Born in Queen Anne's county, Maryland, April 16, 1741. Served his apprenticeship to a Saddler; began Portrait painting without any instructions or information, 1768; was persuaded to go to England the same year, and studied with Mr. West; returned in 1771, removed to Philadelphia in 1775; commanded a company in the Revolutionary War; having gradually been forming a gallery of Portraits, he commenced the Philadelphia Museum in 1785 with some bones of the Mammoth, Mr. Robert Patterson sen. [sic] presenting a paddle-fish as the first article. His Portrait was painted by Mr. West whilst Charles W. Peale was in England. [PP. 48-49.]
Historical Catalogue of the Paintings in the Philadelphia Museum consisting chiefly of Portraits of Revolutionary Patriots and other distinguished characters. 1813.