Meeting at Marshalton Inn, 2016

Meeting at Marshalton Inn, 2016
Oil on Canvas
48 x 66 inches

For inquiries, please contact the artist at info@adrianmartinez.com or call 484-273-8352

Meeting at Marshalton Inn, 2016

This is the final painting in the twelve part cycle of this exhibit. In this painting, seven adults and three children sit or stand around a table, sharing a meal and discussing prints of a few of the paintings in the show. It is a beautiful fall day in an upstairs room at the Marshalton Inn, located in Marshallton, PA not far from Martin’s Tavern and across the road from Humphry Marshall’s 1773 home. Each adult here has a dedicated and active interest in the history of Chester County, and they and many others have helped to make this exhibit possible.

As the viewer, you can imagine that you have just stepped into the room, interrupting a lively conversation. The two primary figures standing in the center, Skip Chalfant and Katharine Campbell, address the viewer with a direct gaze and invite you to join them. Katharine holds a print of Portrait of Humphry Marshall. There are no known portraits of Humphry, her ancestor, and this painting will likely become his iconic image. On the far left is Sarah Papenhausen with her family. While they discuss the print of Botanists in Bartram’s Garden, she looks directly across the table at her son who is leaning over a print of Downings’ Town. John Snider, standing to the young man’s left, makes a point about the print, emphasized by his powerful extended arm. Both Sarah and John are our contemporaries, but they also function as symbolic figures bearing witness to the scene. They are studies in contrast being male and female and almost fifty years apart in age. These two figures and the four generations between them create a tableau of a world where history, culture and art is of crucial importance.

A major figure not present is Rob Lukens, former President of the CCHS and an originator, along with the artist, of the concept for this show. His wife Becky, standing next to Katharine, is aware of the two men on her left, one a teenager and the other in his eighties. Becky stands above a recently extinguished candle, a symbol of her husband whose brilliance and vision were lost to us far too soon.

War in the Peaceable Kingdom

War in the Peaceable Kingdom
Oil on Canvas
48 x 66 inches

For inquiries, please contact the artist at info@adrianmartinez.com or call 484-273-8352.

War in the Peaceable Kingdom

This painting dramatically visualizes the ambiguities and contradictions of European and American Indian relations in southeastern Pennsylvania during Humphry Marshall’s lifetime.

A country lane surrounded by lush forest under a cloudless sky serves as the bucolic backdrop for the chaos in the foreground. A small group of American Indians emerge from the dense smoke. Are they attacking a white settlement or returning to their own destroyed village after a hunting trip? The five warriors depicted here could be in conflict with the Iroquois, the English, the French, or other European settlers. Tragically, at different times, they could have been fighting all of the above.

One warrior holding a wooden war club has a French trade knife hanging from his neck. They all wear traditional leather moccasins and leggings with European-style shirts and waistcoats of cotton, linen or wool. Most are armed with Pennsylvania rifles – Indian marksmanship was legendary. After almost two hundred years of European contact, the Indians who lived along the eastern seaboard became a hybrid culture that, at times, operated in an accommodating holding pattern with settlers. Often, however, they fought a rearguard action.

The burning beam on the far right, the leaning trees in the distance, and the barely discernible tree trunk in the dark forest to the left, create parallel diagonals. This compositional device works as a visual metaphor for the implacable force moving the warriors forward.  The wind is blowing in the opposite direction carrying the roiling smoke that will engulf these men and they, like their culture, tribe, and homeland, will soon disappear.

Lenape and Quaker Relations

In 1681, William Penn received a royal charter for Pennsylvania from King Charles II. Penn, a Quaker, envisioned for his colony the peaceful integration of European settlers and local native tribes. Much of Penn’s land was “held” by the Lenapes (Delawares). Penn wanted to maintain his business interests and live up to his religious principles, so he offered what he saw as fair and reasonable terms for the land and treated the Lenapes with respect. At first, it seemed as though the two cultures could form a mutually beneficial relationship, although that relationship was based on Penn’s assumption that he rightfully had sovereign rule over the land.

