse was, at the period of which we write, an
artist of some reputation as a portrait-painter, and he was under
commission, from the corporation of New York, to paint a whole-length
portrait of La Fayette for the City Hall, where it now hangs. Its chief
interest is as a study of costume; for if Browere’s bust is “a perfect
facsimile” of La Fayette’s form and features, true to life, Morse’s
portrait is a caricature. That Morse was destined to greater ends than
painting mediocre portraits, was shown, a decade later, by his invention
of the magnetic electric telegraph, a discovery of such importance that
while millions of human beings know Morse the inventor, not a dozen
perhaps ever heard of Morse the painter. He damns his own portrait of La
Fayette by the following commendation of Browere’s bust:

NEW YORK August 15, 1825.

     Being requested by Mr. Browere to give my opinion of his bust or
     cast from the person of General La Fayette, I feel no hesitation in
     saying it appears to me to be a perfect facsimile of the General’s
     face.

SAML. F. B. MORSE.



These are certainly strong words coming from a rival artist and a man of
Mr. Morse’s character.

John A. Graham, who published a volume to prove that Horne Tooke was the
author of the Letters of Junius, was one of the leading lawyers of New
York. His closing words of eulogy upon the bust of La Fayette should
have been, but unfortunately were not, prophetic. He wrote: “I have no
doubt that the name of Browere, in virtue of this bust, will live as
long as the memory of La Fayette shall be beloved and respected in
America.” On the contrary, the name of Browere was wholly and entirely
forgotten and unknown, until brought to light, and publicly proclaimed,
by the present writer, in the fall of 1897. So much for the stability of
man’s reputation!

[Illustration]



X

_De Witt Clinton_


When Samuel Woodworth, the author of the well-known lines to the “Old
Oaken Bucket,” who was a close friend of Browere, entered the artist’s
workshop and caught a glimpse of the bust of De Witt Clinton, he made a
gesture, as of restraint, and pronounced these impromptu lines:

    “Stay! the bust that graces yonder shelf claims our regard.
     It is the front of Jove himself;
     The Majesty of Virtue and of Power,
     Before which guilt and meanness only cower.
     Who can behold that bust and not exclaim,
     Let everlasting honor claim our Clinton’s name!”

[Illustration: DE WITT CLINTON

Age 56]

De Witt Clinton, who was born in 1769 and died in 1828, was the first
recognized practical politician of this country. Apart from his immense
service in pushing to completion the Erie canal, he was essentially a
politician for what politics would yield. Consequently, he was always
looked upon with distrust, and even his high private station was
powerless to overcome this feeling. He posed as a connoisseur of the
fine arts, was at one time President of the American Academy of Arts,
and seems to have had a lofty appreciation of Browere’s work. He wrote:
“I have seen and examined with attention several specimens of busts
executed by Mr. Browere in plaster, and have no hesitation in saying
that their accuracy is equally surprising and gratifying. I feel
pleasure in recommending the fidelity of his likenesses, and the skill
with which they are executed, particularly the portrait bust of General
La Fayette.”

Of Clinton’s own bust the eminent Irish patriot and American advocate,
Thomas Addis Emmet, wrote to Browere:

NEW YORK July 6th 1826.

_Sir_:

     If my opinion as to the merits of the portrait busts I have seen of
     your workmanship, can be of any advantage to you, it is entirely at
     your service. I really think them all entitled to great praise for
     fidelity of expression and accuracy of resemblance. Those of
     General La Fayette and Governor Clinton are, as far as I can judge,
     the most perfect likenesses of the originals that have as yet been
     presented to the public.

                    I am, Dear Sir, your obt Servt

THOMAS ADDIS EMMET.



[Illustration]



XI

_Henry Clay_


Henry Clay, who wore the appellation, conferred upon Pitt, of “the Great
Commoner,” long before it was given to Mr. Gladstone, has left behind
him perhaps the most distinct personality of any of the statesmen of his
era. Where Daniel Webster counted his admirers by hundreds, Henry Clay
was idolized by thousands; the one appealing to the head and the other
to the heart. His strongly marked features are familiar to every one,
from the scores of portraits of him to be found here, there, and
everywhere; while there are, living to-day, a large number of people who
knew Clay in the flesh; so that Browere’s bust of him needs no
perfunctory certificate to assure of its truthfulness. It is certainly
human to a wonderful degree, and there could scarcely be any truer
portraiture than this, wherein we have the very features of the living
man down to the minutest detail.

Clay was of striking physique. He was quite tall, nearly six feet two
inches, rather sparsely built, with a crane-like neck that he endeavored
to conceal by his collar and stock. He had an immense mouth, phenomenal
for size as well as shape, and kindly blue eyes which were electrical
when kindled. Yet he was so magnetic in his power over men that when he
was defeated for the Presidency, thousands of his Whig followers wept as
they heard the news.

Henry Clay was born in Hanover county, Virginia, April 12, 1777, and
died at Washington, June 29, 1852, preceding his compeer Webster to the
grave by only a few months. On reaching his majority, he removed to
Lexington, Kentucky, which became his future home, although he was so
rarely out of public life that he was comparatively little there. Having
chosen the law for his profession, he was admitted to the bar, and
before attaining his thirtieth year, was sent to the Senate of the
United States. He was strenuous in his support of home industries, and
endeavored by legislation to enforce upon legislators the wearing of
homespun cloths. So ardent was he in this, that his course led to a duel
with Humphrey Marshall, in which both were slightly wounded.

At the close of the war of 1812, Clay was one of the commissioners
appointed to negotiate the treaty of peace with

[Illustration: HENRY CLAY

Age 48]

Great Britain, and as such signed the Treaty of Ghent. He was known as
“the great Pacificator,” from his course in the events that led to the
Missouri Compromise and later averted Southern “nullification.” He was
an active and bitter opponent of Andrew Jackson, and supported John
Quincy Adams against him for the Presidency, his reward being the
portfolio of State; but there was no bargain and corruption about this
business as his enemies claimed and which haunted Clay’s political
career throughout the rest of his life. He was an ambitious man, and his
failure to reach the goal of his ambition--the presidential chair--was a
fatal blow.

Clay was undoubtedly one of the greatest orators this country has
produced, and a man with much natural ability, but little study and
cultivation. His name is one to conjure with in old Kentucky, and it is
with a moist eye that personal reminiscences of Clay are related out
there in the blue grass State, even at this day, nearly half a century
after his decease.

[Illustration]



XII

_America’s Master Painter_

_Gilbert Stuart_


One artist, and he easily the first of American painters, did not deny
to Browere and his works the merit that was their due. On the contrary,
he saw the fidelity and great value of these life masks, and gave
practical encouragement to the maker of them by submitting to his
process and by giving a certificate of approval. He did this, not so
much that his living face might be transmitted to posterity, as to test
the truth of the newspaper reports of the suffering and danger
experienced by the venerable and venerated Jefferson, and thus by his
example encourage others to go and do likewise. The result was the
superb head of Gilbert Stuart, herewith reproduced from the original
bust, in the Redwood Library, at Newport, Rhode Island. This noble
action of Stuart must have been as light out of darkness to Browere.

Upon the completion of the mask, from which this bust was made, Stuart
gave to Browere the following emphatic certificate:

BOSTON November 29th 1825.

     Mr. Browere, of the city of New York, has this day made a portrait
     bust of me from life, with which I am perfectly satisfied and which
     I hope will remove any illiberal misrepresentations that may
     deprive the nation from possessing like records of more important
     men.

G. STUART.



The “illiberal misrepresentations” referred to were of course the
reported inconveniences that Jefferson had suffered; and praise such as
this, from Stuart, is, as approbation from Sir Hubert Stanley, praise
indeed.

A few days afterward the Boston “Daily Advertiser” announced: “The
portrait bust of Gilbert Stewart, Esq., lately executed by Mr. Browere,
will be exhibited by him at the Hubard Gallery, this evening. This
exhibition is made by him for the purpose of showing that he can present
a perfect likeness, and he will prove at the same time, by the
certificate of Mr. Stewart, that the operation is without pain.” Two
days later the local press fairly teemed with laudatory notices of
Browere’s work. The Boston “American” said: “This bust has been adjudged
by all who have examined it and are acquainted with the original to be a
striking and perfect resemblance.” The “Commercial Gazette” said: “It is
a fine likeness, in truth we think the best we ever saw of any one. We
particularly enquired of Mr. Stuart’s family if he suffered by any
difficulty of breathing or if the process was in any degree painful, and
were assured that there was nothing of an unpleasant or painful nature
in it.”

Considering Stuart’s eminence in art, a position fully recognized in his
lifetime, and his irascible temper and unyielding character, such action
as his toward Browere, not only in submitting to have the mask taken,
but in certifying to it and permitting it to be publicly exhibited for
the benefit of Browere’s reputation, speaks volumes of the highest
authority in support of the workman and his work.

