Smithsonian Institution Libraries

GILT, OF

Marcia Braay Tucker

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1830

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OF

CHARLES WILLSON PEALE.

Tue records of Natural History and of the Fine Arts in {his country would be incomplete, without some notice of a man who was among the earliest to cultivate a taste for Painting, and the first to establish a Museum of Natural His- tory, even when the name of Museum was scarcely recog- nized from the European dictionaries. It would require more time than we can now bestow, to perform this duty with the minuteness which might be desired. We will, therefore, content ourselves with a slight sketch of his va- ried career.

His father, Charles Peale, is still remembered by some of the oldest inhabitants of Maryland as a gentleman of libe- ral education and polite manners; greatly respected as a teacher at Chestertown, where he occasionally officiated in the pulpit, when the clergyman of the parish happened to be absent. He was a native of Rutlandshire in England; proud of the freedom which Britons enjoyed, but still prouder of the advantages which he foresaw were to be de- veloped here. He died in the year 1750, leaving a widow and five children, of whom the eldest was Charles Willson, the subject of the present memoir; Margaret Jane, who first married a British officer, afterwards Colonel Nathaniel Ramsay; St. George, who was distinguished as the head of the Land Office; Elizabeth Digby, who married Captain Polk; and James, who has been long distinguished as a painter of miniatures and still life.

Charles Willson Peale was born at Chestertown, on the eastern shore of Maryland, April 16th, 1741. At an early age he was bound apprentice to a saddler in Annapolis; and the habits of industry which he acquired under the ob- ligations of that servitude, gave a character to the labours of his whole life, to which was added a perseverance from his own peculiar temperament, which seemed to delight in conquering difficulties.

He was married before he was twenty-one years of age, and for several years carried on the business of his appren- ticeship; to which he successively added coach, clock and

watch making, and something of the silversmith business. 1

But this variety of occupation, though it amused the eager and volatile fancy of a youth of very sanguine temperament, instead of advancing his interest, only accumulated around him embarrassments which distressed him for a long time.

Hitherto he had thought but little of drawing; yet he had copied some prints with a pen and ink, had coloured prints on glass, and even painted an Adam and Eve from the inspiration of Milton. It was on a visit to Norfolk, where he went to purchase leather, that seeing a portrait and some landscapes painted by a Mr. Frazier, —instead of being stimulated by a display of excellence to aspire to excel- ence in art—it was the badness of the performances which en- couraged him in the idea of surpassing them. He therefore se- cretly procured some pigments and canvass from a coach ma- ker, and soon surprised his friends by a landscape and por- trait of himself, in which he was represented holding a palette and brushes in his hand, with aclockin the background. He never could remember to whom he had given this portrait, or where it had been mislaid, till forty years afterwards, it was discovered tied up as a bag, and containing a pound or two of whiting; having travelled, unopened, during the revolutionary struggles, from place to place. This picture immediately drew him into notice, and procured him em- ployment, still further to the disadvantage of his original business.

His mind was now wholly bent on painting, and it was necessary to procure the proper materials for it. He had never seen an easel or palette, and knew only the most common colours which the coach painters then used. For this purpose he travelled to Philadelphia, which was then a journey of some fatigue and peril; and in the well fur- nished shop ef Christopher Marshall, was bewildered by the variety of colours, the names of which he had never be- fore heard. Some book on painting might relieve him from this embarassment, and Rivington’s bookstore furnished him with the ‘¢‘Handmaid to the Arts.”? This, in the solitude of his lodgings, he studied day and night for nearly a week, before he could venture upon the selection and purchase of

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his paints, with which he hastened back to Annapolis, eager to commence.

Previous to this, there had been only three persons in Maryland, professing the art of portrait painting: Cain, Hesselius, and Woolaston. They were artists from the pa- rent country, who had made profitable circuits through the colonies, furnishing to the most wealthy families laudable portraits and groups in the style of the courtly Kneller. Mr. Hesselius, however, had married an American lady, and was living near Annapolis. To him our young artist looked for the benefit of instruction; and taking with him as a present one of his finest saddles, requested to see him paint a picture. Thus instructed, he succeeded in painting the portraits of several of his friends, much to their gratifi- cation and pleasure to himself, but little to the advantage of his neglected saddlery.

