Saturday, June 27, 2020

18C American Women & their Pet Birds

1758 John Singleton Copley 1738-1815 Portrait of Ann Fairchild Bowler

This is the perfect time to look at paintings of 18C Americans with their birds, both in the wild & captured in aviaries & cages.  We know that native North American birds fascinated men & women alike in 18C British American colonies. Colonials kept cages for their birds. Some even kept larger bird-keeping areas called aviaries.
1718 Nehemiah Partridge (American artist, 1683-1737) Portrait of Catherine Ten Broeck with Bird.

Between 1739 and 1762, South Carolinian Eliza Lucas Pinckney (c 1722-1793) kept a letterbook in which she wrote, "Airry Chorristers pour forth their melody...the mocking bird...inchanted me with his harmony." By this time, enterprising Southerners caged red birds and even exported extra cages of mockingbirds to England.
1721 Attributed to Nehemiah Partridge (American artist, 1683-1737) Sara Gansevoort (1718-1731) with a bird.

An aviary is an enclosed area, often in a garden & larger than a traditional birdcage, meant for keeping, feeding, and hopefully breeding birds.  Aviaries in South Carolina sometimes contained two-story bird houses.
1725 Charles Bridges (American artist, 1670-1747). Detail of William Byrd II & Lucy Parke daughter Evelyn Byrd and a bird in the tree.

Mark Catesby (1682-1749) sailed to Virginia in 1712, and stayed in the British Atlantic colonies for 7 years, sketching & compiling The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands for publication upon his return to England. In his monumental work, he described birds he had seen in the colonies in cages. Thomas Jefferson had a copy of Catesby's History in his library.
1740s-50s Joseph Blackburn (American colonial era artist, 1700-1780) Mrs

Thomas Jones.  The New York Journal published a poem of a woman imagining her ideal garden entitled A Wish of a Lady in 1769.
"...Just under my window I'd fancy a lawn,
Where delicate shrubs shou'd be planted with taste,
And none of my ground be seen running to waste.

Instead of Italians, the Linnet and Thrush
Wou'd with harmony greet me from every bush;
Those gay feather'd songsters do rapture inspire!
What music so soft as the heav'nly choir..."
1733 Gerardus Duyckinck (American artist, 1695-1746). Detail David and Phila Franks with bird.

18C portrait painters in America depicted men, women, & children with birds from the beginning of the century to the end. One question is whether the birds are being used as symbols or are actually birds that they might have owned.
1750 John Hesselius (American colonial artist, 1728-1778) Ann & Sarah Gordon.

Birds were kept as pets around Charleston, South Carolina, when an ad in the South-Carolina Gazette in January of 1753 noted, "ANY Persons willing to try the cultivation of Flax and Hemp in this province, may have gratis a pint of Hemp Seed, and half a pint of Flax Seed, at Mr. Commissary Dart's store in Tradd-Street.—But it's hoped ladies will not send for any Hemp Seed for birds."
1755 John Wollaston (American artist, 1710-1775). Detail Elizabeth Page & Mann Page, children of Mann & Ann Corbin (Tayloe) Page of Rosewell, Gloucester County, with bird.

In February of 1768, James Drummond announced in Charleston's The South Carolina and American General Gazette that he had "just imported...from L(ondon), a large and compleat (Assortment) of GOODS, Among which are the following... men and womens white Italian gloves... corks, an sortment of watchmaker's tools...a bird cage."
1755 Joseph Badger (American artist, 1708-1765). Detail of Elizabeth Gould with bird.

James McCall advertised in the 1771 South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal the he had "just received...a great Variety of Garden Seeds, Pease and Beans; Hemp, Canary, Rape, and Moss Seed for Birds."
1758 John Singleton Copley (American artist, 1738-1815) Mary & Elizabeth Royall with dog and bird.

Baroness Von Riedesel traveling through the British American southern colonies with her officer husband during the American Revolution wrote, "I had brought two gorgeous birds with me from Virginia. The main bird was scarlet with a darker red tuft of feathers on his head, about the size of a bull-finch, and it sang magnificently. The female bird was gray with a red breast and also had a tuft of feathers on its head."
1760 Joseph Badger (American artist, 1708-1765). James Badger with bird.

