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The portrait of Speaker of the House Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut

December 21, 1880
The portrait of Speaker of the House Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Serving as the second Speaker of the House, Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut left the House to serve in the Senate and, later, as governor of Connecticut.
On this date, Jonathan Trumbull’s Speaker portrait was unveiled at the Capitol. Painted by artist Harry Ives Thompson, the likeness was given as a gift to Congress from Trumbull’s home state, Connecticut. The Trumbull portrait was the third Speaker portrait to become part of the House Collection. Such portraits did not become de rigueur until H. Res. 163 was passed in 1910, stating that the House would acquire suitable oil portraits of each Speaker. Trumbull was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, in 1740, an ardent Federalist who played an active role during the Revolutionary War and the early years of the Republic. During the war, he served as Paymaster for the Continental Army and later as an aid to General George Washington. He served in the House during the 1st through 3rd Congresses (1789–1795), holding the Speakership in his middle term. After one year in the Senate, he left Congress to become governor of Connecticut, a post he held until his death in 1809. Executed well after the sitter’s death, the portrait was painted after a miniature portrait by James Peale from around 1792. The original was reportedly painted in Philadelphia during Trumbull’s term as Speaker. Harry Ives Thompson (1840–1906) hailed from Westport, Connecticut, where he worked for many years as a portrait and landscape painter, and a drawing teacher.

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