Stuart’s daughter, Jane, who died at Newport, in 1888, at a very
advanced age, and was as “impossible” in some respects as was her
distinguished father, remembered well the incident of the mask being
taken, and testified to its marvellous life-speaking qualities. Having
lost all knowledge of its whereabouts, she searched for years in the
hope of finding it, since she looked upon it as the next thing to having
her father before her. Finally, in the Centennial year, it was
discovered

[Illustration: GILBERT STUART

Age 70]

in the possession of Browere’s son, and was purchased by Mr. David King,
of Newport, as a present for Miss Stuart. But Miss Stuart felt that her
little cottage, so well remembered by many visitors to Newport, was no
place for so big a work, and desired that it might be placed in a public
gallery, which wish Mr. King complied with, by presenting it to the
Redwood Library, at Newport, where it may be seen by all interested in
Stuart or in Browere’s life masks. Jane Stuart is the subject of Colonel
Wentworth Higginson’s charming paper, “One of Thackeray’s Women,” in his
volume of Essays entitled “Concerning All of Us.”

Gilbert Stuart was born in what was called the Narragansett country, on
December 3, 1755. The actual place of his birth is now called Hammond
Mills, near North Kingston, Rhode Island, about nine miles from
Narragansett Pier; and the old-fashioned gambrel-roofed, low-portalled
house, in which the future artist first saw light, still stands at the
head of Petaquamscott Pond. The snuff-mill set up by Gilbert Stewart,
the father of the painter, who had come over from Perth, in Scotland, at
the suggestion of a fellow Scotchman, Doctor Thomas Moffatt, to
introduce the manufacture of snuff into the colonies, was located, by
the race, immediately under the room in which Stuart was born, both
being part of the same building, so that Stuart’s excuse for taking
snuff, that he was born in a snuff-mill, is literally true.

When four months old, the third and youngest child of the snuff-grinder
and his beautiful wife, Elizabeth Anthony, was carried, on Palm Sunday,
to the Episcopal church and baptized “Gilbert Stewart.” The significance
of this record is found in the orthography of the surname and in the
limitation of the baptismal name. Stuart’s name will be found in print
quite frequently as “Gilbert Charles Stuart,” and I have seen it as
“Charles Gilbert Stuart”; and the Jacobin leaning of his Scotch sire, is
commonly supported by the naming of the child for the last of the Royal
Stuarts, the romantic Prince Charlie. This pretty legend, built to
support unreliable tradition, is blown to the winds by the prosaic
church record, which shows that the artist’s orthography was an
assumption, and his name simply Gilbert Stewart. That this plebeian
spelling of the royal name, was not an error or accident of the scribe
who made it, is proved by signatures of the snuff-grinder which have
come down to us.

Stuart’s parents early removed to Newport, where the son had the
advantage of tuition in English and Latin, from the assistant minister
of venerable Trinity parish; but in his boyhood Stuart seems to have
shown none of those dominant characteristics which later were so
strongly developed both in the artist and in the man, unless it may be
the predilection for pranks and practical jokes that early manifested
itself.

The earliest picture that can be recognized as from the brush of Gilbert
Stuart, is a pair of Spanish dogs belonging to the famous Dr. William
Hunter, of Newport, which Stuart is said to have painted when in his
fourteenth year; and what are claimed to be his first portraits, those
of Mr. and Mrs. Bannister, have been so nearly destroyed by
“restoration,” that nothing of the original work remains to show any
merit the pictures may have possessed.

Stuart’s first instruction in art was received from Cosmo Alexander, a
Scotchman, who passed a few years in the colonies painting a number of
interesting portraits in the affected, perfunctory manner of the period.
Of Alexander nothing was known until recent investigations by the writer
discovered him to be a great-grandson of George Jamesone, whom Walpole
calls “the Vandyke of Scotland.” Alexander took Stuart, then in his
eighteenth year, back with him to Scotland, to acquire a greater
knowledge of art than was possible in the colonies at that time; and
Stuart is claimed to have been at this period a student at the
University of Glasgow. But this tradition, like that previously
mentioned, is shattered, as tradition almost always is shattered, by the
cold, unimaginative record, which fails to show his name on the
matriculation register.

Alexander died not long after reaching Edinburgh, and Stuart was left,
according to his biographers, in the care of Alexander’s friend, “Sir
George Chambers,” who “quickly followed Alexander to the grave,” leaving
Stuart without protection. But this story is manifestly without
foundation, as there _was_ no “Sir George Chambers” at the period
considered. There was, however, a Scotch painter of some repute, Sir
George Chalmers, of Cults, who had married either a sister or a daughter
of Cosmo Alexander; and this Sir George Chalmers is doubtless the person
intended, although he lived on until 1791, so that it could not have
been his demise that threw Stuart upon his own resources, which, being
few, necessitated his working his way home, on a collier, after a few
months’ absence.

Stuart returned to America from Scotland at a period of intense
excitement. The Boston Port bill had just been received, assuring what
the Stamp Act had initiated, and the tories and the patriots were being
marshalled according to their particular bias. It was not a time for the
peaceful arts. It was the time for action and for town meetings. Before
the echoes of Lexington and Concord had died away, “Gilbert Stewart the
snuff-grinder” hied himself away to Nova Scotia, leaving his wife and
family behind. At this epoch Gilbert Stuart, the future painter, was in
his twentieth year, and apparently had inherited from his father
sentiments of loyalty to the Crown, so that instead of going forth to
battle for his native land, as many no older than he did, he embarked
for England, the day before the action at Bunker Hill, with the
ostensible object of seeking the Mecca of all of our early artists, the
studio of Benjamin West.

Once in London, Stuart’s object to seek instruction in painting from
West, seems to have weakened, and he remained in the great metropolis
nearly two years before he knocked at the Newman-street door of the
kindly Pennsylvanian. These months were occupied chiefly with a sister
art in which Stuart was most proficient. He loved music more than he
loved painting--a taste that never forsook him. He played upon several
instruments, but his favorites were the organ and the flute; indeed the
story has come down that his last night in Newport, before sailing, was
spent in playing the flute under the window of one of its fair denizens.

This knowledge of music stood Stuart in good stead when an unknown youth
in an unknown land. A few days after his arrival in London, hungry and
penniless, he passed the open door of a church, through which there came
to his ear the strains of a feebly played organ. He ventured in and
found the vestry sitting in judgment upon several applicants for the
position of organist. Receiving permission to enter the competition, he
was selected for the position at a salary of thirty pounds, after having
satisfied the officials of his character, by reference to Mr. William
Grant, whose whole-length portrait Stuart afterward painted.

Having some kind of subsistence assured him by the position of organist
he thus secured, Stuart began that desultory dallying with art which
later often left him without a dry crust for his daily bread. While his
work was always serious, his temperament never was, and he seems to have
played cruel jokes upon himself, as carelessly as he did upon others.
For two years his career is almost lost to art; only once in a while did
he gather himself together to work at his painting. He had, however, to
a marked degree, that odd resource of genius which enabled him to work
best and catch up with lost time when under the spur of necessity. In
later days, with sitters besieging his door, he would turn them away,
one by one, until the larder was empty and there was not a penny left in
the purse; then he would go to work and in an incredibly short time
produce one of his masterpieces.

Such was the character, in outline, of the man who went to London to
study under West, and, after reaching the metropolis, let two years slip
by him without seeking his chosen master. Finally he went to the famous
American and was received as a pupil and as a member of the painter’s
family, in true apprentice style. Just what Stuart learned from West it
is difficult to imagine;--unless it was how not to paint. For, without
desiring or meaning to join in the hue and cry of to-day against the art
of West, but on the contrary, protesting against the clamor which fails
to consider the conditions that existed in his time and therefore fails
to do him the justice that is his due, there is surely nothing in the
work of the one to suggest anything in the work of the other.

For five long and doubtless weary years Stuart plodded under the
guidance of his gentle master until, tired of doing some of the most
important parts of West’s royal commissions, for which his remuneration
was probably only his keep and tuition, without even the chance of
glory, he broke away and opened a studio for himself in New Burlington
Street. If Stuart did gain little in art from West, he gained much of
the invaluable benefit of familiar intercourse with persons of the first
distinction, who were frequenters of the studio of the King’s painter.
This was of great advantage to the young artist when he set up his own
easel, and many of these men became his early sitters.

