George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 28 April 1785]

Thursday 28th. Mercury at 72 in the Morning—75 at Noon and [ ] at Night.

Clear & warm—Wind from the So. Wt. & in the Evening pretty fresh.

To Dinner Mr. Pine a pretty eminent Portrait, & Historian Painter arrived in order to take my picture from the life & to place it in the Historical pieces he was about to draw. This Gentleman stands in good estimation as a Painter in England, comes recommended to me from Colo. Fairfax—Mr. Morris Govr. Dickenson—Mr. Hopkinson & others. Colo. Hooe, Mr. Hilbert, & a Captn. [ ] also came here to Dinner & returned after it.

Robert Edge Pine (1730–1788), an English portrait painter well known for his historical works, was in the United States to complete a series of paintings of the Revolution. During his stay at Mount Vernon, Pine also painted portraits of Martha Washington, her four grandchildren, and her niece Fanny Bassett. George William Fairfax’s letter of introduction was dated 23 Aug. 1784 (DLC:GW). Robert Morris’s letter, dated 15 April 1785, informed GW that Pine wanted to take Martha Washington’s portrait, as well as GW’s (DLC:GW). John Dickinson of Pennsylvania had moved to Delaware during the Revolution, where he became president of the executive council in 1781. After the war, he returned to Pennsylvania where he was elected president of the executive council. Francis Hopkinson (1737–1791) of New Jersey had been an active pamphleteer during the Revolution. A member of the Continental Congress in 1776, he was chairman of the Continental Navy Board 1776–78, treasurer of loans 1778–81, and judge of the admiralty court in Pennsylvania 1779–89.

mr. hibert: probably Mr. Huiberts, of the firm of Leertouwer, Huyman & Huiberts of Alexandria. The firm had a store for a short time in Hooe & Harrison’s house on Water Street, where it sold goods from Holland (Va. Journal, 29 April 1784 and 26 May 1785).

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