Tempted by an offer of his brother in law, Captain Polk, he accompanied him in his schooner to Boston, where he became acquainted with Mr. Copley, who received him kindly and lent him a picture to copy. The sight of Mr. Copley’s picture room afforded him great enjoyment and instruction. He returned with increased knowledge, and was patronized by Mr. Arbunkle, whose family he had painted; besides several neighbours in Virginia. On his return to Annapolis it was decided by his friends that he must go to England, and several gentlemen very liberally subscribed to raise a fund for that purpose, to be repaid by paintings on his return, which enabled him to undertake the voyage to London, furnished with letters of recommen- dation to Mr. West, Mr. Jennings, and others.

Mr. West received him with the greatest kindness, and freely gave him instructions in drawing and_ painting. From an Italian he learned to model in wax; Mr. Flaxman senior, instrueted him in the art of moulding and casting plaister figures. But when he had been more than a year in London, and his diminished funds reminded him of re- turning to America, Mr. West earnestly persuaded him to remain another year, kindly offering hima residence in his own house. Additional remittances from America, and some portraits which he painted in London, through the recommendations of Mr. Jennings, enabled him to prolong his stay; during which he made great improvement in oil painting, learned to paint in miniature, and executed some mezzotinto engravings. At this time Stuart and Trumbull were likewise students with Mr. West.

On his return to America, he found constant employment at portrait painting, both in Annapolis and Baltimore. Here he invited his brothers St. George and James to join his family, and instructed them, as well as his sisters, in drawing and painting. To commemorate this happy groupe, he painted the large family piece which is in the Philadel-

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phia Museum, to which, in his old age, he added a faithful mastiff. In several visits which he had paid to Philadel- phia, having found employment, he determined to settle there, which he did in the year 1776; but the increasing troubles, produced by the contest with the parent country, excited his patriotism to join in popular meetings, where he was distinguished for his ardour. He raised a company of volunteers, which elected him their captain. With them he sought the army of General Washington, and was en- gaged in the battles of Trenton and Germantown; his fami- ly having retired from Philadelphia into the country, en- during many privations.

In camp he painted the portraits of several distinguished officers, which was the commencement of his invaluable Gallery of American characters; and it was at the moment he was painting a miniature of General Washington at a small farm-house in New Jersey, a letter was received an- nouncing the surrender of Cornwallis. Mr. Peale had his table and chair near the window, and Washington was sit- ting on the side of a bed; the room being too small for another chair. His aid-de-camp, Colonel Tilghman, was present. It was an interesting moment; but the sitting was continued, as the miniature was intended for Mrs. Washington.

Notwithstanding his fondness for the peaceful employ- ment of the pencil, he was influenced by the spirit of the times to join in public meetings, where, being often chair- man, he was drawn into notice, and appointed to offices of great responsibility. In 1779 he represented Philadel- phia in the Legislative Assembly, and zealously co-ope- rated in passing the law for the abolition of slavery. But he ever afterwards forbore meddling with politics, and scrupulously confined his attention to painting, mechanical inventions and occupations. At this time he was much em- ployed, being, for about fifteen years, the only portrait pain- ter in the western world.

In the year 1785, the idea of making a Museum of Natu- ral History first occurred to him. It was suggested by some bones of the Mammoth which were brought to him to make drawings from them, and were placed in his picture gallery, which contained a valuable and increasing collection of portraits of characters distinguished in the revolutionary struggles. This new pursuit soon engrossed all his thoughts, and furnished a never-ending occupation for all his indus- try, ingenuity, and perseverance. Unacquainted with the European modes of proceeding, he had every thing to dis- cover; and years elapsed before he could succeed in pre- serving his specimens of animals from the depredations of insects. The writer of this article has seen hundreds of birds and beasts, when better specimens were prepared, burnt in piles—a sacrifice on the altar of experience. Many

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CHARLES WILLSON PEALE.

citizens and strangers contributed to enlarge his collection, and, in a few years, his picture gallery, at the corner of Lombard and Third streets, after several enlargements, was found to be too small for his Museum. It was then remoy- ed to the Philosophical Hall, and there was greatly aug- mented, especially with the skeleton of the Mammoth,* which was discovered in Ulster county, N. York State, and disinterred at great expense and labour. Thus, a few bones of the Mammoth accidentally suggested the idea of a Museum, which, subsequently furnished its founder with the means of procuring and displaying to the world the first skeleton of that antedeluvian wonder, since classified