Stuart, while domiciled with West, drew in the schools of the Royal
Academy, attended the lectures of the distinguished William Cruikshank
on anatomy, and listened to the discourses delivered by Sir Joshua
Reynolds on painting. Later on he painted the portraits of each of these
celebrated men, and did enough individual work to indicate the quality
of the artistic stuff that was in him, awaiting an opportunity to
manifest itself. In 1777, the year Stuart went to West, he made his
first exhibition at the Royal Academy. His one contribution is entered
in the catalogue of that year merely as “A Portrait.” It is not
improbable that this was a portrait of his fellow countryman and early
friend, Benjamin Waterhouse, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who preceded
Stuart to London only a short time, and who seems to have remained the
artist’s chum during their sojourn in the English capital. A portrait of
Doctor Waterhouse, by Stuart, was given by the Doctor’s widow, to the
Redwood library, at Newport, together with Stuart’s self-portrait,
wearing a large hat, and dated on the back, 1778. These two portraits
are evidently of a contemporaneous period.

In 1779 Stuart exhibited, at the Royal Academy, three pictures: “A Young
Gentleman,” “A Little Girl,” and “A Head.” In 1781 he showed “A Portrait
from Recollection since Death,” and in 1782 made his last exhibition
there, sending a “Portrait of an Artist,” and “A Portrait of a Gentleman
Skating.” This last picture, although painted so early in his career,
has been considered Stuart’s _chef-d’œuvre_. It is a whole-length
portrait of Mr. William Grant, of Congalton, skating in St. James Park.
Mr. Grant was the early friend who bore testimony to Stuart’s character,
whereby Stuart gained the organist’s position soon after his arrival in
London; and the story has come down that Mr. Grant, desiring to help
Stuart, determined to sit for his portrait, and went to Stuart’s room
for a sitting. The day was crisp and cold, and the conversation, not
unnaturally, turned upon skating, a sport much enjoyed by both painter
and sitter, each being rarely skilful at it. Finally paints and brushes
were put away, and the two friends started forth to skate. Stuart was so
struck with the beauty and rhythm of his companion’s motion that he
determined to essay a picture of him thus engaged. The original canvas
was abandoned and a new one begun, showing Mr. Grant not merely upon
skates, but actually skating; and the latent force of the graceful
undulating motion has been rendered with a skill and ability that at
once put Stuart in the front rank of the great portrait-painters of his
day.

The remarkable merit of this picture and the wilful unreasonableness of
painters in not signing their works, were curiously shown at the
exhibition of “Pictures by the Old Masters,” held at Burlington House,
in January of 1878. In the printed catalogue of the collection this
picture was attributed to Gainsborough, and attracted and received
marked attention. A writer in the “Saturday Review,” speaking of the
exhibition, remarks: “Turning to the English school, we may observe a
most striking portrait in number 128, in Gallery III. This is set down
as ‘Portrait of W. Grant, Esq., of Congalton, skating in St. James Park.
Thomas Gainsborough, R. A. (?)’ The query is certainly pertinent, for,
while it is difficult to believe that we do not recognize Gainsborough’s
hand in the graceful and silvery look of the landscape in the
background, it is not easy to reconcile the flesh tones of the portrait
itself with any preconceived notion of Gainsborough’s workmanship. The
face has a peculiar firmness and decision in drawing, which reminds one
rather of Raeburn than of Gainsborough, though we do not mean by this to
suggest in any way that Gainsborough wanted decision in either painting
or drawing when he chose to exercise it.”

The discussion as to the authorship of this picture waxed warm, the
champions of Raeburn, of Romney, and of Shee, contending with those of
Gainsborough for the prize, which contention was only set at rest by a
grandson of the subject coming out with a card that the picture was by
“the great portrait-painter of America, Gilbert Stuart.” And to Stuart
it did justly belong.

With the success of this portrait of Mr. Grant, Stuart was launched upon
the sea of prosperity, and to himself alone, and not to want of
patronage or lack of opportunity, is due his failure to provide against
old age or a rainy day. For a while he lived like a lord, in reckless
extravagance. Money rolled in upon him, and he spent it lavishly,
without a thought for the morrow. His rooms were thronged with sitters,
and he received prices for his work second only to those of Reynolds and
of Gainsborough. He was on the best footing with his brethren of the
brush, and with Gainsborough, his senior by more than a quarter of a
century, he painted a whole-length portrait of Henry, Earl of Carnarvon,
in his robes, which has been engraved in mezzotinto by William Ward,
with the names of the two painters inscribed upon the plate. This alone
shows the estimation in which Stuart was held by his contemporaries, and
it would be most interesting to know which parts were the work of
Stuart and which were due to his famous collaborator.

About this period Boydell was in the midst of the publication of his
great Shakespeare gallery, to which the first artists of the day
contributed, and Stuart was commissioned by the Alderman, to paint, for
the gallery, portraits of the leading painters and engravers who were
engaged upon the work. Thus, for Boydell, he painted the superb
half-length portraits of his master West, and of the engravers Woollett
and Hall, now in the National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place,
London. He painted, also for Boydell, his own portrait, and portraits of
Reynolds, Copley, Gainsborough, Ozias Humphrey, Earlom, Facius, Heath,
William Sharp, Boydell himself, and several others. Stuart was an
intimate friend of John Philip Kemble, and painted his portrait several
times; one picture is in the National Portrait Gallery, and another, as
_Richard III._, which has been engraved by Keating, did belong to Sir
Henry Halford.

Other prominent sitters to Stuart in London were Hugh, Duke of
Northumberland, the Lord Percy of the Battle of Bunker Hill; Admiral Sir
John Jervis, afterward Earl St. Vincent; Isaac Barré; Dr. Fothergill,
and the Dukes of Manchester and of Leinster. From these names alone it
can be seen that Stuart was in touch with persons of the highest
consideration, and they were not only his patrons, but his friends. He
kept open house, dispensing a princely hospitality. The story has been
handed down that he led off with a dinner of forty-two, composed of the
choice spirits of the metropolis. He was so charming as a host, and had
gathered together such delightful guests, that it was suggested the same
party should meet frequently, which proposition Stuart accepted, by
arranging that six of them should dine with him each day of the week,
without special invitation, the six first arriving to be the guests of
the day, until the entire forty-two had again warmed their legs under
his mahogany. Such prodigality as this, for a young artist, shows what
Stuart’s temperament was, and points as surely to the pauper’s grave as
though it was there yawning open before him.

Stuart was five feet ten inches in height, with fine physique, brown
hair, a ruddy complexion, and strongly marked features. He dressed with
elegance, which was possible at that period, and notwithstanding his
biting sarcasm, keen wit, and searching eye, was a great favorite with
the fair sex. In his thirty-first year he selected Miss Charlotte
Coates, the daughter of a Berkshire physician, for his partner through
life, and on May 10, 1786, they were married.

Stuart remained in London until 1788, when he was induced to visit
Ireland and open a studio in Dublin. Here he kept up the same style of
living he had indulged in before he left London and was in high favor
with the Irish, painting some of his most elaborate portraits at this
time; but, although fully employed and receiving the highest prices for
his pictures, he was always without money. So poor was he, indeed, that
when he returned to this country, in 1792, he had not the means to pay
for his passage and engaged to paint the portrait of the owner of the
ship as its equivalent. He landed in New York towards the close of the
year; and although the tradition has been handed down that the cause of
his returning to America, was his desire to paint the portrait of
Washington, it seems, considering that he waited two years before
visiting Philadelphia for the purpose, that the remark of Sir Thomas
Lawrence may not have been without foundation. The latter, upon hearing
this reason assigned, is related by Leslie to have said: “I knew Stuart
well and I believe the real cause of his leaving England was his having
become tired of the inside of our prisons.” Whatever the real cause was
that brought the artist home, we may congratulate ourselves that he came
to live among us at the period that he did, for he was then in the
fulness of his powers, and the pictures that he painted between this
time and his removal to Boston, in 1805, are the finest productions of
his brush on this side of the water.

Gilbert Stuart went to reside in Philadelphia about New Year, 1795.
There he painted his famous life portraits of Washington, three in
number, but I have written so often and so much on this subject that I
shall content myself with this bare mention.[5] There also he painted
the portraits of the famous men and of the beautiful women that have
helped most to place his name so high up on the pillar of fame. That
Stuart was a master in the art of portrait-painting it needs no
argument to prove; his works are the only evidence needed, and they
establish it beyond appeal. In his portraits the men and women of the
past live again. Each individual is here, and it was Stuart’s ability to
portray the individual that was his greatest power. Each face looks at
you and fain would speak, while the brilliant and animated coloring
makes one forgetful of the past. The “Encyclopædia Britannica,” a forum
beyond dispute, says: “Stuart was pre-eminent as a colourist, and his
place, judged by the highest canons in art, is unquestionably among the
few recognized masters of portraiture.”

