War of 1812
[ General selection of images | Naval Officers | Army Officers ]
Images from: [ The Port Folio | Naval Monument | Naval Battles of the United States ]
On June 19, 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain, thus beginning what is known as the War of 1812. Though the official reasoning for the declaration was to defend the doctrine of "freedom of the seas," the factors involved were many, including British support for Native Americans in the mid-west, British actions taken against American ships as part of their fight with Napoleonic France, British impressment of American sailors, and not least, American dreams of annexing Canada. Action during the war was primarily naval: on the high seas, on the Great Lakes, and on Lake Champlain. Land battles were fought mostly in the region of Detroit, along the Niagara frontier, and in the south. Neither side gained much advantage during the war, which was ended by the Treaty of Ghent signed December 24, 1814. The war didn't really decide anything, though the British never again were quite as highhanded in their treatment of American shipping and the Americans never again tried to annex Canada.
"View of the action between the U.S. Frigate Constitution and the British Ships Levant & Cyane." From The Analectic Magazine, vol. 7, 1816. Philadelphia. Aquatint by William Strickland. 3 7/8 x 7 3/8. Very good condition.
In 1812, Philadelphia bookseller and publisher Moses Thomas purchased a monthly magazine entitled Select Reviews, engaged Washington Irving as editor, and renamed the publication The Analectic Magazine. Irving, his brother-in-law J. K. Paulding, Gulian C. Verplanck and, later, Thomas Isaac Wharton wrote much of the material, which concentrated on literary reviews, articles on travel and science, biographies of naval heroes, and reprints of selections from British periodicals. Illustration "was one of the magazine's chief distinctions. Not only were there the usual engravings on copper, but some of the earliest magazine experiments in lithography and wood engraving appeared here." This is a lovely aquatint by Strickland of the battle between the Consitution and the Levant and Cyane. $250
Prints from an unknown German series circa 1815. Titles in German and English. Wood engravings. Each approximately 3 1/4 x 5 1/2.
- "United States and Macedonian" $150
- "Victory at New Orleans" $150
- "Perry Victory" $150
- "Wasp and Frolic" $150
Chapin. "Action Between the Constitution and the Guerriere." New York: Virtue Emmins & Co., 1859. Engraving. 5 1/4 x 7 1/2. Very good condition.
A more primitive rendering of this battle with the French ship mast-less and the triumphant Constitution in the background. $60
Alonzo Chapell. "Battle Between the Constitution and the Guerriere." New York: Johnson & Fry & Co., 1866. 7 3/4 x 5 1/2. Steel engraving. Very good condition.
An interesting perspective of this battle just after the end of the fighting. The Constitution is seen head on with the demasted Guerriere in the background. Alonzo Chappel was a historical painter and illustrator. Born in New York in 1828 he studied at the National Academy and exhibited at the American Institute before he was seventeen. He lived his whole life in the New York City vicinity before his death in 1887. He is mainly known as an illustrator of historical books; the majority of these concerning the American Revolution and the Civil War. Some of his paintings and prints can be found at the New York and Chicago Historical Societies. This print is a good example of Chappel's work. $75
Much of the action in the War of 1812 was naval, and the young American navy acquitted itself remarkably well against the British, who had the greatest navy in the world at the time. The officers of the American navy, some who had seen action in the Revolution, became great heroes, so it is not surprising that portraits were issued of them in popular magazines. The following portraits are all octavo sized, on paper ca. 8 1/2 x 5 1/4 and they are all in very good condition, except as noted.