For centuries, the way of life for people of the Delaware Valley was stable. Although violence was endemic with most tribes, their culture included hunting, fishing, and agriculture, while moving seasonally among various camp sites. The arrival of the Europeans changed that. Smallpox, and other diseases as well as the introduction of European technology such as steel knives, guns and gunpowder proved devastating to American Indians. By the late 1600s, the Delawares are estimated to have lost over two thirds of their numbers to disease, famine and war. Indians also faced the overwhelming advance of settlers hungry for their land.

When William Penn arrived in America in 1682, there were likely less than 1,000 European settlers in Pennsylvania.  Forty years later there were over 37,000 and by 1750 that number had reached 175,000. By the mid-1800s, the majority of Lenapes had been driven west to the Ohio River Valley. They, along with the remnants of other tribes, settled in what became western Pennsylvania.  They were not alone. The French/Canadians from the north, the British from the east and the south and the Iroquois all wanted the right to sell, settle in, or control access to this land. With so many conflicting interests, violence was inevitable.

The French and Indian War, begun in 1755, was partly a continuation of a struggle for world dominance between the British and French, but for the Lenapes and Quakers in Pennsylvania it was their moment of truth. The Lenapes joined forces with the French in order to drive out the British. In the ensuing years, atrocities were committed by both Indian and white frontiersman. In 1756, the Royal Governor of Pennsylvania declared war on the Delawares and set the first of several generous bounties for Indian scalps. Although there were only eight recorded payments for these scalps, the bounties were an effective political expedient condoning genocide. Pennsylvania Quakers withdrew from a government they could no longer endorse.

The Revolutionary War completed the estrangement of Quakers from positions in government and resulted in the violent removal of almost all indigenous people from Pennsylvania. Today one can see that despite the best of intentions and their progressive approach, the Quaker mission was based on their belief in the cultural superiority of whites.  And that in spite of European objectives that were benevolent or violent, the long term consequences for American Indians in the east were the same, total disenfranchisement from their homeland forever.

The Examination of Indian Hannah

The Examination of Indian Hannah
Oil on Canvas
66 x 48 inches

For inquiries, please contact us at info@adrianmartinez.com or by calling 484-273-8352.

The Examination of Hannah Freeman

On July 28, 1797, Moses Marshall, as justice of the peace and overseer of the poor, summoned Hannah Freeman to the new Chester County courthouse in West Chester.  Officially, he wanted to interview her to determine which township was liable for her support under the poor laws. Her testimony would also provide Moses Marshall with the authority to commit her to the soon-to-be-built Chester County poorhouse.

Since her health started to fail a few years earlier Hannah, who was most likely in her late sixties, received food and shelter from a long list of local Quaker families, including the Marshalls, whom she had lived amongst and worked for all of her life. They agreed to provide for her welfare until her death and to pay for her burial. This was an act of affection and benevolence, but it also marked the end of Hannah’s previously independent life. It is also probable that these Quaker families were aware of the fact that, in this dependent state, Hannah Freeman would no longer have any legal claim to land that still belonged to the Lenape. Moses Marshall and his fellow Quakers had a vested interest in the designation of Hannah Freeman as a pauper and “the last of the Lenape.”

This tragic moment in the life of Hannah Freeman is imagined, in this painting, as taking place in Old Caln Meeting House, built in 1726. The ancient and stark simplicity of Old Caln, made gentle with age, is used to create a severe and abstract angularity which comes across as menacing. The muted color combination, consisting of a limited pallet of only four colors (white, black, red and yellow), reinforces the somber atmosphere as Hannah Freeman, described in one Quaker document as “an ancient woman of the Delaware Tribe,” stands before the three Quaker figures, her friends and neighbors, who are participating in the final and successful non-violent disenfranchisement of the American Indians in Chester County.

The Doctors

The Doctors
Oil on Canvas
48 x 66 inches

For inquiries, please contact the artist at info@adrianmartinez.com or by calling 484-273-8352.