Stuart had two distinct artistic periods. His English work shows plainly
the influence of his English contemporaries, and might easily be
mistaken, as it has been, for the best work of Romney or of
Gainsborough. But his American work, almost the very first he did after
his return to his native soil, proclaims aloud the virility and
robustness of his independence. The rich, juicy coloring so marked in
his fine portraits painted here, replaces the tender pearly grays so
predominant in his pictures painted there. The delicate precision of his
early brush gives way to the masterful freedom of his later one. His
English portraits might have been limned by Romney or by Gainsborough,
but his American ones could have been painted only by Gilbert Stuart.
This greatest of American painters died in Boston, July 27, 1828, and
was interred in an unmarked grave in the Potter’s Field.



XIII

_David Porter_

_United States Navy_


While this country and the world are yet enthralled by the magical
victories won by the American navy over the fleets of Spain, it is
instructive to recall how the exploits of Uncle Sam’s boys, on the seas,
have always bordered on the marvellous. The doings of Paul Jones in the
Revolutionary War, and of Truxtun in the war with France; of Decatur and
of Preble in the war with Tripoli; of Bainbridge and of Stewart, and of
Hull and of Perry, in the second war with England; and of Farragut and
of Jouett and of Cushing in the war between the States, seem, each one,
too incredible to have a like successor, yet nothing heretofore in naval
warfare has approached the victories of Dewey and of Sampson. With all
these glittering names, we have still another name the peer of the best,
possessing in addition the spur of naval heredity--the name of Porter.

There have been three officers of high rank in the United States navy
bearing the name of David Porter. The first served the Continental
Congress; his son, born in 1780, gave the best years of his life to his
country on the sea; and his grandson, after having four times received
the thanks of Congress for his services during the Civil War, died at
the head of the navy, with the rank of Admiral, in 1891. David Porter,
second of the name, began his naval career in action, having been, at
the age of eighteen, appointed a midshipman on board the frigate
_Constellation_, and with her, soon after, participated in the fight
where the French frigate _L’Insurgente_ was captured by Truxtun with the
loss of one man killed and two men wounded. Porter subsequently
distinguished himself in the war with Tripoli, was promoted to a
captaincy, and early in the war of 1812 sailed from New York, in command
of the _Essex_, on one of the most eventful cruises ever had by a
man-of-war. His first feat was to capture the _Alert_, in an engagement
of eight minutes, without any loss or damage to his ship; and so well
directed was the fire of the _Essex_, that the _Alert_ had seven feet of
water in her hold when she surrendered. This was the first British war
vessel taken in the conflict. Porter then turned his attention to the
destruction of the

[Illustration: COMMODORE DAVID PORTER

Age 45]

English whale-fishery in the Pacific Ocean, and sailed on this errand,
around the Horn, for Valparaiso. He made such havoc with the British
shipping that the loss footed up to two million and a half of dollars
and four hundred men prisoners.

The British sent two vessels, with picked crews of five hundred men and
a combined armament of eighty-one guns, to search for the _Essex_
(mounting only thirty-two guns and with a crew of two hundred and
fifty-five men), with instructions that neither ship should engage her
singly. They found her in the neutral harbor of Valparaiso, where she
was attacked, in defiance of all neutrality laws; and after one of the
most desperate engagements in naval history, lasting two hours and a
half, the _Essex_ was forced to surrender. Upon his return home, Captain
Porter was received with distinction and given the thanks of Congress
and of several of the States. He retired from the navy, in 1826, to take
command of the Mexican navy, from which he withdrew three years later,
was subsequently appointed consul-general to the Barbary States, then
_chargé d’affaires_ at Constantinople, and later minister resident,
which office he held at the time of his death.

It was but a short time before Porter’s retirement from the navy that
Browere took his life mask, and the toss of the head and the determined
mouth show the qualities that made up David Porter’s character. The
spirited pose of this bust is quite remarkable in a life mask, and would
seem to indicate that Browere’s material must have been, at least in
some degree, flexible. Porter was very enthusiastic over Browere’s work,
as may be seen from the following letter to Major Noah:

MERIDIAN HILL, 18th Sept. 1825.

_Dear Sir_:

     By means of epistolary introduction I have had the pleasure of
     becoming acquainted with John H. I. Browere, Esq., a young and
     deserving artist of your city. Agreeably to your and my friends’
     requests, I consented to sit for my portrait bust, which has been
     executed by him according to his novel and perfect mode. Mr.
     Browere has succeeded to admiration. Nothing can be more accurate
     and expressive; in fact, it was impossible that it could be
     otherwise than a perfect facsimile of my person, owing to the
     peculiar neatness and dexterity which guide his scientific
     operation. The knowledge and dexterity of Mr. Browere in this
     branch of the Fine Arts is surprising, and were I to express my
     opinion on the subject, I should recommend every one who wished to
     possess a perfect likeness of himself or friends to resort to Mr.
     Browere in preference to any other man. His portrait busts are
     _chef d’œuvres_ in the plastic art, unequalled for beauty and
     correct delineation of the human form. To those to whom a saving of
     time is important, Mr. Browere’s method must receive the
     preference, were it solely on that ground. As to the effect of the
     operation, none need apprehend the least danger or inconvenience;
     it is perfectly safe and not disagreeable, for while the plastic
     material is applying to the skin, a sensation both harmless and
     agreeable produces a pleasant glow or heat somewhat similar to that
     which is felt on entering a warm bath; neither does the composition
     affect the eyes, which are covered with it. Too much commendation
     of Mr. Browere’s rare and invaluable invention cannot be made. May
     he derive benefits from his art equal to his merit. Hoping to have
     the pleasure of seeing my friends in New York during the course of
     a few weeks, I remain, Dear Sir,

Your obt. servant
DAVID PORTER.



[Illustration]



XIV

_Richard Rush_


The clean-cut features of Richard Rush recall a statesman and a scholar
of “ye olden tyme.” Born in Philadelphia, the eldest son of that signer
of the Declaration of Independence who, both politician and physician,
has been termed the Sydenham of America,--Doctor Benjamin Rush,--and a
kinsman of William Rush, the first American sculptor, mentioned in the
second chapter of this book,--Richard Rush was bred to the bar, and
gained distinction, soon after attaining his majority, by his defence of
William Duane, the editor of the “Aurora” newspaper, accused of
libelling Governor McKean. When only thirty he entered public life by
becoming Attorney-General of Pennsylvania, and at thirty-four was a
member of the cabinet of President Madison, as Attorney-General of the
United States. Three years later, he was for a brief period

[Illustration: RICHARD RUSH

Age 45]

Secretary of State, and then minister from the United States to Great
Britain, being recalled, in 1825, to become Secretary of the Treasury
under John Quincy Adams. It was at this period that Browere made his
mask. Rush was subsequently candidate for Vice-President on the ticket
with John Quincy Adams when Mr. Adams sought a second term.

The career of Richard Rush was not only public, but it was important,
and not the least of his wide-spread benefits were his successful
efforts in securing for this government the munificent legacy of James
Smithson; this was the foundation upon which has been reared the
Smithsonian Institution, which has done so much for scientific pursuits
in this country. James Smithson was a natural son of Hugh Smithson, Duke
of Northumberland, and died in Genoa, June 27, 1829, aged about
seventy-five years. He was a graduate of Oxford, and took up the study
of natural philosophy, for his expertness in several branches of which
he was made a member of the Royal Society and of the French Institute.
He travelled extensively, and formed a very valuable cabinet of minerals
which came into possession of the Institute founded by his liberality,
but which was unfortunately destroyed in the Smithsonian fire of 1865.

Smithson’s illegitimate birth seems to have engendered a desire for
posthumous fame, as he wrote: “The best blood of England flows in my
veins; on my father’s side I am a Northumberland, on my mother’s I am
related to kings; but it avails me not. My name shall live in the
memory of man when the titles of the Northumberlands and the Percys are
extinct and forgotten.” To carry out this desire he bequeathed his whole
property, after the expiration of a life estate, “to the United States
for the purpose of founding an institution at Washington, to be called
the Smithsonian Institution, for the increase and diffusion of knowledge
among men.”

Although Smithson died in 1829, the United States Government was not
advised of the gift until six years afterward, when the life estate fell
in, and the will was thrown into chancery. It was then that Richard Rush
was appointed, by President Jackson, special representative of the
government to pursue and secure the property. He was successful, and
returned to this country, in August of 1838, with the legacy, amounting
to upwards of half a million of dollars. Nothing was done for quite
eight years toward carrying into effect the bequest of Smithson, except
to ask advice, from eminent scholars and educators, as to the best means
of fulfilling the testator’s intention. The consensus of opinion was in
favor of a university or school for higher education, but Mr. Rush
objected to a school of any kind, and proposed a plan which more nearly
corresponded, than any other of the early ones, with that which was
finally adopted. Thus, both in securing the legacy, and directing the
curriculum of the institution, Richard Rush took a most important part.