The Baroness continued, "They are very tame soon after they are caught and eat out of one's hand. These birds live a long time, but if two male birds are hung in the same room they are so jealous of each other that one of them dies soon afterwards."
1760 Joseph Badger (American artist, 1708 - 1765). Detail of Jemima Flucker with bird.

The Baroness related that she, "saw black birds in Virginia of the same size, which always cry 'willow.' This amused us very much because one of my husband's aides was named Willoe."
1763-65 Henry Benbridge (American artist, 1743-1812). Detail of Gordon Family with bird.

The visiting Baroness stated, "One of my servants discovered a whole nest of these red birds and fed and raised them. Knowing how much I loved them, he left Colle with two cages full on his back, but they all died before he reached me, much to our sorrow."
1766-67 John Singleton Copley (American artist, 1738-1815). Detail of Mary Boylston (Mrs Benjamin Hallowell) with bird.

In America, the New-York Magazine; or, Literary Repository of 1792, was advising its readers that, "A Goldfinch must never be let loose in an aviary, for he destroys the nests and breaks the eggs of the other birds."
1766 John Singleton Copley (American artist, 1738-1815). Detail of Elizabeth Ross (Mrs. William Tyng) with bird.

William Faris (1728-1804) was a silversmith & clock-maker living in Annapolis, Maryland, for over 50 years. He kept journals & a diary of his life there, on & off, during the last quarter of the 18C. On October 25, 1793, Faris noted, "Last night the 2 yallow Birds died." Earlier, he had written that his "poor Mocking Bird" had died. Although these are the only references to birds in the diary he kept during the 1790s, his 1804 inventory listed 11 bird cages.
1767 John Singleton Copley (American artist, 1738-1815).Young Lady with a Bird and Dog.

Isaac Weld (1774-1856) noted in his 1800 Travels through the States of North America that at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Virginia, "A large apartment is laid out for a library and museum, meant to extend the entire breadth of the house, the windows of which are to open into an extensive greenhouse and aviary."
1770-1775 James Peale (American artist, 1749-1831). Girl with bird.

Margaret Bayard Smith, who was a new bride in Washington DC in 1800, wrote in her diary, "In the window recesses were stands for the flowers and plants which it was his delight to attend and among his roses and geraniums was suspended the cage of his favorite mocking-bird, which he cherished with peculiar fondness, not only for its melodious powers, but for its uncommon intelligence and affectionate disposition, of which qualities he gave surprising instances. It was the constant companion of his solitary and studious hours. Whenever he was alone he opened the cage and let the bird fly about the room. After flitting for a while from one object to another, it would alight on his table and regale him with its sweetest notes, or perch on his shoulder and take its food from his lips. Often when he retired to his chamber it would hop up the stairs after him and while he took his siesta, would sit on his couch and pour forth its melodious strains. How he loved this bird!"
1770 Daniel Hendrickson (American artist, 1723-1788). Detail of Catharine Hendrickson surrounded by birds.

William Dobbs operated a Seed & Plant Store at 315 King street. He advertised in the December 2, 1811 edition of the Charleston Times: "For sale at wholesale and retail, an extensive assortment of Choice Garden Flowers and Bird seeds, the growth of 1811...Garden Tools, Flower Pots, Hyacinth Glasses."  In October 1812, Dobbs property was put up at auction through ads in the October 13 and 22 editions of the Charleston Courier. Among the items to be auctioned, “All the Personal Estate and Stock in Trade...together with his elegant collection of Singing Birds; consisting of Canary and Mocking Birds; a Glass Case, containing stuffed Birds; empty Bird Cages...”  Unfortunately, Dobbs died in the fall of 1812.  His inventory of December 3, 1812, gives a glimpse of the property owned by the seedsman: “Rose Apple Trees, Rosemary, Squills, Double Tube Roses, Amaryths, Peach Trees, 40 Canary Birds, Seeds, Bird Seed, shovels, spades, bird cages, pees, 2 green Houses and glasses, garden tools, Glasses for Roots, Shelves of Jars with Seeds in them...”
1770s Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827). Detail Mary Tilghman & sons with bluejay.

In 1748, visitor to the British American colonies, Peter Kalm noted that turkeys, wild geese, pigeons and partridges were often tamed to the extent that “when they were let out in the morning they returned in the evening.”
1788 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827). Detail of Mrs. Richard Gittings with bird in cage.