* In the spring of 1801, receiving information from a scientific correspon- dent in the State of New York, that in the autumn of 1799 many bones of the Mamoru had been found in digging a marle-pit in the vicinity of New- burgh, which is situated on the river Hudson, sixty-seven miles from the city of New York, my father, Charles Willson Peale, immediately proceed- ed to the spot, and through the politeness of Dr. Graham, whose residence on the banks of the Wall-kill enabled him to be present when most of the bones were dug up, received every information with respect to what had been done, and the most probable means of future success. ‘The bones that had been found were then in the possession of the farmer who discovered them, heaped on the floor of his garret or granary, where they were occasionally visited by the curious. These my father was fortunate to make a pur- chase of, together with the right of digging for the remainder, and, imme- diately packing them up, sent them on to Philadelphia. They consisted of all the neck, most of the vertebre of the back, and some of the tail; most of the ribs, in greater part broken; both scapule ; both humeri, with the radii and ulne; one femur; a tibia of one leg, and a fibula of the other; some large fragments of the head; many of the fore and hind feet bones; the pel- vis, somewhat broken; anda large fragment, five feet long, of one tusk, about mid-way. He therefore was,in want of some of the back and tail bones, some of the ribs, the under jaw, one whole tusk and part of the other, the breast bone, one thigh, and a tibia and fibula, and many of the feet bones. But as the farmer’s fields were then in grain, the enterprise of fur- ther investigation was postponed for a short time.

The whole of this part of the country abounding with morasses, solid enough for cattle to walk over, containing peat, or turf, and shell-marle, it is the custom of the farmers to assist each other, in order to acquire a quantity of the marle for manure. Pits are dug generally twelve feet long and five feet wide at the top, lessening to three feet at the bottom. The peat or turf is thrown on lands not immediately in use; and the marle, after mellowing through the winter, is in the spring scattered over the cultivated fields—the most luxuriant crops are the consequence. It was in digging one of these, on the farm of John Masten, that one of the men, thrusting his spade deeper than usual, struck what he supposed to be a log of wood, but on cutting it to ascertain the kind, to his astonishment, he found it wasa‘bone: it was quick- ly cleared from the surrounding earth, and proved to be that of the thigh, three feet nine inches in length, and eighteen inches in circumference, in the smallest part. The search was continued, and the same evening several other bones were discovered. ‘The fame,of it soon spread through the neigh- bourhood, and excited a general interest in the pursuit: all were eager, at the expense of some exertions, to gratify their curiosity in seeing the ruins of an animal so gigantic, of whose bones very few among them had ever heard, and over which they had so often unconsciously trod.’ For the two succeeding days upwards of an hundred men were actively engaged, en- couraged by several gentlemen, chiefly physicians of the neighbourhood, and success the most sanguine attended their labours: but, unfortunately, the habits of the men requiring the use of spirits, it was afforded them in too

_ to rot as manure.

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under the name of Mastadon; which, in its turn contributed to give character and value to a Museum that now ranks on an equality with the most celebrated of Europe, founded and supported as they are, by the wealth of powerful goy- ernments.

Hitherto no person in America had presented the sub- ject of Natural History in the attractive shape of lectures. With the view of combining the result of his own observa- tions and discoveries, with the facts and observations that were to be found scattered in various European works, Mr. Peale delivered at the Museum a course of lectures at once popular and scientific, which were attended by the most

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great profusion, and they quickly became so impatient and unruly, that they had nearly destroyed the skeleton; and, in one or two instances, using oxen and chains to drag them from the clay and marle, the head, hips, and tusks were much broken; some parts being drawn out, and others left behind. So great a quantity of water, from copious springs, bursting from the bottom, rose upon the men, that it required several score of hands to lade it out, with all the milk-pails, buckets, and bowls, they could collect in the neighbourhood. AI their ingenuity was exerted to conquer difficulties that every hour increased upon their hands; they even made and sunk a large coffer-dam, and within it found many valuable small bones. The fourth day so much water had risen in the pit, that they had not courage to attack it again. In this state we found it in 1801.