Mr. Rush’s last official service was as minister to France, during the
eventful years of 1847 to 1851 and he was the first representative of a
foreign power to recognize the new republic. He had a fine literary
sense, which he did not fail to cultivate, and his “Narrative of a
Residence at the Court of London,” and “Washington in Domestic Life,”
from the papers of Tobias Lear, are standard works. It may not be
without interest to add that Mr. Rush was the author of the famous game
“Twenty Questions,” which has been thought worthy of the consideration
of some of the brightest minds in Europe and in America.

[Illustration]



XV

_Edwin Forrest_


For many years Edwin Forrest was regarded as the greatest of American
tragedians, his nearest rival being his namesake Edwin Booth. Now that
the great leveller, death, has claimed them both, it may be questioned
if Forrest’s supremacy is maintained. The animal was so uppermost in
Forrest’s nature and person that he was unsuited to the delineation of
the finer types of character, and therefore his greatest achievements
were in robust parts requiring physical power, where he could rant and
rage at will. In youth he must have had a singularly handsome face, and
he was but twenty-one, in 1827, when Browere made his life mask. It was
during an engagement at the old Bowery theatre, New York, when Forrest
was playing “William Tell.” It will be observed that the head, which is
finely classical, of the Roman type, appears to be bald, while Forrest
took great pride in his

[Illustration: EDWIN FORREST

Age 21]

luxurious locks. This effect happened in this wise. Forrest was a novice
on the stage and had just made his first appearance as _William Tell_.
Browere saw the performance, and was so struck with the personality of
the young actor that he asked permission to take his mask. Forrest
consented, but was so afraid the material of the mould might cling to
his hair, that he insisted upon wearing a skull-cap during the
operation. Some faces change so much from youth to age that it is
difficult, if not impossible, to trace any resemblance of the beginning
in the end. But the characteristics of feature and expression in
Browere’s bust of Forrest are also to be found in his latest
photographs.

The tragedian was born in old Southwark, Philadelphia, March 9, 1806,
and was “stage struck” almost from infancy, playing girl’s parts when
only twelve years old. In his fifteenth year he made his début at the
Walnut Street theatre, Philadelphia, as young _Norval_ in the tragedy of
“Douglas”; and before he was twenty-one had gained considerable
reputation and had played Othello before a New York audience. From this
time he enjoyed a vacillating reputation, but was always the stage idol
of the masses, while his intense personality kept him from appealing to
the refinements of intellect. He died at Philadelphia, December 12,
1872, leaving his fortune, books and paintings to a home for aged actors
to be called the Forrest Home; but his estate was largely crippled by
claims for unpaid alimony due to his divorced wife, so the home is not
exactly what Forrest intended that it should be.



XVI

_Martin Van Buren_


The latest work that we have from the hand of Browere, is the bust from
the life mask of “the Little Magician,” as Martin Van Buren was called,
made in 1833, the year before Browere’s death. Van Buren was then in his
fifty-first year, and he lived until July 24, 1862. His life covered a
longer era and his career witnessed greater changes in national life
than those of any other man who has occupied the presidential chair. He
was born and died in Kinderhook, Columbia county, New York; studied law
with William P. Van Ness, the friend of Burr; and was admitted to the
bar on attaining his majority. He was fitted by taste and temperament
for politics, and politics were fitted for him.

As early as his eighteenth year, before he had a vote, Van Buren was
chosen to take part in a local nominating

[Illustration: MARTIN VAN BUREN

Age 51]

convention; and as soon as he could act, as well as speak, he became an
ardent adherent of the Jeffersonian democracy. His first office was
surrogate of his native county, which place he held for five years; and
when, in 1811, the proposed recharter of the United States Bank was the
leading question of Federal politics, Van Buren took an active part
against the measure. The following year he was elected to the Senate of
New York, and supported President Madison and the War with England,
drawing up the resolution of thanks, voted by the legislature, to
General Jackson for his victory at New Orleans.

In 1815, Van Buren became Attorney-General of New York, from which
office he was removed four years later, owing to his refusal to adhere
to De Witt Clinton, whose policy, excepting as regarded the canal, he
did not approve. The politics of New York were in a most feverish and
topsy-turvy state, and the many factions could not combine to elect a
United States senator in 1818-19, until Van Buren, by his moderation and
his genius for political organization, brought about order and harmony,
and Rufus King, a political opponent of Van Buren, was chosen to the
high office. Two years later Van Buren was rewarded by being also sent
to the Senate, and about the same time was chosen delegate to the
convention which reviewed the Constitution of New York. In this body he
sought to limit the elective franchise to householders, that this
invaluable right of citizenship might not be cheapened and the rural
districts overborne by the cities. Unfortunately he was in the minority,
or such a beneficent provision might have spread over the length and
breadth of the land, so that the elective franchise would have retained
the value of its high prerogative, and not become the valueless and
unwieldy burden that it now is. Van Buren also opposed an elective
judiciary, in both of which positions he was in opposition to his own
party.

In the United States Senate he was for many years chairman of the
Judiciary Committee, and, on the Florida territorial bill voted against
the increase of slavery. He was a strict constructionist of the
Constitution, recognizing that as the only safe canon of interpretation
for a fundamental law; and he had pronounced views in favor of State
rights and against the power of the United States Supreme Court, to
overthrow State laws, believing this contrary to the provision of the
Constitution insuring the inviolability of contracts.

In 1828 he was called from the Senate to the gubernatorial chair of New
York, and, supporting Jackson for the Presidency, was made by him
Secretary of State, which office he resigned to accept the English
mission; but, by the opposition of John C. Calhoun, he was not
confirmed. This discreditable action increased Van Buren’s popularity,
and he succeeded Calhoun as Vice-President for Jackson’s second term,
soon being regarded as the lineal successor to the Presidency. He was
elected, over Harrison and over Webster, pledged to oppose any
interference with slavery in the slave States. The ruling act of his
administration was one for the lasting benefit of the nation, which
never should be forgotten. In his first message to Congress he
deprecated the deposit of public moneys in private banks, which had
followed Jackson’s removal of the deposits from the United States Bank,
and urged an independent treasury for the safe-keeping and disbursements
of the public money; but it was not until near the close of his
administration that he secured congressional assent to the measure. This
has been far-reaching in its beneficial effects, and too much honor
cannot be accorded Van Buren, for his action in the matter, which has
saved the treasury from great financial disruptions. Notwithstanding
this, his administration went down in a cloud, and he was overwhelmingly
defeated for a second term.

Van Buren was opposed to the extension of slavery, but on all other
points was an uncompromising Democrat. On this platform he was again
nominated for the Presidency, in 1848, with Charles Francis Adams as
Vice-President. The result of his candidature was the defeat of General
Cass, the regular Democratic nominee, and the election of General
Taylor. After this he retired from public life and devoted his time to
the writing of his “Inquiry into the Origin and Course of Political
Parties in the United States,” a work which has been called more an
apology than a history. When the Civil War came upon the nation, Van
Buren gave zealous support to the National Government. He was an intense
partisan, masterful in leadership, reducing politics to a fine art. It
has been well said that, “combining the statesman’s foresight with the
politician’s tact, he showed his sagacity, rather by seeking a majority
for his views than by following the views of a majority.” He was far
from being a demagogue, and he was frequently found fighting on the
unpopular side. His convictions were strong, and he adhered to them with
tenacity. While from peculiar circumstances his public career has been
the subject of much partisan denunciation, he is entitled, both for
activity and ability, to a higher niche in the temple of fame than is
commonly accorded him. Van Buren was small in stature and of blond
coloring. The physiognomist would accord to him penetration, quickness
of apprehension and benevolence of disposition, while the phrenologist
would add unusual reflective faculties, firmness and caution.

[Illustration]



XVII

_Death Mask of James Monroe_


The masks that Browere made from the subject in full life, must not be
confused in any sense with the more common mask made after death. This
confusion could not occur with any one who has had an opportunity to
observe Browere’s work or to make comparison with the reproductions in
this book; but persons not familiar with these portrait busts, and
having only some knowledge of masks made after death, or of such life
masks as Clark Mills made,--which are thoroughly death-like in their
character,--might easily fall into such an error, and, looking upon the
latter as repulsive and worthless as portraiture, give no heed to the
different character and true value of Browere’s living likenesses.

Mr. Laurence Hutton, in his very curious and interesting volume entitled
“Portraits in Plaster,” says: “The value of a plaster cast as a
portrait of the dead or living face cannot for a moment be questioned.
It must of necessity be absolutely true to nature. It cannot flatter; it
cannot caricature. It shows the subject as he was, not only as others
saw him in the actual flesh, but as he saw himself. And in the case of a
death mask particularly, it shows the subject often as he permitted no
one but himself to see himself. He does not pose; he does not ‘try to
look pleasant.’ In his mask he is seen, as it were, with his mask off.”

