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Portraits and Politics: Dissent in Civil War Connecticut at the Connecticut State Library Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Posted by kabery in CSLmade, history, Museum.


Museum of Connecticut History Curator David Corrigan will discuss the controversy that arose during the Civil War over the portraits of two Governors. The talk will be presented on Thursday, December 15, 2011 from Noon to 12:45 in Memorial Hall, Connecticut State Library, 231 Capitol Avenue, Hartford. Corrigan’s talk is part of the State Library and Museum of Connecticut History’s Third Thursday BrownBag Lunchtime speaker series which features a variety of speakers on various aspects of Connecticut history. All programs are free and open to the public.

Former Governors Isaac Touceyand Thomas Seymour were both accused of harboring Southern sympathies in the early days of the Civil War and the removal of their portraits was seen as a fitting humiliation for the two men and also a warning to others who opposed the war. At the time their portraits were hanging in the Old State House. Mr. Corrigan will discuss the events leading up to the debate and the final resolution of the issue. The Toucey and Seymour portraits now hang in Memorial Hall at the State Library along with the portraits of seventy-one former governors. In 1830 the state acquired its first gubernatorial portrait, that of Gov. Oliver Wolcott, by the Litchfield artist Ralph Earle, which originally hung in the State House on the Green in New Haven. Twenty-five years later, the state purchased a group of 22 portraits of Connecticut governors from the Hartford artist George Frederick Wright. The collection was housed in the Hartford State House from 1855 until 1878, when it was moved and installed in the State Library in the new State Capitol. It remained there until 1910 when it was hung in Memorial Hall.

Thursday, December 15,  2011
Noon – 12:45
Connecticut State Library ~ Memorial Hall

About the Speaker: Mr. Corrigan has been a Curator at the State Library’s Museum of Connecticut History since 1982. He has written numerous articles and given many presentations about various aspects of the Museum’s extensive collections. Mr. Corrigan is a frequent contributor to and a member of the Editorial Team of Connecticut Explored .



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