Alexander Hosack

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Artist: John Trumball, American, (1756-1843)
Medium: Oil on Canvas
P64 Donated by John Hampton Barnes in 1979

This 1806 oil on canvas by John Trumball depicts Alexander Hosack of New York City.
Hosack was born in Elgin, Scotland, near the north-east coast above Aberdeen. Little else is known about him other than that he was a New York wine merchant who came to America to serve under Lord Jeffery Amherst during the French and Indian War.
There is more information on his son, Dr. David Hosack, who knew both Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, and attended Hamilton unsuccessfully after the duel in 1804. David was one of the founders of the New York Horticultural Society. He established a garden and study center named Elgin, for his father’s Scottish roots. Rockefeller Center is now located on the site. To read more, check out Victoria’s Johnson’s American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic.
Alexander’s grandson, also named Alexander, became a physician and treated Burr in the final years of his life. The painting descended down in the family until it was given to Hammond-Harwood House in 1979 by Alexander‘s great great great grandson, John Hampton Barnes. The painting was included in The Works of Colonel John Trumball by Theodore Sizer, Yale University Press, 1967.
Artist John Trumball does have a connection to Annapolis. He visited the State House in 1822 and saw the room where Washington resigned.  In 1824 he completed the painting of Washington’s resignation after executing a series of sketches and talking with several Annapolitans who were present.
By Rachel Lovett, Curator

Hammond-Harwood House

The mission of the Hammond-Harwood House Association is to preserve and to interpret the architecturally significant Hammond-Harwood House Museum and its collection of fine and decorative arts, and to explore the diverse social history associated with its occupants, both free and enslaved, for the purposes of education and appreciation.
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