I do not quote these words, of my accomplished friend Mr. Hutton, simply
for the purpose of combating them, but to show how differently two,
perfectly sincere, honest delvers after historic truth, can see the same
thing. Having made portraiture my study for many years, and thus having
in my mind’s eye, indelibly fixed, the faces of legions of public men, I
have yet to see a death mask that I could recognize at sight; many I
could recall when told whose masks they were, but more yet have, to my
vision, no resemblance whatever to the living man. Mr. Story, the
eminent American sculptor but recently deceased, recognized how
untrustworthy even life masks are as portraits. In speaking of what is
claimed to be Houdon’s original mask of Washington, which Mr. Story
owned, he wrote: “Indeed, a mask from the living face, though it repeats
exactly the true forms of the original, lacks the spirit and expression
of the real person.” So true is this, that when Mr. St. Gaudens first
saw Clark Mills’s life mask of President Lincoln, he insisted that it
was a death mask; for, without “the spirit and expression,” where can
the likeness be? As Sir Joshua Reynolds says in one of his Discourses:
“In portraits, the grace and, we may add, the likeness consists more in
taking the general air than in observing the exact similitude of every
feature.” In photography we have “the exact similitude of every
feature,” yet how often are photographs bad likenesses, because they
lack “the spirit and expression”!

While it is possible to preserve “the spirit and expression” as well as
to give “the exact similitude of every feature” in a life mask, as
exemplified in the marvellous work of Browere, it is impossible in a
death mask, for these evanescent qualities are then gone. I am not quite
certain that even “the exact similitude of every feature” is preserved
in a death mask; certainly the natural relation of one feature to
another is not. The death mask may, to a degree, be a correct
reproduction of the bony structure, but only to a limited degree as it
was in nature, for the obvious reason that the ligaments, holding the
sections of bone together in their proper places, become relaxed with
dissolution, and the bones lose their exact positions, which condition
even the slight weight of the plaster increases.

Masks, too, will sometimes approach caricature, if they will not
flatter, for they will reproduce peculiarities of formation which may
not be observable superficially. This view is emphasized by Lavater in
his “Physiognomy,” as quoted by Mr. Hutton. Lavater writes: “The dead
and the impressions of the dead, taken in plaster, are not less worthy
of observation [than the living faces]. The settled features _are much
more prominent_ than in the living and in the sleeping. What life makes
fugitive, death arrests. What was undefinable, is defined. All is
reduced to its proper level; each trait is in its exact proportion,
unless excruciating disease or accident have preceded death.” This is
undoubtedly true from the point of view of the physiognomist, and it is
his much desired vantage-ground, for his only object is to read the
features laid bare.

From Browere’s hand we have but one death mask, and although it is open
to much of the objection urged against death masks generally, it is
superior to any other death mask I have ever seen. It is difficult to
believe it was made after life was gone, so vibrant with life it seems.
It possesses more living, breathing qualities than the life masks made
by other men. If any proof were needed of the inestimable value of
Browere’s lost process for making masks, it can be found in the quality
of this death mask of James Monroe.

Monroe’s name is perhaps more familiarly known to the public than that
of any other President, save Washington and Lincoln, owing to its
association with the doctrine, which he

[Illustration: DEATH MASK OF JAMES MONROE]

promulgated, of non-interference on the western hemisphere by European
nations, known as the “Monroe Doctrine.” He was the fourth of the seven
Virginian Presidents, and left William and Mary College, when only
eighteen, as a lieutenant in Hugh Mercer’s regiment, to join
Washington’s army. He served throughout the Revolutionary War, having
been wounded at Trenton, and was present at Monmouth, Brandywine, and
Germantown. In 1782 he took his seat in the Assembly of Virginia, and
later was a delegate to Congress. Monroe took an active part in the
controversy relative to the settlement of the Northwest Territory, which
was quieted only by the Ordinance of 1787; and although he had a hand in
originating the convention to frame a constitution for the General
Government, he was not a member of it, and opposed the ratification of
its work.

He was elected to the Senate of the United States in 1790, and held the
office until he was sent as minister to France, four years later. He was
a bitter anti-Federalist and opponent of the administration of
Washington, so that his appointment to France came as a great surprise;
and his action in recognizing the Republic, was an even greater surprise
to his home government. For this he was reprimanded, and on his return
published a defence of his conduct. He was Governor of Virginia, from
1797 to 1802, and returned to France as special envoy to negotiate with
Napoleon the purchase of Louisiana. He was again Governor of Virginia,
but resigned to accept the portfolio of state in Madison’s cabinet,
which was the stepping-stone to the succession in the Presidency. This
high office he held for two terms, and for the last term there was only
one electoral vote cast against him. It was in the second year of his
second term, 1823, that he enunciated the famous Monroe Doctrine of
“Hands off!” contained in two brief paragraphs in his annual message,
which doctrine is logically nullified by the present foreign policy of
the country.

Monroe’s administration has been designated “the Era of Good Feeling,”
and he should always be remembered as an upright and honest politician.
As is too often the case with men who give their best years to the
public service, his latter days were burdened by intense poverty, and he
died in New York, July 4, 1831, almost in want.

In person Monroe was tall, well formed, and with a fair complexion and
blue eyes. The well-known portraits of him, by Stuart and by Vanderlyn,
tail to bestow any signs of recognition upon Browere’s death mask; but
it is true these two portraits were painted a score and more years
before Monroe’s death. While, as has been said, it is far more life-like
than many life casts, its reproduction only serves to emphasize my views
as to the little value of death masks as portraits.



Addendum to Chapter VIII_


Since this chapter went to press there has been published Roland’s “Life
of Charles Carroll of Carrollton,” and upon page 342, of Volume II,
there appears the following letter from Charles Carroll, upon his bust,
by Browere, which is too important not to be given a place here:

DOUGHOREGAN MANOR, July 29, 1826.

_Sir_:

     Mr. Browere has produced and read to me several letters from sundry
     most respectable personages; on their recommendation and at his
     request I sat to him to take my bust. He has taken it, and in my
     opinion and that of my family, and of all who have seen it, the
     resemblance is most striking. The operation from its commencement
     to its completion was performed in two hours, with very little
     inconvenience and no pain to myself. This bust Mr. Browere
     contemplates placing, with many others, in a national gallery of
     busts. That his efforts may be crowned with success is my earnest
     wish. That his talents and genius deserve it I have no hesitation
     in pronouncing. I remain, with great respect, Sir, your most humble
     servant

CH. CARROLL OF CARROLLTON.

     TO ARCHIBALD ROBERTSON, ESQ.

In “Niles’s Register” for August 12, 1826, (Volume XXX, page 411,) is
given an account of this bust and its public exhibition at the Exchange
in Baltimore.

[Illustration]



Index_


Adams Family, 50

  C. F. Mask by Browere, 17
    Minister to England, 51, 55
    Letter to Browere, 54
    Birth and death, 55
    Services to his country, 55
    Nominated for Vice-President, 107

  John. Mask by Browere, 17
    Minister to England, 51
    Birth and death, 51
    Browere visits him, 51
      Makes mask, 52
    Certificate to Browere, 52
    Stuart’s portrait of, 52
    Mentioned, 19, 43, 46

  J. Q. Mask by Browere, 17, 54
    Minister to England, 51
    And Gilbert Stuart, 53
    Birth and death, 54
    Unpopular, 55
    Supported by Clay, 75

  T. B., certificate to Browere, 52

Alexander, Cosmo. Instructed Stuart, 81
  Who he was, 81
  Took Stuart to Scotland, 81
  Death of, 81

Alexander the Great, 3

André, John. Masks of captors of, 15
  Personality, 30
  Case an aggravated one, 30
  Puerile plea, 30
  Suffered justly, 30
  Mentioned, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33

Antagonism between art factions, 25

Anthony, Elizabeth, mother of Gilbert Stuart, 80

Architecture subordinate to Sculpture, 2

Arnold, B., mentioned, 28, 30

Art in America influenced by foreigners, 10
  Public patronage of, 17
  Protection of works of, 17


Bainbridge, W., exploits in war of 1812, 93

Barbour, P. P., mask by Browere, 17

Barré, Isaac, portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Beauty, the Greek idea of, 2

