Tompkins Harrison Matteson (1813-84). “Washington Delivering His Inaugural Address April 1789, in the old City Hall, New-York.”
New York: John Neale, 1849. First State. 17 ¾ x 25 (image). Engraving by H.S. Sadd. Nice impression. Blind stamp with publishers’ initials below copyright line. Repaired tear into image at top. Repaired tear in title area with a small paper fill. Light inking of title with wear in title area. Faint tide stains in bottom margin/title area and right hand margin. Faint mat burn in margins. Bottom left hand margin corner filled. Scattered wear in image mostly at top. Old glue residue on verso. Else, fine condition.
Tompkins H. Matteson was a painter of historical and political scenes who produced some of the more interesting historical images of the mid-nineteenth century. This steel engraving after Matteson’s painting is by H.S. Sadd, who is well known for his historical engravings. The scene shows Washington delivering his first inaugural address to the House and Senate in the old New York City Hall, which served as the U.S. Capitol at the time. The members of Congress are shown arrayed around Washington, who looks noble and inspiring on the dais in the middle of the image. The mid-nineteenth century was a time when the legend of Washington was being built, and this print was very much a part of that process. An interesting and attractive American historical print.