it was a enrious circumstance attending the purchase of these bones, that the sum which was paid for them was little more than one-third of what had been offered to the farmer for them by another, and refused, not long be- fore. This anecdote may not be uninteresting to the moralist, and I shall explain it. The farmer of German extraction—and like many others in America, speaking the language of his fathers better than that of his coun- try—was born on his farm; he was brought up to it as a business, and it continued to be his pleasure in old age; not because it was likely to free him from labour, but because profit, and the prospect of profit, cheered him in it, until the end was forgotten in the means. Intent upon manuring his lands to increase its production, (always laudable), he felt no interest in the fossil- shells contained in his morass; and had it not been for the men who dug with him, and those whose casual attention was arrested, or who were drawn by report to the spot, for him the bones might have rotted in the hole in which he discovered them ; this he confessed to me would have been his conduct, certain that after the surprise of the moment they were good for nothing but But the learned physician, the reverend divine, to whom he had been accustomed to. look upwards, gave importance to the objects which excited the vulgar stare of his more inquisitive neighbours: he there- fore joined his exertions to theirs, to recover as many of the bones as possible. With him, hope was every thing ; with the men curiosity did much, but rum did more, and some little was owing to certain prospects which they had of sharing in the future possible profit. It is possible he might have encouraged this idea; his fear of it, however, seems to have given him some uneasiness; for when he was offered a small sum for the bones, it appeared too little to di- vide ; and when a larger sum, he fain would have engrossed the whole of it, or persuade himself that the real value might be something greater. Igno- rant of what had been offered him, my father’s application was in a critical moment, and the farmer accepted his price, on condition that he should re- ceive anew gunfor his son, and new gowns for his wife and daughters, with some other articles of the same class. The farmer was glad they were out of his granary, and that they were in a few days to be two hundred miles dis- tant; and my father was no less pleased with the consciousness, and on which every one complimented him, that they were in the hands of one who would spare no exertions to make the best use of them. The neighbours,

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distinguished citizens, of both sexes, who enjoyed the op- portunity of seeing the objects which they heard explained.

But it was not sufficient that he had written these lec- tures; they must be delivered by himself; a task, the diffi-

who had assisted the farmer in this discovery, envious of his good fortune, sued him for a share in the profit; but they gained nothing more than a divi- dend of the costs ; it appearing that they had been satisfied with the gratifi- cation of their curiosity, and the quality and quantity of the rum; no one could prove that he had given them reason to hope for a share in the price of any thing his land might happen to produce.

Not willing to lose the advantage of an uncommonly dry season, when the springs in the morass were low, we proceeded on the arduous enterprise. In New York every article was provided which might be necessary in sur- mounting expected difficulties; such as a pump, ropes, pullies, augers, &c.; boards and plank were provided in the neighbourhood, and timber was in suf ficient plenty on the spot.

Confident that nothing could be done without having a perfect command of the water, the first idea was to drain it by a ditch; but the necessary dis- tance of perhaps half a mile, presented a length of labour that appeared immense. It was therefore resolved to throw the water intoa natural basin, about sixty feet distant, the upper edge of which was about ten feet above the level of the water. An ingenious millwright constructed the machinery, and, afier a week of close labour, completed a large scaffolding and a wheel twenty feet diameter, wide enough for three or four men to walk a-breast in: a rope round this turned a small spindle, which worked a chain of buckets regulated by a floating cylinder ; the water thus raised, was emptied into a trough, which conveyed it to the basin; a ship’s pump assisted, and, to- wards the latter part of the operation, a pair of half barrels, in removing the mud. ‘This machine worked so powerfully, that in the second day the water was lowered so much as to enable them to dig; and ina few hours they were rewarded with several small bones.

The road which passed through this farm was a highway, and the atten- tion of every traveller was arrested by the coaches, wagons, chaises, and horses, which animated the road, or were collected at the entrance of the field: rich and poor, men, women, and children, all flocked to see the opera- tion; and a swamp always noted as the solitary abode of snakes and frogs, became the active scene of curiosity and bustle: most of the spectators were astonished at the purpose which could prompt such vigorous and expensive exertions, in a manner so unprecedented, and so foreign to the pursuits for which they were noted. But the amusement was not wholly on their side; and the variety of company not only amused us, but tended to encourage the workmen, each of whom, before so many spectators, was ambitious of signal- izing himself by the number of his discoveries.