The Doctors

In this painting the artist has imagined a lush garden and turbulent sky as the dramatic and dreamlike setting for Humphry Marshall’s house. The two-story stone structure designed and built by Humphry in 1773, still stands today in Marshallton. Jutting out from the second floor is a recreation of Humphry’s observatory which was demolished in the 1800s. The interior of the observatory is depicted in Portrait of Humphry Marshall.

In the foreground we see Dr. William Baldwin (left), Dr. William Darlington (middle) and Dr. Moses Marshall (right). Humphry Marshall and Moses Marshall were inspired and taught by William and John Bartram (all pictured in Botanists in Bartram’s Garden), and in this painting, some 35 years later, Moses is passing his knowledge on to the next generation. Although Moses Marshall did not have an active medical practice in his later years, he was still known locally as Dr. Marshall. Both Darlington and Baldwin wished to distinguish themselves from their forebears, but they were also particularly interested in paying tribute to them.

William Darlington, a physician in West Chester, published the first comprehensive biography of Humphry Marshall in 1849. He spent years trying to get Humphry Marshall’s letters and papers from the Marshall family and met with success only when Marshall’s second wife, Margaret, passed away and control of the letters was given to the more cooperative Dr. Moses Marshall, Jr. (the son of Moses Marshall). Darlington’s determination to preserve the legacy of the Marshalls was instilled in him by his friend William Baldwin. Baldwin, also from Chester County, met Moses Marshall during a visit to Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Moses shared with Baldwin his love of plants, and gave him many tours around the botanical garden he maintained with an aging Humphry. Baldwin may or may not have met Humphry Marshall, but there is no doubt that he absorbed from these visits a passion for botany and passed that love to his friend Darlington in a continuing chain of inspiration.

Downings’ Town

Downings’ Town
Oil on Canvas
48 x 66 inches

For inquiries, please contact the artist at info@adrianmartinez.com or call 484-273-8352.

Downings’ Town

In 1776 the second Continental Congress authorized army personnel to build several “forage magazines” in Pennsylvania in order to store provisions for the troops. One such structure was built in Milltown, also called Downings’ Town, located west of Philadelphia at the midway point along the great road to Lancaster. This small village was settled in large part by English Quakers whose peace testimony mandated that they not support any military actions. This put them in a difficult economic position when asked to sell their goods to the continental army. However, a chronic lack of funding made one’s willingness to sell a moot point. Private Joseph Plumb Martin, a continental soldier sent to Downings’ Town to forage in the winter of 1777, said in his diary that the process was “…nothing more nor less than to procure provisions from the inhabitants …at the point of the bayonet.”

The Continental army also looked to Pennsylvania to supply much needed iron. Thanks to local iron deposits there were more than 70 iron furnaces and forges operating in Pennsylvania during the war. Huge swaths of native forest were leveled to get the charcoal needed to keep these furnaces running. No forge or furnace operated in Downingtown. Roughly 20 miles north, Warwick Furnace was an important source of cannon, shot and musket repair for Washington and his troops.

In the background of Downings’ Town you see a furnace with the dramatic pile of slag created in the smelting process. The chaos of the furnace stands in sharp contrast to the peaceful gathering of people on the right. Humphry and Moses Marshall are engaged in casual conversation with a female member of the Downing family and a soldier from the Continental army. Humphry occasionally made trips to Downingtown to collect materials he was sending or receiving from Philadelphia, and it was in Downingtown that Moses met William Baldwin, his eventual protégé. In 1776, however, Moses had just begun studying to be a doctor, skills he would put to the test when caring for wounded soldiers after the Battle of the Brandywine.

The story of this painting is of the contrast between the peaceful aspirations of Quakers and the present reality of war. It also addresses the still present tension between the need for change and growth and the need to protect and preserve the environment. Humphry Marshall was observing, naming, planting and documenting the native trees and shrubs of Pennsylvania while the hungry expansion of industrialism altered the landscape forever.