Berkhoven, Adam, ancestor of Browere, 13

Bogardus, Annetje, ancestor of Browere, 13
  Edward, ancestor of Browere, 13

Booth, Edwin, rival of Forrest, 102

Bottari, G., authority, 3

Boydell, J., portrait of, by Stuart, 89
  Shakespeare Gallery, 89

Brouwer, Adam, ancestor of Browere, 13
  Jacob Adam, ancestor of Browere, 13

Browere, Jacob, father of J. H. I. Browere, 12
  A. D. O. Birth and death, 26
    Gains prizes, 26, 27
    His paintings, 27
    Visits California, 27
    Added draperies to busts, 27
    Preserved busts, 27
  J. H. I., 3, 4, 10
    Birth, parentage, and death, 12, 13
    Ancestry, 13
    At Columbia College, 13
    Marriage, 13
    Pupil of A. Robertson, 13
    Travels abroad, 14
    Bust of A. Hamilton, 14
    Experiments making masks, 15
    First life mask, 15
    Mask of Pierrepont Edwards, 15
    Masks of the captors of André, 15
    Exhibits at Academy of Fine Arts, 15
    Mask of La Fayette, 16
    Writes to Madison, 16, 17
    Costs of making masks, 16
    List of masks by, 17
    Disheartened, 18
    His process, 18
    Opposition to his work, 18
    Treatment of Jefferson, 18
    Method without discomfort, 19
    Letter to Trumbull, 19
    Kept out of Academy of Design, 20
    Remark on Dunlap, 21
    Letter to American Academy, 21
    Death-bed directions, 25
    Exhibition of busts, 25
    Nature of work, 25
    Compared with Clark Mills, 26
    Mask of John Paulding, 32
      Isaac Van Wart, 34
      David Williams, 35
    Suffocation of Jefferson by, 36
    Discovery of busts, 38
    Visits Monticello, 39
    Mask of Jefferson, 39
    Certificate from Jefferson to, 40
    Newspaper attack on, 41
    Letters to Jefferson, 42, 45
      M. M. Noah, 42
    Whole-length statue of Jefferson, 43, 45, 46
    Letter from Jefferson, 44
    De Witt Clinton congratulates, 47
    Visits John Adams, 51
    Mask of John Adams, 52
    Certificate from John Adams, 52
    Mask of J. Q. Adams, 54
      C. F. Adams, 55
    Introduced to Madison, 57
    Masks of the Madisons, 59
    Mask of Charles Carroll, 61, 115
    Letter from S. L. Mitchill, 62
    His workshop, Broadway, 64
    Mask of La Fayette, 66
    Letter from E. W. King, 66
    Mask of Clinton, 71
    Letter from T. A. Emmet, 71
    Mask of H. Clay, 73
    Encouraged by Stuart, 76
    Certificate from Stuart, 77
    Mask of D. Porter, 95
    Material used, 96
    Mask of R. Rush, 99
      E. Forrest, 103
      M. Van Buren, 104
    Death mask of J. Monroe, 112

Brown, J. Mask by Browere, 17
  Letter to Madison, 57

Buchan, Earl of (David Stuart), 13


Calhoun, J. C., opposes Van Buren, 106

Captors of André. Characters attacked, 29
  Vindicated, 30, 31

Carroll, C. Mask by Browere, 17
  Reason of his signature, 60
  Personal description, 61
  Granddaughters marry noblemen, 61
  Letter on Browere’s bust, 115
  Mentioned, 19, 46

Cass, L., defeated for President, 107

Casts, invention of making life, 3

Caton, Mrs., daughter of C. Carroll, 61

Ceracchi, G., influence on American art, 11

Chalmers, G., a Scotch painter, 82

Chambers, G., meant for Chalmers, 82

Christ Church, Philadelphia, 5

Clay, H. Mask by Browere, 17, 73
  Personal appearance, 74
  Birth and death, 74
  Duel with H. Marshall, 74
  His ambition, 75

Cleveland, Mrs. Grover, her attractiveness, 59

Clinton, De W. Mask by Browere, 17
  Certifies to Browere’s busts, 66, 71
  Woodworth’s lines on bust of, 70
  A politician, 71
  Opposed by Van Buren, 105

Columbian Academy, New York, 14

Cooper, T., mask by Browere, 17

Copley, J. S., portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Cromwell, O., 7

Cruikshank, W., lectures on anatomy, 85

Cummings, T. S., 14, 25

Cushing, W. B., exploit in the Civil War, 93


Decatur, S., exploit in war with Tripoli, 93

Delavan, General, 35

Derrick, Eliza, marries Browere, 13

Dewey, G., exploits in war with Spain, 93

Dixey, J., sculptor, 11

Donatello, 3

Duane, W., libel on Governor McKean, 98

Dunlap, W., unreliability of, 20

Durand, J., memoir of Trumbull, 25


Earlom, R., portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Eckstein, J., sculptor, 11

Edwards, P., mask by Browere, 15

Emmet, T. A. Mask by Browere, 17
  Letter to Browere, 71, 72

Encyclopædia Britannica on Stuart, 92


Facius, J. G., portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Farragut, D. G., exploits in the Civil War, 93

Forrest, E. Mask by Browere, 17, 102
  As _William Tell_, 102
  Birth and death, 103

Fothergill, A., portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Franklin, B. Friend of P. Wright, 6
  Profile by P. Wright, 6

Frazee, J., not first American sculptor, 7, 10

Frothingham, J., artist, 23


Gainsborough, T., credited with Stuart’s work, 87
  Paints portrait with Stuart, 88
  Portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Galt’s statue of T. Jefferson, 48

Gendon, Ann C., mother of Browere, 12

George III, leaden statue of, 5

Gilpin, H. D., letter from Madison, 37

Gladstone, W. E., the Great Commoner, 73

Graham, J. A., certifies to La Fayette’s bust, 68

Grant, W., portrait of, by Stuart, 86
  Exhibited, 87

Greek Art. Beginnings of, 2
  Perfection of, 2
  Characteristics of, 2


Hall, J., portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Hamilton, A. Bust by Browere, 14
  Miniature by Robertson, 14
  On captors of André, 30

Heath, J., portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Higginson, T. W., paper on Jane Stuart, 79

Hilson, T., mask by Browere, 17

History, method of writing, 48

Hone, P., mask by Browere, 17

Hoppner, J., marries daughter of P. Wright, 6
  Instructs J. Wright, 9

Hosack, D., mask by Browere, 17

Houdon, J. A. Influence on American art, 11
  Method of making mask, 41
  Mask of Washington, 110

Hubard Gallery, Stuart’s bust at, 77

Hull, I., exploits in war of 1812, 93

Humphrey, O., portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Hutton, L. Portraits in plaster, 38
  Estimate of masks, 109
  Views discussed, 110


Iconoclasm regarding historic characters, 30

Inman, H., painter, 14

Irving, W., 33, 34


Jackson, A., opposed by Clay, 75

Jamesone, G., ancestor of Alexander, 81

Jans, Anneke, ancestress of Browere, 13

Jefferson, T. Mask by Browere, 17
  Treatment by Browere, 18
  Randall’s story of suffocation, 36
  Personal appearance, 37
  Bust by Browere, 37
  Its existence and discovery, 37, 38
  Consents to have bust made, 38
  Browere makes mask, 39
  Certificate to making of mask, 40
  Letter to Madison, 41
    From Browere, 42
  Whole-length statue by Browere, 43
  Letter to Browere, 44
  Galt’s statue of, 48
  Coincidences in life of, 51

Jervis, Sir John, portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Johnson, E., portrait of “Dolly” Madison, 59

Jones, J. P., exploits in Revolutionary War, 93

Jouett, J. H., exploits in Civil War, 93


King, D., buys Browere’s bust of Stuart, 79
  E. W., letter to Browere, 66
  R., elected senator, 105


La Fayette. Bust of, by Rush, 9
  Mask of, by Browere, 16, 64, 66
  Last visit to United States, 63
  Browere’s mask injured, 64
  Second mask made, 66

Latrobe, B. H., on William Rush, 8
  J. H. B., appearance of C. Carroll, 61

Laurens, H., dress of, 45
  J., letter to, 28

Lavater, J. C., on death masks, 112

Lawrence, T., Stuart’s reason for leaving England, 91

Leeds, Duchess of, granddaughter of C. Carroll, 61

Leinster, Duke of, portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Leonardo da Vinci, pupil of Verocchio, 3

Lincoln, A., President of the United States, 7
  R., mother of W. Rush, 7

Lovell, P., marries J. Wright, 5

Lysippus, sculptor, 3

Lysistratus invents making life casts, 3


Macomb, A., mask of, by Browere, 17

McKean, T., libelled by Duane, 98

Madison, D. Mask of, by Browere, 17, 59
    Widow of J. Todd, 56
    Browere’s child named for, 58
    Beauty overestimated, 59
    Painted by Stuart, 59
    Drawn by Johnson, 59
    Attractiveness, 59
  J. Mask by Browere, 17, 59
    Letter to H. D. Gilpin, 37
    Papers in State Department, 37
    Intercedes for Browere, 38
    Certifies to Jefferson’s bust, 40
    Letter to, from Jefferson, 41
      Browere, 46
    Character, 56
    Browere introduced to, 57
    Letter to, from J. Brown, 57
    Certifies to his bust, 58

Manchester, Duke of, portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Marshall, H., duel with H. Clay, 74