For seyeral weeks no exertions were spared, and the most unremitting were required to insure success; bank afte rbank fell in; the increase of water was a constant impediment, the extreme coldness of which benumbed the work- men. Hach day required some new expedient, and the carpenter was al- ways making additions to the machinery; every day bones and pieces of bones were found between six and seven feet deep, but none of the most im- portant ones. But the greatest obstacle to the search was occasioned by the shell marle which formed the lower stratum; this rendered thin by the springs at the bottom, was, by the weight of the whole morass, always pressed up- wards on the workmen to a certain height, which, without an incalculable expense, it was impossible to prevent. ‘Twenty-five hands at high wages were almost constantly employed at work which was so uncomfortable and severe, that nothing but their anxiety to see the head, and particularly the under jaw, could have kept up their resolution. The patience of employer and workmen was at length exhausted, and the work relinquished without obtaining those interesting parts, the want of which rendered it impossible

to form a complete skeleton. It would not have been a very difficult matter to put these bones together,

culty of which was increased by the recent loss of some of his front teeth. His ingenuity was soon at work to supply this deficiency, and with remarkable perseverance he suc- ceeded, first in ivory, and finally in making complete sets

and they would have presented the general appearance of the skeleton; but the under jaw was broken to pieces in the first attempt to get out the bones, and nothing but the teeth and a few fragments of it were now found; the tail was mostly wanting, and some toe-bones. It was, therefore, a desirable object to obtain some knowledge of these deficient parts, but if possible to find some other skeleton in such order as to see the position, and correctly to ascertain the number of the bones. In the course of eighteen years there had been found within twelve miles of this spot, a bone or two in several dif- ferent places; concerning these we have made particular inquiries, but found that most of the morasses had been since drained, and consequently either the bones had been exposed toa certain decay ; or else so deep, that a fortune might have been spent in the fruitless pursuit. But through the po- lite attention of Dr. Galatan, we were induced to examine a small morass, eleven miles distant from the former, belonging to Capt. J. Barber, where, eight years before, four ribs had been found in digging a pit. From the description which was given of their position, and the appearance of the mo- rass, we began our operations with all the vigour a certainty of success could inspire. Nearly a week was consumed in making a ditch, by which all the water was carried off, except what a hand-pump could occasionally empty = the digging, therefore, was less difficult than that at Masten’s, though still te- dious and unpleasant; particularly as the sun, unclouded as it had been for seven weeks, poured its scorching rays on the morass, so circumscribed by trees, that the western breeze afforded no refreshment ; yet nothing could ex- ceed the ardour of the men, particularly of one,a gigantic and athletic ne- gro, who exulted in choosing the most laborious tasks, although he seemed melting with heat. Almost an entire set of ribs were found, lying nearly to- gether, and very entire; butas none of the back bones were found near them (a sufficient proof of their having been scattered) our latitude for search was extended to very uncertain limits; therefore, after working abont two weeks, and finding nothing belonging tothe head but two rotten tusks, (part of one of them is with the skeleton here) three or four small grinders, a few verte- bre of the back and tail, a broken scapula, some toe-bones, and the ribs, found between four and seven feet deep—a reluctant terminating pause en- sued,

These bones were kept distinct from those found at Masten’s, as it would not be proper to incorporate into one skeleton any other than the bones be- longing to it; and nothing more was intended than collate the corresponding parts. ‘These bones were chiefly valuable as specimens of the individual parts; but no bones were found among them which were deficient in the for- mer collection, and therefore our chief object was defeated. 'To have failed in so small a morass was rather discouraging to the idea of making another attempt; and yet the smallness of the morass was, perhaps, the cause of our failure, as it was extremely probable the bones we could not find were long since decayed, from being situated on the rising slope at no considerable depth, unprotected by the shell-marle, which lay only in the lower part of the basin forming the morass. When every exertion was given over, we could not but look at the surrounding unexplored parts with some concern, uncer- tain how near we might have been to the discovery of all that we wanted, and regretting the probability that, in consequence of the drain we had made, a few years would wholly destroy the venerable objects of our research,

Almost in despair at our failure in the last place, where so much was ex- pected, it was with very little spirit we mounted our horses, on another in- quiry. Crossing the Wall-kill at the falls, we ascended over a double swelling hill into a rudely cultivated country, about twenty miles west from the Hud- son, where, in a thinly settled neighbourhood, lived the honest farmer Peter Millspaw, who, three years before, had discovered several bones: from his log-hut he accompanied us to the morass, It was impossible to resist the

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of porcelain teeth, not only for himself, but for his friends and others, at a time when no other person in the United States had succeeded in the attempt.

