The Hon’ble Charles Lee Esqr.

From Our Collections Elkins
The Hon’ble Charles Lee Esqr.

Item Info

Item No: ELK0050001
Title: The Hon’ble Charles Lee Esqr.
Media Type: Copperplate Engravings
Source: Rare Book Department

Charles Lee (1731–1782) was born in England and served as an officer in the British army before the American Revolution. After moving to America he sold his commission as a British officer and joined the Continental Army in 1775, becoming third in command under George Washington. Shortly after joining Army, Lee was captured by the British for over a year. After his release, he was court-martialed for his retreat at the Battle of Monmouth in 1778. Despite his checkered career Lee established his reputation as an effective commander early on in his career for his role in protecting the fortified position of Sullivan Island in Charleston Harbor in 1776.

Benjamin Blyth was an American painter born in Salem, who began his professional career in the 1760s, working in and around Boston throughout the decade. Some of his contemporaries dismissed him as a second rate painter. He worked with pastels and painted oil portraits until 1786, at which point he moved to Richmond, VA. Blyth’s sitters are said to be frequently stiff and have a blank gaze. Approximately 30 pastels paintings are attributed to him, his most famous ones being portraits of John and Abigail Adams. 


Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 1904. A descriptive catalogue of an exhibition of early engraving in America, December 12, 1904 - February 5, 1905. Cambridge: the University Press. P.7.

Foote, Henry Wilder. "Benjamin Blyth, of Salem: Eighteenth-Century Artist."Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 3rd ser. 71 (n.d.): 64-107.JSTOR. Web. 27 June 2013.

Call Number: Elkengravings
Creator Name: Blyth, Benjamin, 1746-1787? - Artist