In 1772, the South-Carolina Gazette carried an ad for a plantation to be rented "on the Ashley River near Charleston" with "two well-contrived aviaries." A year later, the same paper noted a lot in Charlestown which contained, "a very good Two-Story Birds House."
1790 Denison Limner Probably Joseph Steward (American artist, 1753-1822). Detail of Miss Denison of Stonington, CN possibly Matilda with bird and squirrel.  
1790 Rufus Hathaway (American artist, 1770 - 1822). Detail of Molly Wales Fobes with Birds. 
1790s Ellen Sharples (American artist, 1769-1849). Detail of Theodosia Burr of New Jersey with bird.
1796 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827). Thomas Elliott & Grandaughter Deborah Hibernia with white bird.
1790s Unknown American artist, Mary Ann Elizabeth Thum of Philadelphia
1790 Ralph Earl (American artist, 1791-1801) Jerusha Benedict (Ives) with Bird

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Portrait of 18C American Women

1759 Joseph Blackburn fl 1752-1778  Hannah Babcock Mrs John Bours  Worchester

Friday, June 12, 2020

Portrait of 18C American Women

1758 Joseph Badger (1708-1765). Hannah Minnot (Mrs. Samuel Moody ). New Brit Mus Art

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Portrait of an 18C American Woman

Elizabeth Paddy Wensley. Unknown artist, Boston, 1670–1680. The Pilgrim Society, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

1793 American Mother & Child


1793 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Sarah McCurdy (Mrs. Henry Channing) and Son Henry William

Monday, May 18, 2020

18C Early American Timeline 1710-1729



1711 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Subject: Henriette Charlotte de Chastaigner, Mrs Nathaniel Broughton


1710
3,000 German men and women from the Palatinate settle near Livingston Manor on the Hudson River in New York to produce naval stores. When the colony fails, the settlers go first to the Mohawk Valley (in New York) and finally to eastern Pennsylvania.

The English Parliament passes the Post Office Act which sets a postal system for the American colonies controlled by the postmaster general of London and his deputy in New York City.

New York forbids blacks, Indians, and mulattos from walking at night without lighted lanterns.

1711
Pennsylvania prohibits the importation of male & female blacks and Indians.

Rhode Island prohibits the clandestine importation of male & female black and Indian slaves. (See this blog for more information of enslaved women in the 18th century.)

1711-13
Tuscarora Indian War in North and South Carolina. Hostilities break out between Native Americans and settlers in North Carolina after the massacre of male & female settlers there.

1712
The Carolina colony is officially divided into North Carolina and South Carolina.

Charles II's Grant of New England to the Duke of York, 1676 - Exemplified by Queen Anne; October 30

The Pennsylvania assembly bans the import of male & female slaves into that colony.


In Massachusetts, the first sperm whale is captured at sea by an American from Nantucket.

Grace Smith writes The Dying Mothers Legacy: Or the Good and Heavenly Counsel of that Eminent and Pious Matron, Mrs. Grace Smith, late Widow to Mr. Ralph Smith of Eastham in New-England. Left as a Perpetual Monitor to Her Surviving Children; As It Was Taken from Her Own Mouth a Little Before Her Death, by the Minister From that Town Where She Died. Boston, Printed and sold by Timothy Green, at the lower-end of Middle-Street, 1712

An alleged slave revolt in New York City leads to violent outbreaks. Nine whites are killed and eighteen slaves are executed.

New York declares it illegal for male & female blacks, Indians, and slaves to murder other blacks, Indians, and slaves. And New York forbids freed blacks, Indians, and mulatto slaves from owning real estate and holding property.

In Charleston, South Carolina male & female slaves are forbidden from hiring themselves out.

1713
England's South Sea Company is allowed to transport 4,800 male & female slaves per year into the Spanish colonies of North America.

Queen Anne's War ends with the Treaty of Utrecht.

1714
George I becomes king of England (r. 1714–27).

Tea is introduced for the first time into the American Colonies. 1715 Artist: Henrietta Johnson 1674-1729. Subject: Mary Magdalen Gendron, Mrs Samuel Prioleu 1691-1765

1715
Yamasee tribes attack and kill several hundred male & female Carolina settlers.

Rhode Island legalizes slavery.

Maryland declares all slaves entering the province and their descendants to be slaves for life.