Botanists in Bartram’s Garden

Botanists in Bartram’s Garden
Oil on Canvas
48 x 66 inches

For inquiries, please contact the artist at info@adrianmartinez.com or call 484-273-8352

Botanists in Bartram’s Garden

This painting portrays four men related by blood and connected, perhaps more closely, by their passion for botany. From left to right they are Moses Marshall, Humphry Marshall, William Bartram, and John Bartram. They all examine the clipped branch of the plant, Franklinia alatamaha. Behind them is a view of the house built by John Bartram, which still stands today next to his botanical garden in Philadelphia. This particular part of the house shows John Bartram’s peculiar and distinct sense of style.

Here, William and John Bartram stand side by side, portrayed at the age they would have been during a 1765 plant collecting trip. Although there is no documented meeting between these four men, they exchanged letters, plants and shared a European clientele for their respective businesses. The Humphry Marshall in this painting looks fixedly at the weathered face of John Bartram, eager to absorb all of the information he can from his older cousin. Moses gazes intently down at the plant, as if to memorize its every feature. William Bartram looks at the Franklinia with a vague sense of satisfaction, perhaps he knows he will save the species. John Bartram’s gaze is inward – he has achieved a great deal in his lifetime, not least of which is passing on his botanical knowledge and legacy to the younger generations.

The Franklinia is connected to both the Marshalls and the Bartrams. It was first observed by John Bartram in 1765 during a collecting trip near the Altamaha River in Georgia. He made note of its form, but was unable to collect a specimen. William Bartram, who had accompanied his father on that trip in 1765, returned to the Altamaha River in 1776 where he again found the plant. This time William collected seeds, which he planted in Philadelphia. The resulting plants finally flowered in 1781, four years after John Bartram’s death. Realizing that it was a unique species and genus, William named the plant after his father’s friend, Benjamin Franklin.

This single, successful collecting trip is responsible for the species surviving today. Franklinia was never found anywhere outside of that small patch along the Altamaha River. Humphry Marshall was the first to officially publish a record of the plant in his Arbustum Americanum, crediting its discovery to the Bartrams. Moses Marshall documented the last confirmed sighting of Franklinia in its’ native soil during an expedition to Georgia in 1790. Moses took quite a few specimens of the plant back to Marshall’s Garden, but sadly they either died or were too weak to produce viable seeds. Although there were unconfirmed sightings of Franklinia in the early 1800s, it was considered extinct in the wild soon after.

Portrait of Indian Hannah

Portrait of Indian Hannah
Oil on Canvas
66 x 48 inches

For inquiries, please contact the artist at info@adrianmartinez.com or call 484-273-8352.

Portrait of Indian Hannah

In this painting Indian Hannah is imagined at the end of her life, under a full moon, preparing what she knows will be one of her last ritual acts of reverence in her family’s graveyard, located on Abraham Marshall’s farm in a stand of ancient trees. Pictured immediately behind her, the last, great hemlock tree marking the graveyard has finally fallen. Around this “mother” tree, Hannah has gathered all of the branches that in the past would have been the mother tree’s children (and future Lenape) living where they always have and doing what they always did.

Hannah sits, completely absorbed in her purpose. Old flint arrowheads and knives are arranged on her dress. The arrowheads, mysterious and magical remnants of her peoples’ past, are to her, talismans, not the utilitarian bits of stone her ancestors crafted long ago. She prepares to make a sacred fire using a steel trade knife and an old flint spear point. As this fire consumes the tree and branches, all her tribe ever were or ever could be will be burned to ashes. Her figure is also seen in the distance, in the moonlight, walking to her makeshift bed in Humphry Marshall’s barn. She has been summoned to appear on the county courthouse steps the next morning. Her lifetime friend, Moses Marshall, Chester County Justice of the Peace, will officially take down her life story in preparation for her induction into the county poorhouse the following year. This is required by law to prove that she is a Chester County pauper and not some wandering indigent.

BRIEF HISTORY OF HANNAH FREEMAN

Hannah Freeman (we do not know her tribal name) was born in a cabin in Chester County sometime between 1720 and 1730. While her neighbors called her “Indian Hannah,” she referred to herself as Hannah Freeman. She was a member of the Lenape (Delaware) tribe, but by the time she was born, most of her people had already left the Brandywine Valley. Except for a seven-year period when she and her family were forced to flee the area due to the violent reprisals on all Indians after the French and Indian War, most of her life seems to have been spent quietly on the margins of the Quaker community in the Marshalltown area.

