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

Friday, July 22, 2016

Rufus King

This 1819-20 portrait of Rufus King (1755-1827) by Gilbert Stuart hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"Rufus King was one of the last of the Founding Fathers. A delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, an active framer of the Constitution, minister to Great Britain, opponent of the War of 1812, senator from New York, and the Federalist Party's last candidate for the presidency (over­whelmingly defeated by James Monroe in 1816), King had a public career that extended through the administrations of the first six presidents of the United States. His portrait was painted in 1819-20, a time when he tried to rouse opposition to the admission of Missouri as a slave state, defending before the Senate "the natural liberty of man and its incompatibility with slavery in any shape." John Quincy Adams recorded: "He spoke with great power, and the great slaveholders ... gnawed their lips and clenched their fists as they heard him." -- National Portrait Gallery

ERIC says this of Rufus King.
"Throughout a lengthy public career, Rufus King employed his considerable diplomatic and oratorical skills to promote the twin causes of nationalism and civil liberty, fighting in the last decade of his life to extend those liberties to the nation's enslaved black minority. "

Rufus King
1755 - 1827
A framer of the Constitution & first Minister to England
Gilbert Stuart
1755 - 1828

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