Category: Material Culture

The Fruit Seller’s Portrait

Among the treasures in the care of the American Revolution Institute—owned for nearly two hundred years by the New York State Society of the Cincinnati—is an enigmatic portrait painted by John Trumbull at the height of his career. The sitter, Bryan Rossiter, is a handsome man in middle age, in what appears to be a […]

Lost Hero of Yorktown

The British surrender at Yorktown is remembered as a triumph for George Washington and the comte de Rochambeau. Students of the siege know that Admiral de Grasse played a central role in the allied victory, Alexander Hamilton distinguished himself in a daring attack on the British lines, and Henry Knox directed the artillery bombardment that […]

Plunkett Fleeson, Revolutionary Upholsterer

A prosperous craftsman whose trade serves the very wealthy is an unlikely sort of revolutionary. He has too much invested in stability to welcome economic upheaval, and too much invested in relationships with customers, suppliers and peers to welcome revolutionary change—or so it would seem. Yet such craftsmen were among the active supporters of American […]