Brown, John Henry - portrait of Mrs Maria Cadwalader

Dating from 1860 is this miniature portrait signed "J. Hy. Brown 1860" for John Henry Brown. The year of 1860 is the same year that Brown painted his famous miniature portrait of Abraham Lincoln, see Abraham Lincoln by John Henry Brown

Brown charged $180 to paint this portrait of Mrs Cadwalader and $175 to paint a miniature portrait of Abraham Lincoln. This collector observes, a little wistfully, that the close parity of value in 1860 does not apply today! For an interesting site that discusses portraits of Lincoln see The Youngest Face of Abraham Lincoln? - Miniature Artists

The sitter in this miniature is identified on a tag as "Maria Charlotte Gouverneur m Thomas Cadwalader". Maria Charlotte Gouverneur (1801-1861) was the daughter of Nicholas Gouverneur and Hester Kortright. She married Major General Thomas Cadwalader (1795-1873) on Dec 27, 1831. Maria's aunt (i.e. her mother's sister) was married to President Monroe, so Maria was well connected. For reference to Maria's burial place see Maria and Thomas had five children, of whom Maria in the adjacent portrait was the youngest.

The detail of the lace in the painting of Maria is amazing. (If you click on the photo of the lace you will get a larger version.) The two Cadwalader portraits were acquired for this collection two years apart, and so it was nice to be able to reunite mother and daughter.

Brief details of Maria's husband are as follows; CADWALADER, Thomas, soldier, was born at Greenwood, near Trenton, N. J., Sept. 11, 1795; son of Lambert and Mary (McCall) Cadwalader. He graduated at Princeton in 1815 and studied law, but did not practise. He was appointed, June 2, 1830, deputy adjutant-general in the Hunterdon Brigade of the New Jersey militia, and on April 10, 1833, lieutenant-colonel and aid-de-camp to Governor Seeley. On July 30, 1842, he was commissioned brigadier-general and made Adjutant-General of New Jersey. In 1856 he was sent by the governor to Europe, to report on the firearms in use in the European countries. In March, 1858, he was brevetted major-general by the legislature. He died at Greenwood, N. J., Oct. 22, 1873.

Although it is not of Cadwalader himself, in the American 2 portion of this collection and also shown here, there is a miniature of a brigadier-general in a more recent militia uniform, but one can get some idea of what his uniform would have looked like. 802. 1176


Sara said...

I stumbled across your site while doing genealogical research -- Maria Charlotte Gouverneur Cadwalader was my 3rd great-grandmother. While I've seen portraits of her maternal aunt, I've never seen any of her (there's a definite resemblance). I know little about art, but do work with it a little in my job as a librarian. I'm extremely impressed with your blog -- what a wonderful resource! I'd be interested in knowing the provenance of the Cadwalader miniature, if you have it, or at least am curious to know where you found it.--Sara

Don Shelton said...

Hi Sara,
Thank you for the very kind comments about the collection. I will tell you as much as I can. This portrait of Maria Cadwalader was purchased at an auction held by the auction house called James D Julia of Fairfield ME. There is a printed name "Mrs Henry G Bartol, 66th East 56th Street New York, NY" on a card that came with the portrait and on the card is written in pencil "Case for Grandmother Cadwalader's miniature in cabinet table". I am sure you know the family tree better than me, but I have researched it a little and at a guess, I would think the portrait may have been sold by the estate or family of John Bartol who died 22 Jan 2001. His grandfather Henry George Bartol married Hester Gouverneur Hone, the granddaughter of Maria Cadwalader.
I presume you noticed the adjacent portrait of her youngest daughter (of five children), also named Maria Cadwalader, who married John Hone on 29 April 1880 and was the mother of Hester Gouverneur Hone? On that portrait there is a tag that says "(H G Bartol's) Mrs G M Phelps gradnmother". I imagine Maria Hone may be a great aunt of yours? This second one was purchased from an Ebay dealer. If you would like any more of my limited research of the family tree, please send me an email at

Deborah said...

I was thrilled to see these Cadwalader miniatures. Thank you so much! I have a carte de visite album that once belonged to Maria Cadwalader, long before her marriage to John Hone. I do not know how to contact SG, but perhaps she would like to see scans of some of the family portraits and outdoor scenes I have--all date to the early 1860s.

Don Shelton said...

Hi Deborah, I am glad you found it interesting. I am not sure whether I ever had an email address for Sara, but will have a look to see if I can find one.
However, I have recently also had contact from another Cadwalader descendent. If you send your email address to my current address I can send you her address.
Also, if you are willing send me a couple of relevant images, I would be delighted to add them to the website.