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John Wesley Jarvis, 1780 - 14 Jan 1840  Search this
John Armstrong, 25 Nov 1758 - 1 Apr 1843  Search this
Oil on wood
Stretcher: 76.2 x 61cm (30 x 24")
c. 1812
Exhibition Label:
Much of the blame for Washington’s lack of defense fell on the shoulders of Secretary of War John Armstrong, who had recklessly dismissed the notion of a British attack on the capital. Although he was a Revolutionary War veteran, diplomat, and U.S. senator, Armstrong was not well liked. Despite his experience and connections, he suffered from the reputation of "indolence and intrigue." It was said that his "nature and habits forbid him to speak well of any man." In the days after the burning, Armstrong stubbornly refused to accept any responsibility for the outcome. He had a surprising confrontation with the "great little Madison," who rebuked the secretary for the city’s demise. Armstrong resigned, indignant. "It is obvious," Armstrong wrote, "that if all the troops assembled at Bladensburg had been faithful to themselves and to their country, the enemy would have been beaten and the capital saved."
(Raydon Galleries, New York); purchased 1972 NPG.
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair  Search this
Costume\Dress Accessory\Epaulet  Search this
John Armstrong: Male  Search this
John Armstrong: Politics and Government\US Senator\New York  Search this
John Armstrong: Literature\Writer  Search this
John Armstrong: Military\Army\Officer  Search this
John Armstrong: Military\Army\Officer\Revolution  Search this
John Armstrong: Natural Resources\Agriculturist\Farmer  Search this
John Armstrong: Politics and Government\Cabinet Member\Secretary of War  Search this
John Armstrong: Politics and Government\Diplomat\Minister  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery