Main content

John Trumbull Collection

Notifications

Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Trumbull, John, 1756-1843

Born in Connecticut in 1756, John Trumbull was the son of Jonathan Trumbull, who became a governor of Connecticut. Trumbull graduated from Harvard University in 1773. As a soldier in the American Revolutionary War, he rendered a particular service at Boston by sketching plans of the British works, and he witnessed the famous Battle of Bunker Hill. Trumbull was also appointed second personal aide to General George Washington, and in June 1776 he was deputy adjutant-general to General Horatio Gates. However, Trumbull resigned from the army in 1777. In 1780 he traveled to London where he studied under Benjamin West, the Anglo-American painter of historical scenes. West suggested to him that he paint small pictures of scenes from the War of Independence and miniature portraits, of which Trumbull produced about two hundred and fifty in his lifetime. He is remembered as the"Painter of the American Revolution."

The collection consists chiefly of correspondence and documents of American artist John Trumbull, some of which is related to his paintings of the American Revolutionary War. Other material included is correspondence of Trumbull's father, Jonathan Trumbull, who was governor of Connecticut. John Trumbull's material includes a letter from Edward Everett from the House of Representatives asking Trumbull's opinion regarding providing better preservation to his paintings in the"Rotunda." There are two letters from Thomas Sully of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts requesting to borrow Trumbull's work for an exhibition. In a letter dated 30 October 1841, Caroline Adam De Windt, granddaughter of President John Adams, writes to Trumbull requesting a"pencil sketch" of an extract from his Battle of Trenton painting. This is followed by a letter written in 1842 from the engraver David C. Hinman asking for permission for his employer, the engraver John Warner Barber, to engrave copies of Trumbull's paintings of the Battle of Princeton and the Battle of Trenton for a work to be published illustrating the history and topography of New Jersey. Also included are four letters from the artist's nephew, John M. Trumbull, dating between 1806 and 1807. Other correspondents include the printmaker Peter Maverick, Wolcott Huntington of the House of Representatives, and the author Samuel Swett, who criticizes the accuracy of Trumbull's memoirs and paintings. In addition, there are two promissory notes and four bank checks signed by Trumbull, as well as a subscription receipt, dated 19 July 1790 and signed by Trumbull, for two prints of his The Battle of Bunker's [sic] Hill and Death of General Montgomery.

Jonathan Trumbull's material includes a letter dated 1 July 1768 and sent to Jedediah Elderkin regarding a settlement of Col. Dyer and another letter to Thomas Mumford, dated 7 April 1778, regarding a conflict about a property between a Mr. William Gorton and Governor Bradford.

Folders are organized alphabetically by correspondent or other name.

The collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject.

The letter to Elderkin was a gift of Julian Boyd, Princeton Class of 1904, in June 1944.

The 1790 subscription receipt was a gift of Thomas Brown Wilbur on October 10, 1951.

The letters to Everett, Hinman, Sully, Swett, and De Windt, as well as the checks and other documents, were a gift of Harry Shaw Newman on May 5, 1966.

The letter of Huntington was purchased on March 4, 1970.

The letter of Maverick was removed and transferred from the Arthur C. Holden Papers in 1997.

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.

No appraisal information is available.

Publisher
Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
2008
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Collection Inventory

Everett, Edward: Letter to the House of Representatives, 23 April 1828. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

De Windt, Caroline A: Letter to John Trumbull, 30 October 1841. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Hinman, David C: Letter to John Trumbull, 7 April 1842. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Huntington, Wolcott: Letter to John Trumbull, 1 November 1823. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Maverick, Peter: Letter to John Trumbull, 21 November 1786. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Sully, Thomas: 2 Letters to John Trumbull, 1818-1830. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Swett, Samuel: Letter to John Trumbull, 1 December 1841. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Trumbull, John: Receipt of Subscription for Two Prints, 1790. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Trumbull, John: 6 Autograph Documents by Trumbull, 1803-1825. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Trumbull, John M: 4 Letters to His Uncle, John Trumbull, 1806-1807. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Trumbull, Johnathan: Letter to Jedediah Elderkin, 1 February 1768. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Trumbull, Johnathan: Letter to Thomas Mumford, 7 April 1778. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Print, Suggest