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

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

DeWitt Clinton

This c. 1816 portrait of DeWitt Clinton (1769-1828) by John Wesley Jarvis hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
DeWitt Clinton, masterful politician of New York in and out of office as mayor of the city and governor of the state was a man who saw America with the potential for unlimited progress. His great dream was for a canal linking the Great Lakes with the Hudson River. When expected federal financing did not materialize, Clinton set out to put public pressure for funding on the state legislature. A bond issue was approved just in time for Clinton, newly elected as governor, to preside over the ground­breaking ceremonies on July 4, 1817. Eight years later, Clinton, returned to office, directed the great celebration of the Erie Canal's completion. “Clinton's Ditch” was a popular and immediate financial success and contributed enormously to the growth and prosperity of New York and the Northwest Territory as well. --  National Portrait Gallery

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