Mills, C. Mentioned, 26, 36
  His masks, 109, 111

Miniature-painting, treatise on, 14

Mitchill, S. L. Mask of, by Browere, 17
  Letter to Browere, 62

Monroe, J. In Washington’s army, 113
  Wounded at Trenton, 113
  Delegate to Congress, 113
  Elected to Senate, 113
  Minister to France, 113
  Opposed Washington, 113
  Governor of Virginia, 113, 114
  President, 114
  His doctrine, 114
  His administration, 114
  Personal appearance, 114
  Dies poor, 114

Morse, S. F. B. Portrait of La Fayette by, 67
  Inventor of telegraph, 68
  Certifies to bust of La Fayette, 68

Morton, J. Certifies to bust of La Fayette, 66

Mott, V., mask by Browere, 17


Newspapers’ attack on Browere, 41

Noah, M. M. Mask of, by Browere, 17
  Mentioned, 42, 61, 96

Northumberland, Duke of, portrait of, by Stuart, 89


Parthenon, frieze of the, 3

Paulding, H., son of John Paulding, 33
  J. K., nephew of John Paulding, 33
  J. Mask by Browere, 15, 17, 32
    Captor of André, 28, 31
    Social position, 32
    Monument, 33
  L., grandson of John Paulding, 33
  W., brother of John Paulding, 32
  W., Nephew of John Paulding, 33
    Mayor of New York, 33

Peale, R. Portraits of La Fayette, 67
  Portraits of Washington, 67
  Certifies to La Fayette’s bust, 67

Pericles, age of, 2

Perry, O. H., exploits in war of 1812, 93

Perugini, pupil of Verocchio, 3

Pheidias, sculptor, 2, 3

Pitt, W., the Great Commoner, 73

Plastic Art. What it is, 1
  Its origin, 1
  Its earliest form, 1
  Associated with worship, 1
    Architecture, 2
  Among the Greeks, 2
  Development in United States, 4

Pliny, on Inventor of Masks, 3

Poore, B. P., plagiarizes Randall, 36

Porter, D. Mask of, by Browere, 17, 95
  Three with same name, 94
  Distinguished in navy, 94
  Commands _Essex_, 94
  Captures _Alert_, 94
  Sails around Cape Horn, 95
  Surrenders the _Essex_, 95
  Retires from navy, 95
  Letter to Noah, 96

Pratt, E. Daughter of P. Wright, 6
  Models profiles in wax, 6

Preble, E., exploits in war with Tripoli, 93


Quincy Family, 50
  Josiah, Jr., 50
  J., President of Harvard, 50


Randall, H. S. Story of Jefferson’s suffocation, 36
  Method of writing history, 37
  Statement refuted, 38
  Criticized, 48

Raeburn, H., credited with picture by Stuart, 87

Randolph, Misses, alarmed, 39
  Master, peeping, 39

Redwood Library. Stuart’s bust at, 76
  Stuart’s self-portrait at, 86

Reynolds, J. Discourses on Painting, 85
  Stuart paints portrait, 85, 89
  On portraits, 111

Riker, R., member Com. of Councils, 64

Robertson, Alexander, 13
  Andrew, 14
  Archibald, instructor of Browere, 13
    Treatise on miniature-painting, 14
    Card from, 15
  Emily, life of A. Robertson, 14

Romney, G., credited with picture by Stuart, 88

Royal Academy. Stuart pupil at, 85
  Stuart exhibits at, 85, 86

Rush, B., father of R. Rush, 94
  J., screed on newspapers, 41
  Joseph, father of W. Rush, 7
    Married R. Lincoln, 7
  R. Mask of, by Browere, 17, 99
    Attorney-General, 98
    Secretary of State, 99
    Minister to England, 99
    Secretary of Treasury, 99
    Plan for Smithsonian Institution, 100
    Fine literary sense, 102
  W. First American Sculptor, 7
    Ancestry, 7
    Career, 8
    Figureheads for ships, 8
    Statue of Washington, 9
    Bust of La Fayette, 9
    Kinsman of R. Rush, 98


St. Gaudens, A., estimate of masks, 111

Sampson, W. T., exploits in war with Spain, 94

Sculpture, the daughter of Architecture, 2

Sharp, W., portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Shee, M. A., credited with picture by Stuart, 88

Smithson, J. Legacy to United States, 99
  Who he was, 99

Southard, S. L., mask of, by Browere, 17

Stafford, Lady, granddaughter of C. Carroll, 61

Stewart, C. Exploits in war of 1812, 93
  G. Father of the painter, 79
    Importance of name, 80
    Goes to Nova Scotia, 82

Stone, W. L., mask of, by Browere, 17

Story, W. W., estimate of masks, 110

Stuart, G. Mask of, by Browere, 17, 76
    Portrait of John Adams, 53
      “Dolly” Madison, 59
    Encourages Browere, 76
    Bust in Redwood Library, 76, 79
    Certificate to Browere, 77
    Newspapers on bust of, 77, 78
    Eminence in art, 78
    Place of birth, 79
    Naming of, 80
    Education, 80, 81
    Earliest pictures, 80, 81
    Goes to Scotland, 81
    Not at University of Glasgow, 81
    Returns to America, 82, 91
    Goes to England, 82
    Becomes organist, 83
    Apprenticed to West, 84, 85
    Exhibits at Royal Academy, 85, 86
    Paints many portraits, 85, 86, 89
    Portrait of W. Grant, 87
    Prices for portraits, 88
    Prodigality and poverty, 90, 91
    Personal appearance, 90
    Marries Miss Coates, 90
    Desire to paint Washington, 91
    Lawrence’s opinion, 91
    Paints portraits of Washington, 91
    Master in portraiture, 92
    Encyclopædia Britannica upon, 92
    Two art periods, 92
    Buried in Potter’s Field, 92
  J. Daughter of G. Stuart, 78
    Appreciates Browere’s work, 78
    “One of Thackeray’s Women,” 79


Tallmadge, B., attacks character of André’s captors, 29

Taylor, Z., elected President, 107

Traditions, no historical value, 81

Trumbull, J. Endorsement on Browere’s letter, 20
  Mentioned, 18, 23

Truxtun, T. Exploits in war with France, 93
  Captures _L’Insurgente_, 94


Van Buren, M. Mask of, by Browere, 17, 104
  Birth and death, 104
  Attorney-General, 105
  Governor of New York, 106
  Vice-President, 106
  Elected President, 107
  Advocates National Treasury, 107
  Opposes extension of slavery, 107
  Personal appearance, 108

Van Cortland, P., mask of, by Browere, 17

Vanderlyn, J., mentioned, 14, 23

Van Ness, W. P., mentioned, 104

Vanuxem, L., posed for W. Rush, 9

Van Wart, A., brother of I. Van Wart, 34
  H., marries Irving’s sister, 34
  I. Mask of, by Browere, 17, 34
    Birth and death, 33
    Youngest of captors, 34
    Social position, 34

Vasari, G., authority, 3

Verocchio, A., made life masks, 3

Virginia, University of, 47


Walpole, R., his doctrine, 30

Ward, W., mezzotint portrait by, 88

Washington, G. Statue of, by W. Rush, 9
  Portrait of, by J. Wright, 9
  Cast of, by J. Wright, 10
  Portrait of, by Robertson, 13
  Judgment on captors of André, 31
  Portraits of, by Stuart, 91
  Mask of, by Houdon, 110

Waterhouse, B., chum of G. Stuart, 85

Webster, D., admired, 73

Wellesley, Marchioness of, granddaughter of C. Carroll, 61

West, B. Stuart apprenticed to, 84
  His art, 84
  Portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Williams, D., mask of, by Browere, 17, 35
  Birth and death, 34
  Sworn statement of capture, 34
  Monument to, 34

Woodworth, S., lines on Clinton’s bust, 70

Woollett, W., portrait of, by Stuart, 89

Wright, F., mask of, by Browere, 17
  J. Son of Patience, 9
    Studies under West, 9
    Paints portrait of Washington, 9
    Makes cast of Washington, 10
    Bust of, by W. Rush, 10
  P. First American modeller, 5
    Conversational powers, 6
    Modelled Franklin’s profile, 6
    Daughter of, marries J. Hoppner, 6
    Modelled statue of Chatham, 6

Wyckoff, H. I., councilman, 64


FOOTNOTES:

 [1] “Schools and Masters of Sculpture,” by A. G. Radcliffe, 1894.

 [2] Randall’s “Life of Jefferson,” 1858, Vol. III, p. 540.

 [3] “McClure’s Magazine,” May, 1898.

 [4] “Madison Papers,” Vol. III, p. 594.

 [5] _Vide_ “Stuart’s Lansdowne Portrait of Washington,” in Harper’s
 Magazine, Aug., 1896.





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