"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Richard Cutts

This c. 1804-5 portrait of Richard Cutts by Gilbert Stuart Hangs in the Virginia Historical Society Museum in Richmond, Virginia.
"Richard Cutts (June 28, 1771 – April 7, 1845) was a United States Representative from Massachusetts. Born on Cutts Island, Saco, Massachusetts (now part of Maine), he attended rural schools and Phillips Academy, Andover. He graduated from Harvard University in 1790, studied law, and engaged extensively in navigation and commercial pursuits. He was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1799 and 1800, and was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Seventh and the five succeeding Congresses, serving from March 4, 1801 to March 3, 1813. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1812 to the Thirteenth Congress, and was appointed superintendent general of military supplies and served from 1813 to 1817. He was then appointed Second Comptroller of the Treasury on March 6, 1817, and served in this capacity until March 21, 1829. Cutts died in Washington, D.C.; initial interment was in St. John's Graveyard, and in 1857 reinterment was in Oak Hill Cemetery." -- Wikipedia
Richard Cutts (1771-1845) Painted by Gilbert Stuart

The Encyclopedia of Virginia says of this portrait:
Richard Cutts, a congressman from the Maine district of Massachusetts, is the subject of this painting by the renowned portraitist Gilbert Stuart. Cutts married Anna Payne, the youngest sister of Dolley Payne Madison, on March 31, 1804, and about that time Stuart painted separate portraits of Cutts and his wife.

Richard Cutts lost his seat in Congress after he reluctantly voted for war with Britain in 1812. In 1820 when he was serving as the Comptroller of the Treasury, he built a house on the northwest corner of Lafayette Square. This sketch by Baroness Hyde de Neuville in July of 1822 (Library of Congress) shows the Cutts house in the shadow of Saint John's Church, on what was then called President's Square.

His sister-in-law Dolley and her husband James Madison later lived there.

Today the house, now called Dolley Madison House, appears in the shadow of the Court of Appeals.

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