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James Sharples, Sr.,
from life, 1796
Pastel on paper. H 9, W 7 in
(H 22.9, W 17.8 cm)
|About the Man|
About this Portrait:
British pastelist James Sharples, Sr. (1751-1811) probably painted his portrait of Wayne in June of 1796 before the commander left Philadelphia for his post in Detroit. Sharples later listed General Waine among his subjects in a catalog published upon the artist's return to England. At one time, this portrait was misidentified as that of James Wilkinson. Recent scholarship compared this pastel with other life portraits of Wayne and Wilkinson, and corrected the indentification.
Listed in the 1802 Bath catalog of Sharples's work. Given by Ellen (Mrs. James) Sharples to Felix Sharples in 1811. Given by Felix Sharples to Levin Yardly Winder in the 1830s. Inherited by Nathaniel James Winder from Levin Yardly Winder. Inherited by Richard Bayly Winder from Nathaniel James Winder in 1844. Purchased by Murray Harrison from Richard Bayly Winder around 1865. Purchased by the City of Philadelphia from Murray Harrison in 1875.
|ayne was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He attended his uncle's private academy in Philadelphia. Then he spent a year as a surveyor in Nova Scotia and worked in his father's tannery. In 1775, he served in the provincial assembly. The following year, he joined the Continental Army's unsuccessful invasion of Canada, during which he commanded the distressed forces at Fort Ticonderoga. Later, he commanded the Pennsylvania line at Brandywine, Paoli, and Germantown. After winter quarters at Valley Forge, he led the American attack at the battle of Monmouth. On the Hudson River, he captured the British garrison at Stony Point, for which Congress awarded him a medal. Victories at West Point and Green Spring, Virginia, increased his popular reputation as a bold commander. After the British surrendered at Yorktown, he went further south and severed the British alliance with Native American tribes in Georgia. He then negotiated peace treaties with both the Creek and the Cherokee, for which Georgia rewarded him with the gift of a large rice plantation.
fter the war, Wayne returned to Pennsylvania. He served in the state legislature for a year. Later he supported the new federal Constitution at Pennsylvania's ratifying convention. In 1791, he spent a year in Congress as a representative of Georgia but lost his seat during a debate over his residency qualifications. President George Washington then placed him in command of the army opposing Native American tribes in the Ohio Valley. In 1794, he defeated Little Turtle's Miami forces at Fallen Timbers near present day Toledo. Wayne died on December 15, 1796, during a return trip to Pennsylvania from a military post in Detroit.
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