George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 21 December 1789]

Monday 21st. Framed the above thoughts on the subject of a National Militia into the form of a Letter and sent it to the Secretary for the Department of War.

Sat from ten to one Oclock for a Mr. Savage to draw my Portrait for the University of Cambridge in the State of Massachusetts at the request of the President and Governors of the said University.

The portrait begun today by Edward Savage (1761–1817) was commissioned by the trustees of Harvard to be hung at the college. “It represents Washington in a military coat, with angular opening between coat collar and lapel. On the latter are two large buttons. . . . On the left lapel is the badge of the Order of the Cincinnati.” At today’s sitting and at those of 28 Dec. and 6 Jan. 1790, Savage may also have made preliminary sketches for his Washington Family Portrait although the latter was interrupted by his sojourn in England 1791–94 and was not finished until 1796 (EISEN description begins Gustavus A. Eisen. Portraits of Washington. 3 vols. New York, 1932. description ends , 2:457, 462–63).

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