Museum logo
Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
Accession Number 1900.001
Catalog Number 1900.001.012
Object Name Painting
Title Duncan McArthur
Description Left-facing portrait of Duncan McArthur, Ohio's eleventh governor (1830-1832). He is seated at a table with a stack of papers on it. Through a green-curtained window one can see trees and the sky. He wears a dark military uniform with gold buttons, a gold vest, a white flounced shirt, gold epaulets and a black tie. He is holding a paper in his hand with writing and a red seal. He has short dark hair. The top of a gold and white sword is visible on the bottom right of the painting.
Date 1868
Artist Hoffman, F.W.
Notes Duncan McArthur (1772-1839) was a Federalist and National Republican politician from Ohio and served as the state's eleventh governor. Born in Duchess County, New York, to Scottish immigrant parents, he grew up in western Pennsylvania and later moved to Kentucky where he worked as an Indian ranger.

McArthur then worked with Nathaniel Massie in 1793 and went on a surveying expedition in the Northwest Territory. He worked with Massie in 1796 to lay out the town of Chillicothe, which became the first state capital in 1803. McArthur continued in land speculating and became a wealthy man. His plantation-style estate just outside Chillicothe was named "Fruit Hill."

He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives while serving in the milita during the War of 1812. He never went to office, preferring his militay service. In 1817, he was one of two commissioners (Lewis Cass, the other) who negotiated the Treaty of Fort Meigs, which was signed that year with several Native American Tribes.

McArthur served in the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. He served one term (1823-1825) in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected Ohio governor in 1830. He served a single, two-year term and did not seek re-election. McArthur died at his home on April 28th, 1839.
People Hoffman, F.W.
McArthur, Duncan, 1772-1839
Smith, William Henry, 1833-1896
Signed Name Signed "Peint par F.W. Hoffmann d'apres Sully 1868
Sig Loc Lower Right in Red
Image size 36-1/4" x 29"
Frame size 40-3/4" x 33-3/4"
Frame desc Gilt molded frame
Provenance In 1867, the Ohio General Assembly passed a joint resolution relative to the governors of Ohio. The legislators resolved that "the secretary of state, on the first Monday of January next, whether the portraits of the governors of Ohio, state and territorial, can be procured, and if so, whether original portraits or copies, and the probable expense of procuring such portraits for the governor's office."

William Henry Smith, Ohio's sixteenth secretary of state, was tasked with contacting the descendants of all governors to date. He corresponded with families and sometimes traveled the country to meet them.

Smith reported that the "Hon. Carey A. Trimble, Chillicothe, is the possessor of a portrait of Gen. McArthur, by [Thomas] Sully, which is one of the most successful of the works of that famous artist--having his striking characteristics, warm color truthfulness and naturalness of portraiture. It was painted while McArthur was in attendance upon the military court, convened at Albany, for the trial of Gen. Hull."

The portrait copy by Hoffman was delivered to the governor's office in September, 1868.

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board took over the care of the Statehouse and its collections in 1988.
Search Terms Ohio Governor
Ohio Governor's Portraits
Subjects Governors
Painting
Portrait paintings
Collection Statehouse Artwork Collection/Governors' Portraits