_About the period when the Museum was commenced, Loutherbourg in London had got up an exhibition of trans- parent paintings with moveable effects. A description of these excited an irresistible desire to effect the same pur- poses. Here was a vast field opened for his taste and in- vention; for his labour day and night, and his morning dreams. At length, the public in crowds witnessed, at the end of his long gallery of portraits, these magic pictures. A perspective view of Market street, gradually darkening into the gloom of night. The street lamps are successively lighted and sparkle inthe diminishing perspective; the clouds disperse and the pale moon rises. Another picture represented a prospect in the country, dimly seen at night;

solemnity of the approach to this venerable spot, which was surrounded by a fence of safety to the cattle without. Here we fastened our horses, and followed our guide’ into the centre of the morass, or rather marshy forest, where every step was taken on rotten timber and the spreading roots of tall trees, the luxuriant growth of afew years, half of which were tottering over our heads. Breathless silence had here taken her reign amid unhealthy fogs, and nothing was heard but the fearful crash of some mouldering branch or towering beach. It was almost a dead level, and the noles dug for the purpose of obtaining manure, out of which a few bones had been taken six or seven years before, were full of water, and connected with others containing a vast quantity; so that to empty one was to empty them all; yet a last effort might be crowned with success; and, since so many difficulties had been conquered, it was resolved to embrace the only opportunity that now offered for any farther discovery. Machinery was accordingly erected, pumps and buckets were employed, and a long course of troughs conducted the water among the distant roots toa fall of a few inches, by which the men were en- abled, unmolested, unless by the caving in of the banks, to dig on every side from the spot where the first discovery of the bones had been made.

Here alternate success and disappointment amused and fatigued us for a long while; until, with empty pockets, low spirits, and languid workmen, we were about to quit the morass with but a small collection, though in good preservation, of ribs, toe, and leg bones, &c. In the meanwhile, to leave no means untried, the ground was searched in various directions with long- pointed rods and cross-handles: after some practice we were able to distin- guish by feeling, whatever substances we touched harder than the soil; and by this means, in a very unexpected direction, though not more than twenty feet from the first bones that were discovered, struck upon a large collection of bones which were dug to and taken up, with every possible care. They proved to be a humerus, or large bone of the right leg, with the radius and ulna of the left, the right scapula, the atlas, several toe-bones, and the great object of our pursuit, a complete UNDER Jaw!

After such a variety of labour and length of fruitless expectation, this success was extremely grateful to all parties, and the unconscious woods echoed with the repeated huzzas, which could not have been more animated if every tree had participated in the joy. “Gracious God, what a jaw! how many animals have been crushed by it!” was the exclamation of all; a fresh supply of grog went around, and the hearty fellows, covered with mud, continued the search with increasing vigour. The upper part of the head was found twelve feet distant, but so extremely rotten that we could only preserve the teeth anda few fragments. Inits form it exactly resembled the head found at Masten’s; but, as that was much injured by rough usage, this, from its small depth beneath the surface, had the cranium so rotted

—the cock crows, the horizon brightens gradually into the glow of sunrise, gay with the chirping of birds which fly from tree to tree;—presently the clouds arise, thick and dark, till brightened on their varying edges by the light- ning’s flash, accompanied by the roll of thunder;—the rain begins to fall, increasing to a heavy shower; but it clears away and exhibits a splendid rainbow which commences and dies away gradually. Other pieces admirably repre- sented the battle between the Bon Homme Richard, com- manded by Paul Jones and the British frigate Serapis; and the gorgeous display of the temple of Pandemonium. Many years before this, an attempt was made to found an Academy of the Fine Arts by the few artists who found oc- cupation in Philadelphia, chiefly engravers, with Mr. Rush the carver, and some foreign artists then sojourning with us. Landscape and miniature painters, and with them the

away as only to show the form around the teeth, and thence extending to the condyles of the neck; the rotten bone formed a black and greasy mould above that part which was still entire, yet so tender as to break to pieces on lifting it from its bed.

This collection was rendered still more complete by the addition of those formerly taken up, and presented to us by Drs. Graham and Post. They were a rib, the sternum, a femur, tibia and fibula, and a patella or knee-pan. One of the ribs had found its way into an obscure farmhouse, ten miles distant, to which we fortunately traced it.

Thus terminated this strange and laborious campaign of three months, during which we were wonderfully favoured, although vegetation suffered, by the driest season which had occurred within eight years. Our venerable relics were carefully packed up in distinct cases; and, loading two wagons with them, we bade adieu to the vallies and stupendous mountains of Sha- wangunk: so called by their former inhabitants, the Indians of the Lenape tribe. The three sets of bones were kept distinct : with the two collections which were most numerous it was intended to form two skeletons, by still keeping them separate, and filling up the deficiencies in each by artificial imi- tations from the other, and from counterparts in themselves. For instance, in order to complete the first skeleton, which was found at Masten’s, the un- der jaw was to be modelled from this, which is the only entire one that has yet been discovered, although we have seen considerable fragments of at least ten different jaws; while, on the other hand, in the skeleton just dis- covered at Barber’s, the upper jaw, which was found in the extreme of decay, was to be completed, so far as it goes, from the more solid fragment of the head belonging to the skeleton found at Masten’s. Several feet-bones inthis skeleton were to be made irom that; and a few in that were to be made from this. In this the right humerus being real, the imitation for the left one could be made with the utmost certainty; and the radius and ulna of the left leg being real, those on the right side would follow, of course, &c. The collection of ribs in both cases was almost entire; therefore, having discoy- ered from a correspondence between the number of vertebre and ribs in both animals, that there were nineteen pair of the latter, it was necessary in only four or five instances to supply the counterparts, by correct models from the real bones. In this manner the twoskeletons were formed, and are in both instances composed of the appropriate bones of the animal, or exact imitations from the real bones in the same skeleton, or from those of the same propor- tion in the other. Nothing in either skeleton is imaginary; and what we have not unquestionable authority for, we leave deficient ; which happens in only two instances, the swmmit of the head, and the end of the tail—God- man’s Nat. Hist. by Rembrandt Peale.

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Italian Sculptor Ceracchi (who afterwards conspired against the life of Buonaparte). Among these Mr. Peale was the only portrait painter in oil. At his house the meetings were held, and the conversations were often interesting un- der all the excitements of imagination and genius; but they ended in a separation into two unproductive parties; the native artists contented with a school of art, and the for- eigners swelling with a mighty scheme of a national Academy.

In the year 1794 another experiment was made at Mr. Peale’s—an academy was formed; some plaister casts were collected, and arrangements were made to draw from the life. When the person (a baker) who was engaged to stand as the model, found himself surrounded by new faces and pene- trating eyes, he shrunk from the scrutiny, and precipitately fled. In this dilemma Mr. Peale stripped and presented himself as the model to his fellow artists. An exhibition was likewise got up, intended to be annual. It was opened in the Hall of Independence; comprised a very respectable display of pictures, chiefly lent by private gentlemen, and was well attended by the public.

It was not until 1810 that a foundation could be laid for a permanent Academy. Again the amateurs of the Arts were invited to meet at Mr. Peale’s; but their number was so small, and their influence over the public mind so limited, that nothing but the most zealous exertions of Mr. Joseph Hopkinson could have availed in procuring the funds which were necessary to erect a suitable building, and to import from Europe the requisite plaister casts. Mr. Peale and his son, who was recently from Europe, laboured incessantly to mend and display these objects, and to organize the drawing academies. He lived to see and contribute to seventeen annual exhibitions.