Growing up in what was already a hybrid culture, Hannah was raised by her mother, Sarah, and several aunts. Their primary source of income was as migrant farm labor for the local Quaker landowners which put them in a class of people that could have been legally described as vagabonds when harvest was over. The Marshalls and other locals also employed Hannah and her family as spinners, weavers, and at various other seasonal tasks, often providing living quarters along with the work. In the midst of these menial occupations, Hannah was occasionally sent for as a healer by the local community, who respected her skills. Native lore concerning medicinal plants, their preparation and uses was traditionally passed down through the female line by generations of tribal medicine women, and in her youth, Hannah was apparently singled out to receive this precious knowledge.

From the perspective of the Quaker/Anglo culture surrounding her, Hannah Freeman lived a conventional, if rather mean, material existence. She had odd jobs, planted small patches of corn, squash, and beans and raised a few pigs and cows. Though she is typical of the numerous people struggling to get by in the backcountry, Hannah Freeman saw herself as a person very much apart. Clinging to her seasonal rounds and other “heathenish” rituals, Hannah was described by a contemporary as grandly traveling along their roads as though she “was the queen of the whole neighborhood.” She seemed to be aware of a profound responsibility to her people – past, present and future – as a “place holder.” This proud sense of self-worth, regardless of how absurd it may have appeared to the whites, revealed a commitment to the belief that, despite everything, one day her people would return to the Brandywine River Valley.

Into the West

Into the West
Oil on Canvas
48 x 66 inches

For inquiries, please contact the artist at info@adrianmartinez.com or call 484-273-8352.

Into the West

In this painting Humphry Marshall stands on the edge of a precipice, looking out at the rugged beauty of the landscape as he devises a plan to explore the vast, untapped potential of the American wilderness. In the mid-1700s, America was dependent on many imported plants. Believing that the natural resources of the American continent could replace and even improve upon these imports, Humphry began to plan the details of an ambitious expedition that could benefit his fledging country.

Practical Quaker businessman that he was, Marshall contacted friends and acquaintances who had the influence and money to make his dream a reality. To populate his botanical garden, Humphry Marshall or his agents had made many collecting trips throughout the colonies. Moses, who had begun to work for his uncle full time, had been on an arduous months-long journey to Pittsburgh, begun in the summer of 1784, and had recently returned. Humphry approached Moses and his cousin William Bartram (who was a botanist and a highly skilled illustrator of plants and animals) with the idea of travelling even further west. Moses felt that ventures to even less inhabited areas would require greater planning and a sponsor. Humphry tried to drum up interest by contacting the American Philosophical Society through the help of his friend, Thomas Parke.

Humphry saw another opportunity in 1785 when his friend Benjamin Franklin was elected the President of Pennsylvania (equivalent to the Royal Governor). Franklin apparently was not receptive. Humphry then wrote to his friend Dr. John Coakley Lettsom, an English physician and philanthropist, who was interested in the potential of this trip. He also wrote to Joseph Banks, the president of the Royal Society of London, saying the trip would succeed if “met with proper encouragement.” In spite of these determined efforts, nothing materialized.

In May of 1792, Humphry Marshall received a letter from Dr. Caspar Wistar, a Quaker physician from Philadelphia, who asked if his nephew was interested in travelling west of the Mississippi since Thomas Jefferson and others were sponsoring a trip. Moses did not take advantage of the opportunity. Why he chose not to go is unknown, although the short lead time and his uncle’s failing eyesight may have influenced his decision.

We do know that Thomas Jefferson remained interested in funding a large expedition to the west. Twelve years later, as President of the United States, he commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the newly acquired territory of the Louisiana Purchase and to map a route across the western half of the continent. Lewis was the naturalist and he was tasked with studying, collecting and documenting the flora and fauna along the way. Sadly, Humphry Marshall did not live long enough to see his dream realized.