1716
South Carolina settlers and their Cherokee allies attack and defeat the Yamassee.

The first group of black slaves is brought to the Louisiana territory. 1717-18 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Mary Griffith (Mrs Robert Brewton, Mrs William Loughton) 1698-1761


1717
Scots-Irish immigration begins, with most settling to western Pennsylvania.

New York enacts a fugitive slave law.

1718
French found New Orleans.

The Tuscarora people are defeated in a war with North Carolina colonists. With many of their people killed they move north to live with other Iroquois nations in New York Colony.

Blackbeard, the pirate, is killed, putting an end to pirate raids along the southern colonial coast.

North Carolina’s first free school, endowed by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, opens at Bath. 1719 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Subject: Judith DuBose (Mrs Joseph Wragg) 1698-1769.

1719-41
The American Weekly Mercury is the first newspaper launched in Philadelphia by Andrew Bradford (1686-1742). It would publish six of Franklin's "Busy-Body Papers" in 1729 and continue publication until 1746.

The Boston Gazette is the second newspaper in Boston is launched by William Brooker (fl. 1715-1720) and printed by Benjamin Franklin's older half-brother, James Franklin (1697-1735). The paper would become the official organ of the government and continue until 1741.
1720 Attributed to Gerrit or Gerardus Duyckinck Subject: Portrait of a Lady

1720 Artist: Gerardus Duyckinck 1695-1746. Subject: Mrs Johannes van Braght b 1673. Her husband was an alderman for the City of New York.

1720
Estimated population of colonies: 475,000. Including Boston (pop. 12,000), Philadelphia (pop. 10,000), and New York (pop. 7000).

A smallpox epidemic in Boston prompts Cotton Mather and Zabdiel Boylston to experiment with inoculation against the disease. Mather had learned of the practice from Onesimus, his slave, who had himself been inoculated as a child and knew inoculation to be a widely accepted medical practice in Africa.
1720-25 Attributed to Schuyler Limner (active ca. 1715–1725) Portrait of a Lady (possibly Tryntje Otten Veeder)

Benjamin Franklin leaves Boston for Philadelphia, a trip that he chronicles in his Autobiography.

South Carolina planters settle along the Lower Cape Fear River and begin developing the rice and naval stores industries. They bring large numbers of enslaved people and establish a large, plantation-style slave system.

Virginia abolishes manumissions.
1720-28 Artist: Gerardus Duyckinck 1695-1746 Subject: Grace Mears, Mrs Moses Levy

1724
The French build forts on the Mississippi, the St. Lawrence, and the Niagara rivers.

French Louisiana prohibits slaves from marrying without the permission of their owners.


The population of male & female black slaves in the American colonies reaches 75,000.


Riots occur in Philadelphia as poor people tear down the pillories and stocks and burn them.
1725 Artist: Charles Bridges 1670-1747. Subject: Evelyn(1708-1737) daughter of William Byrd II and Lucy Parke.

1725
Explanatory Charter of Massachusetts Bay; August 26

1726
Zabdiel Boylston: An Historical Account of the Smallpox Inoculated in New England. Boylston details his experiments with smallpox inoculation in Boston, in which only 6 of his 244 patients die of the disease. This figure compared with the 844 out of 5,757 Bostonians who died of smallpox naturally during the same epidemic. One of the first of its kind written by an American physician.
1727 John Smibert 1688 - 1751. Eleanor Nightengale

1727
George II becomes king of England

Benjamin Franklin founds the Junto Club.

Cadwallader Colden (1688-1776): History of the Five Nations. Colden's greatest achievement is this tribal history of the Iroquois Indians based on firsthand observation.

1728
Elizabeth Hanson (1684-1737) writes God's Mercy Surmounting Man's Cruelty, a polished literary account of Hanson's 1724 capture by the French and Indians. (See Hanson's account on this blog.)

Jewish colonists in New York City build the first American synagogue.
1729 Artist: John Smibert 1688-1751. Subject: Mrs. Tyng.

1729
Benjamin Franklin prints, publishes and largely writes the weekly Pennsylvania Gazette.

See Burt, Daniel S., editor. THE CHRONOLOGY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE: AMERICA'S LITERARY ACHIEVEMENTS FROM THE COLONIAL ERA TO MODERN TIMES. Houghton Mifflin Internet.
Yale Law School, The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy. New Haven, CT.
HISTORY MATTERS. American Social History Project / Center for Media and Learning (Graduate Center, CUNY) and the Center for History and New Media (George Mason University)