Warly rising, temperate repasts, and industrious habits, had invigorated his constitution, and he had reached his eighty-fifth year with but little interruption to his health, and pleasantly talked of living to be at least a hundred years old. ‘The manner of his death was strictly accordant with the peculiarities of his life; for it was not so much the con- sequence of old age as of too much youth, in imprudently carrying his own trunk to get up with a stage which he feared would leave him behind. This induced a violent palpitation and disorder of his heart, from which he had scarcely recovered, when he indiscreetly mounted the high- est ladder at the new building of the Arcade, the upper rooms of which were being constructed to hold his Museum. This brought on a relapse and his speedy and lamented death, in 1827; leaving his Museum as a joint stock to his children; Raphael, Angelica Kaufman, Rembrandt, Ru-

bens, Sophonisba Carriera, Linnzus, Franklin, Se Meriam, Elizabeth, and Titian.

Few men have passed through a greater variety of scenes and occupations. Perhaps in the organization of his mind there was too great a propensity to indulge in every novel occupation; certainly there wasa peculiarity of faney which controlled him in these enjoyments; he loved to do what nobody around him could do, and exhibited the most ex- traordinary industry, perseverance, and ingenuity to accom- plish his purposes. His chief delight, though of a cheerful and social temper, was to find himself alone in the trackless ocean of experiments, contending with the rough elements and surmounting difficulties as they followed in successive waves never sinking, never despairing. At first a saddler, harness and coach maker; then a silversmith and watchma- ker; it was not till his 26th year that his eyes opened to the boundless fields of art; but in this pursuit he mingled the greatest variety, painting in oil, in crayons, and in minia- ture; modelling in clay, wax and plaister; sawing his own ivory, moulding his glasses, and making the shagreen cases for the miniatures which he painted, at a time when none of these articles could be procured, owing to the derange- ments of a revolutionary war. He made himself a wooden mannequin or lay-figure, upon which to cast his draperies; made a violin and guitar, and assisted in the construction of the first organ built in Philadelphia. But it was chiefly in multitudinous operations connected with his Museum that he found continual employment for his invention and me- chanical propensities. Transparent paintings with change- able effects of light and colour, and figures in motion; the preservation of every variety of animals; the moulding of glass eyes, carving wooden limbs, upon which to stretch the skins of his quadrupeds, with anatomical accuracy, &c. Many precious months of his life were consumed in per- fecting, with Mr. J. H. Hawkins, their Polygraph, which became one of his untiring hobbies, as he never wrote a letter afterwards without preserving a cotemporaneous duplicate.

For a number of years he supplied the dificiencies of his teeth with ivory of his own manufacture, and finally suc- ceeded in making them of porcelain, not only for himself and family, but for others, as he prided himself on being the only operator in this style in America.

We shall close this sketch by an observation of Colonel Trumbull: <«*That an interesting comparison might be drawn between Mr. Peale and his countryman Mr. West, who was a striking instance how much could be accom- plished with moderate genius, by a steady and undeyviating course directed to a single object; to become the first His- torical painter of his age; whilst the other, with a more

CHARLES WILLSON PEALE. Vil

lively genius, was able to acquire an extraordinary excel- lence in many arts, between which his attention was too much divided. For had he confined his operations to one pursuit he probably would have attained the highest excel- lence in the Fine Arts.”

However praiseworthy may have been his industry; remarkable or amusing his ingenuity; and productive his perseverance to the success of his Museum—he possessed a higher claim to the remembrance and esteem of his coun- trymen. He was a mild, benevolent, good man.

BUWUBBLEISHUBNTS

TO

VOLUME I.

PORTRAIT OF CHARLES WILLSON PEALE. ENGRAVED TITLE PAGE.

Plate I. Common Deer, (Buck, Doe and Fawn), - II. Ruffed Grouse or Pheasant, - - - III. Red. Fox, - - - - - IV. Quails or Partridges, - - - : V. Newfoundland Dog, - - - - VI. Rough Billed Pelican, = - - - - VII. Prairie Wolves, - - - - VIII. Meadow Lark and Snow Bird, - - - IX. Hlustration of Woodcoek Shooting, - - X. Goosander and Golden Eyed Duck, - - XI. Grisly Bears, - = : XIT. Robin and Blue Bird, - : g XIII. Trout of the Brook and Lake, a aie XIV. Woodcock, - = 2 sane e XV. Ground Squirrel, - - 2 e XVI. Wild Swan, - - = oh es XVII. American Argali, - = z z XVII. Rail, - - = Z & Z

XIX. American Varying