Susanna Wright and Deborah Logan

Susanna Wright and Deborah Logan
Oil on Canvas
66 x 48 inches

For inquiries, please contact us at info@adrianmartinez.com or by calling 484-273-8352.

Susanna Wright and Deborah Logan

This painting is an imaginative representation of two remarkable women, Susanna Wright (1697-1784) and Deborah Norris Logan (1761-1839). Deborah Norris Logan knew and admired Susanna Wright, but they were not close in age. However, they had much in common. Both were born into influential Quaker families, an “elite” who had wealth, political power, education and culture. Humphry Marshall as businessman, botanist and scientist was also an outstanding member of that elite. Susanna, by sheer force of her genius and leadership skills, became the unquestioned head of a brilliant family enterprise creating, on the very edge of the frontier, a prosperous business and community. Deborah Norris married the grandson of James Logan, a union of two of the leading Quaker families in Pennsylvania. She was known for her journal writing, poetry and for single-handedly preserving, organizing, copying, and eventually publishing four volumes of correspondence between James Logan and William Penn. She was the first woman accepted for membership into the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

On the left, Susanna is weighing a skein of blue silk of her own manufacture while holding a magnifying lens. Deborah, for the moment Susanna’s amanuensis (scribe), is taking down technical information or perhaps writing in her well-known journal. This type of grand manner painting is known as a “conversation piece.” Susanna Wright and Debora Logan are surrounded by objects of art, literature and science. The elaborate stage set functions as both portraiture and symbolism – implying that these women are also idealized personifications of the muses.  Since the Renaissance, artists have been challenged to depict their subjects in such a way that the objects around them reinforce their family prestige while making it clear that their superior intellectual and cultural accomplishments justify their privileged station in society.

The elite standing of these women is reinforced by the composition. Despite the implied movement of their gestures, they are actually static figures. Susanna Wright firmly anchors the left side of the painting with a severe verticality that makes clear her forceful and commanding personality. Deborah Norris Logan sits with pen poised, frozen in a moment of intense concentration while listening to her charismatic companion. The blue dress that lavishly cascades over her feet creates a stable pyramid which supports the visual tension and accents the reserve of the elegant writer. At the exact center of the painting, an early 1700s table top serves as a visual hub for objects radiating out in all directions, thus the explosion of iconic signs and symbols is kept in balance between these two remarkable people.

Drawing the Line

Drawing the Line
Oil on Canvas
48 x 66 inches

For inquiries, please contact the artist at info@adrianmartinez.com or call 484-273-8352.

Drawing the Line

After four years and 231 miles of relentlessly making their way west through the wilderness, the intrepid surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon had almost completed their task of mapping the boundary line between Pennsylvania and Maryland. On October 9, 1767, Mason and Dixon met with the chief of the Mohawks who let them know that no Indian escort would proceed with their party one step farther west.  Mason and Dixon pled their case to at least push on through the remaining distance to Pennsylvania’s western border, but to no avail. Although there were many months of hard work ahead of them, Mason, Dixon and their team had reached the end of the line which also ended, to all parties’ eventual satisfaction, the longest legal dispute in British history.

Mason and Dixon spent Christmas day in Philadelphia, meeting with the commissioners in charge of their project. They were given some additional tasks, one of which was to draw a map of the line. They chose to do so at the Harlan family farm in Chester County, the place where they spent every winter. Over the years, Mason, Dixon and the Harlan family had all become friends and this painting depicts the surveyors seated at a country table, surrounded by members of the Harlan family, drawing the line. In this congenial atmosphere, Charles Mason sits with quill pen in one hand, poised over the map and holding a bottle of ink in the other. With everyone listening intently, he describes a subtle point of surveying or perhaps he is relating a hair-raising adventure they survived in the wilderness. Jeremiah Dixon, a skilled draftsman and the primary map maker, seems to be bringing his friend’s attention back to the job at hand. The audience pictured in this drama is perhaps beginning to suspect the great historical significance of what Mason and Dixon have accomplished and that they have witnessed.