- Bust portraits of Bainbridge, Lawrence, Decatur, Porter and Macdonough. Ca. 1814. 5 3/4 x 3. Stipple engraving by Reid & Stiles. $85
- "Wm. Henry Allen Esq. late of the United States Navy." Vignette portrait. Stipple by David Edwin. Stauffer: 700. $125
- Stuart. "William Bainbridge Esq. of the United States Navy." From The Port Folio. Philadelphia, December, 1813. Stipple by David Edwin. Stauffer: 7093. William Bainbridge (1774-1833), as commander of the Constitution, captured the Java. $125
- Gilbert Stuart. "William Bainbridge, Esqr., of the United States Navy." From The Analectic Magazine. 1813. 3 5/8 x 3. Stipple engraving by David Edwin. $125
- Wood. "Richard Dale Esq. late of the United States Navy." From The Port Folio. Philadelphia, June 1814. Stipple by David Edwin. Stauffer: 743. Richard Dale (1756-1826) served as 1st. Lieutenant under John Paul Jones on the Bon Homme Richard. $125
- "Captn. M.C. [J.D.] Elliott. U.S. Navy." ["M.C." is crossed out in ink; portrait is of Jesse Duncan Elliott] From The Port Folio. Philadelphia, December, 1813. Stipple by David Edwin. Stauffer: 757:i. Jesse Duncan Elliott (1782-1845) was involved in a number of actions during the war, including the Battle of Lake Erie, where he commanded the Niagara. $125
- "James Lawrence Esqr. Late of the United States Navy." August, 1813. 2 1/4 circular stipple by Edwin. $75
- Gilbert Stuart. "James Lawrence, Esqr., Late of the United States Navy." From The Analectic Magazine. Philadelphia, December 1813. 3 5/8 x 3. Engraving by William Rollinson. Very good condition. $175
- Jarvis. "Thomas MacDonough, Esq., of the United States Navy." From The Analectic Magazine. Philadelphia, 1815. 3 7/8 x 3 1/4. Engraving by Gimbrede. Time toned, else, very good condition. $125
- "Lieut. John T. Shubrick, late of the United States Navy." 1815. Stipple by Gimbrede. [He served on Chesapeake (Leopard Incident), Constitution, Hornet and United States]. $125
J. Jarvis. "Commodore Bainbridge." New York: P. Maverick, 1820. 8 3/4 x 7 1/2 (image) plus full margins. Line engraving by Peter Maverick. Some light age spotting, and three small ticks from the original printing. Conserved. Stauffer, 2183. The National Portrait Gallery in Washington has an engraving by Asher B. Durand of the same size after Jarvis' portrait.
William Bainbridge (1774-1833) served in the American merchant marine in his early career, and entered the U.S. Navy in 1798 anticipating the quasi-war with France. He became famous in 1803 when his ship the frigate Philadelphia ran aground in Tripoli Harbour, and he and his crew were held captive for almost two years. He returned to merchant service, then returned to the Navy with the outbreak of the War of 1812. Under Isaac Hull's command he captured the British frigate Guerriere and soon thereafter sank the frigate Java, both when captain of the U.S.S. Constitution. He was rightly included in John Wesley Jarvis' 1813 series depicting portraits of American heroes in the War of 1812 for the New York City Hall. $600
- "Major Biddle." Screen print of a Thomas Sully portrait of John Biddle (1792-1859). 10 3/4 x 8 (oval). Chicago: B.A.P. Company (Borin Art Products), circa 1935. Original frame and manufacturer's label.
Thomas Sully created an oil on canvas of John Biddle in 1818. The sitter was one of many Philadelphians who hired this famous portraitist, and this officer was a member of the prestigious Biddle family from the famous Andalusia estate on the Delaware River. John Biddle served in the War of 1812 on the Niagara Frontier with General Winfield Scott. From 1817 to 1828 he served as mayor of Detroit and in 1835 worked on the Michigan State Constitution. Active in forming the two states of Michigan and Wisconsin in their constitutional beginnings, Biddle was also powerful working with railroads, banking and education, as an early trustee of the University of Michigan.
Borin Art Products Company (1932-1942) was known for making framed period art reproductions that duplicated the depth, texture and colors of the artist's original work. $450
- J. Wood. "Major Genl. [Jacob] Brown U.S. Army." 1816. Stipple by Gimbrede. [Involved in the Battle of Sackett's Harbor, Capture of Fort Erie, and Battle of Lundy's Lane] $125
- "Lieut. Col. [George] Croghan." 1815. Oval stipple by Boyd. [Involved in Ohio Campaign and at Fort Stephenson] $125
- J. Wood. "Major General Harrison." Engraved by W.R. Jones. 5 1/4 x 4 1/4. [Commanded U.S. Army in the Northwest Territory] $65
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