John Trumbull was a soldier in “The American Revolution” and later served as second personal aide to General George Washington. The young Thomas Pinckney was taken to England after his father’s death in 1758 for education, and returned to South Carolina in 1774 to became a fanatical supporter and Patriot of “The American Revolution”. Pinckney fought extensively against the British Army during “The American Revolution” and in 1775 he was commissioned as a Captain in the 1st South Carolina Regiment of The Continental Army and later, was named aide-de-camp, to General Horatio Lloyd Gates. He was captured by the British after a catastrophic defeat by the British at “The Battle of Camden” in 1780 and was later released in a prisoner exchange. By 1781, after recovering from his wounds, he fought under the Marquis de Lafayette in Virginia.
After the defeat and eventual final retreat of The British Army, Thomas Pinckney became the 36th Governor of the State of South Carolina during the years 1787-1789. His most noted role as Governor was directing over the state convention that ratified the new United States Constitution and he then served in “The South Carolina House of Representatives” in 1791. George Washington appointed him as the United States Ambassador to Great Britain in 1792. As an ardent member of “The Federalist Party”, Pinckney was presented with the opportunity to become a candidate for President of The United States, running against John Adams in 1796. Although Pinckney finished third in the Presidential election, he was elected to “The United States House of Representatives” from South Carolina in 1797-1801. Pinckney then served as Major General in The United States Army in “The War of 1812”. His final public responsibility before his death in Charleston, South Carolina in 1828, was that of President General of “The Society of Cincinnati”, serving during the years 1825-1828.
ABSTRACT/NOTES: The painting is considered to be an exceptional and rare depiction of one of a number of highly regarded and venerable American historical figures that John Trumbull is known to have painted. Three of his best and well-recognized works are full-length portraits of George Washington. One of these resides in New York’s City Hall, another in Charleston, South Carolina’s City Hall. Perhaps the most recognizable, but preimminant work, painted by Trumbull, is the quite simply and unassumably entitled, “Declaration of Independence”, which was painted from the widely printed engraving by Asher Brown Durand. This work was undertaken by Trumbull only after much encouragement from Thomas Jefferson, and now hangs in The United States Capitol’s rotunda. The depiction of the precise moment that “The Declaration of Independence” was being signed also appears on the reverse of the American two-dollar bill. This remarkable and rare miniature is considered to be an important work of art; a testement to a southern gentleman’s dedicated, and life-long commitment to the emergence of the New Republic, who showed unconditional resolution, courage, endurance and perseverance, in the face of extreme adversary, that ultimately accompanied what was once called ‘The Colonies”, an entire Nation, aptly christened “The United States of America”.
CONDITION: Appears to retain the original giltwood frame. The oil-on-canvas is apparently unsigned, but the rear backboard contains a “jelly-jar” adhesive sticker that is signed in pen “Mr. and Mrs. T. Chatham“, apparently owners of the work at some point.