A New Home for an Old Veteran

On January 9, President General Pless Lunger and Institute Chairman Mark Williams visited Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie at his office to present him with a replica of A Pensioner of the Revolution, the oldest known portrait of a homeless veteran. They made the presentation to thank the secretary for speaking at Anderson House on Veterans Day 2019 to help launch America’s First Veterans, a new initiative that includes an exhibition, publications, lectures and other programs, as well as new educational programs. A Pensioner of the Revolution portrays Joseph Winter, a Revolutionary War veteran the artist John Neagle met living on the streets in Philadelphia in December 1829. The original portrait is one of the treasures from our collections now on display.

To learn more about Secretary Wilkie’s remarks, read the news release here.


Sealed with Blood: Gratitude for Revolutionary Veterans and American National Identity

Gratitude for Revolutionary War veterans and their sacrifices was at the heart of early American national identity. On January 23 at 6:30 p.m., join Sarah Purcell, L.F. Parker Professor of History at Grinnell College, for a discussion of how monuments, battle anniversary celebrations and other commemorative rituals helped create a sense of common public reverence for Revolutionary War veterans.


America’s First Veterans

Over a quarter of a million Americans served in the armed forces that won our independence. Those who survived became America’s first veterans—the world’s first veterans of an army of free men. This exhibition explores their stories and traces how the American republic finally acknowledged its debt and expressed its gratitude to the soldiers who secured the nation’s freedom.


Joseph Winter, Lone Wanderer

On the evening of December 18, 1829, a young Philadelphia portrait painter named John Neagle set off on foot toward the home of an artist friend named Thomas Birch. It was snowing and the streets of Philadelphia must have been nearly empty. People who had […]