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Amos Doolittle

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Dec 15, 2021

Amos Doolittle (May 18, 1754 – January 30, 1832)[1] was an Americanengraver and silversmith, known as “The Revere of Connecticut.”[2] His engravings included portraits and maps, made in his New Haven, Connecticut studio. He became famous for his four engravings depicting the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which were based on his first-hand reconnaissance of the battlefield.

Amos Doolittle

Lithograph of Doolittle, following Ralph Earl‘s portrait
Born (1754-05-18)May 18, 1754

Died January 30, 1832(1832-01-30) (aged 77)

Resting place Grove Street Cemetery

41.31374°N 72.92556°W / 41.31374; -72.92556

Nationality American
Education Self-taught
Known for Engraving
Spouse(s) Sally (unknown–1797);
Phebe Tuttle (1797–1825)
An engraving of George Washington created by Doolittle in 1794

. . . Amos Doolittle . . .

Born in Cheshire, Connecticut on May 18, 1754, Doolittle became skilled in copper engraving through self-teaching and apprenticeship.[3] His first published experiment with the medium began when he enlisted in the New Haven company of the Governor’s Guards in 1775. Under the leadership of Captain Benedict Arnold, the company arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts ten days after the Battles of Lexington and Concord at the start of the Revolutionary War.[1] Upon arriving in Cambridge, Doolittle took leave to inspect the site of the battle accompanied by Ralph Earl. Doolittle interviewed colonial militants and residents to establish the scene while Earl surveyed the site and made drawings.[4] From these drawings, Doolittle made at least four engraved copper prints of the battle, which were advertised for sale in the December 1775 Connecticut Journal.[4]

The success of these prints marked the beginning of Doolittle’s artistic career. He was sought out by many early Americans eager to learn the art of engraving, including James Wilson. Doolittle established a shop in New Haven, Connecticut, on the present-day site of Yale University’s Old Campus, from where he created portraits, maps, and bookplates.[1] Doolittle died on January 30, 1832 and is buried in the Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven.[2] His younger brother Eliakim Doolittle (1772-1850) was a composer and schoolteacher.[5]

. . . Amos Doolittle . . .

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