James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Joseph Delaplaine, 23 May 1813

From Joseph Delaplaine

Philadelphia May 23d. 1813.


I have commenced the publication of a series of Engraved portraits of the emminent men of our country, by Mr. Edwin & Leney, in the best style.1

Have the goodness to inform me whether there is an approved likeness of yourself, who painted by, & in whose possession it is.

Mr. Edwin & myself have talked on the subject. He has shown me a small painting of you which I fear is not an approved likeness.

Hoping to be favoured with a letter from you on the subject, I remain, sir, With great respect, your obedt. humbe. servt.

Joseph Delaplaine
South West Corner
7th. & Chesnut St.

RC (NjP: Coles Papers).

1Delaplaine’s Repository of the Lives and Portraits of Distinguished Americans (2 vols.) was published in Philadelphia in 1817 and 1818 but did not contain a portrait of JM (Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 34554). David Edwin had, however, produced an engraving of JM in 1810 after a full-length 1809 portrait of the president by Thomas Sully (Noble E. Cunningham Jr., Popular Images of the Presidency: From Washington to Lincoln [Columbia, Mo., 1991], 140–42).

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