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

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Daniel Morgan

This bust of Daniel Morgan is part of a 1953 memorial placed in the Mt. Hebron Cemetery as a response to a 1951 attempt to move Morgan's remains to Spartanburg S.C. near the Cowpens battlefield. 

The People of
Winchester Virginia
Dedicate this Memorial
to the
Patriotism and Valor of
General Daniel Morgan
in the cause of
American Independence

The medallion on the memorial reproduces a gold medal awarded to Morgan by congress On March 25, 1790 to honor his victory at Cowpens. 

Lossing describes the iconography.

The  following  are  the  devices  and  inscriptions  upon  the  medal:  An  Indian  queen  with  a  quiver  on  her  back,  in  the  act  of crowning  an  officer  with  a  laurel  wreath;  his  hand  resting  upon  his  sword.  A  cannon  lying  upon  the  ground;  various  military weapons  and  implements  in  the  background.  Legend:  Danieli  Morgan  Duci  Exercitus  Comitia  Americana — "The American  Congress  to  General  Daniel  Morgan." 
Morgan served a term in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1797 and 1799 representing Virginia as a Federalist. The Congressional Directory gives us this short biography.
MORGAN, Daniel, a Representative from Virginia; born near Junction, Hunterdon County, N.J., in 1736; moved to Charles Town, Va. (now West Virginia), in 1754; served with the Colonial forces during the French and Indian War; during the Revolution was commissioned captain of a company of Virginia riflemen in July 1775; was taken prisoner at Quebec December 31, 1775; became colonel of the Eleventh Virginia Regiment November 12, 1776 (designated the Seventh Virginia Regiment September 14, 1778); brigadier general in the Continental Army October 30, 1780; at the close of the war retired to his estate, known as “Saratoga”, near Winchester, Va.; commanded the Virginia Militia ordered out by President Washington in 1794 to suppress the Whisky Insurrection in Pennsylvania; was an unsuccessful Federalist candidate for election to the Fourth Congress; elected as a Federalist to the Fifth Congress (March 4, 1797-March 3, 1799); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1798 on account of ill health; died in Winchester, Va., on July 6, 1802; interment in Mount Hebron Cemetery.
Late in life, Daniel Morgan became a devout Presbyterian, so when he died in Winchester, Virginia on July 6, 1802, he was buried in the cemetery at the Old Stone Church. 

The stone marking his grave was severely damaged during the Civil War, reputedly by Union Soldiers. Benson J. Lossing visited the site in 1866, and drew this image of the damaged grave stone.

Morgan's grave was moved to Mount Hebron Cemetery in 1868. The postcard below shows the condition of the broken stone, in the 1920s. 

Grave and picture of General Daniel Morgan
Grave despoiled by soldiers during the Civil War
Winchester Virginia.

William T. Price, in A Tramp to Soldier's Rest, Electra, July 1885, transcribes the broken stone this way:

On July the 6th, 1802
In the 67th year of his Age
Patriotism and valor were the
prominent Features of his character
the honorable services he rendered
to his country
during the Revolution * * *
crowned him with Gl * * * 
remain in the Hearts  * * * 
*   * * *  petual Monu * * * *
to his

At mount Hebron the broken pieces of stone have been mounted in a concrete slab and the wording restored.

departed this life
on July the 6th, 1802
In the 67th Year of his age.
Patriotism and Valor were the
prominent Features of his Character
the honorable Services he rendered
to his Country
during the Revolutionary War
crowned him with Glory and
will remain in the Hearts of his
Countrymen a
perpetual Monument

The bust used on the memorial resembles the portrait that appeared in Herring and Longacre's 1834-39  National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans.

Drawn by J. Herring from Col. Trumbull's Sketch, Engraved by J.F.F. Prud 'homme.

The sketch referred to seems to be this miniature by Trumbull which belongs to the Yale University Gallery of Art.

Trumbull in turn copied this from a portrait by Charles Willson Peale, as he wrote on the reverse of the painting. (See  David Meschutt, “Portraits of Daniel Morgan, Revolutionary War General,” American Art Journal, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 34-43.) 

"Brig.dr: Genl Morgan - of the American Riflemen distinguish'd at the Cowpens - present at the capture of Genl Burgoyne. Painted at Phil.a 1792. by J. Trumbull from an original by Mr. C. W Peale". 
The Peale portrait hangs in Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

It was Trumbull who changed Morgan's outfit from a General's uniform to a buckskin hunting-shirt. Trumbull's description of the hunting-shirt was published in Herring and Longacre, Vol. 3, 1836.
[T]he dress of the Virginia rifle-men who came to Cambridge in 1775, (among whom was MORGAN,) was an elegant loose dress reaching to the middle of the thigh, ornamented with fringes in various parts, and meeting the pantaloons of the same material and color, fringed and ornamented in a corresponding style. The officers wore the usual crimson sash over this, and around the waist, the straps, belts &c., were black, forming, in my opinion, a very picturesque and elegant, as well as useful dress. It cost a trifle; the soldier could wash it at any brook he passed; and however worn and ragged and dirty his other clothing might be, when this was thrown over it, he was in elegant uniform.

(Read the full letter here.) 

The full length portrait given in Duyckinck and Chappel's 1861 Portrait Gallery of Eminent Men and Women of Europe and America  was derived from Herring's portrait and features the hunting-shirt.

Daniel Morgan after a painting by Alonzo Chappel.

1 comment:

  1. Dan Morgan is my personal favorite AR general. Cool stuff!