Samuel Humes portrait by Jacob Eicholtz


Jacob Eicholtz (1776-1842) is a famous portrait and prolific painter from early 1800’s Philadelphia.  He grew up in the Lancaster PA area.  His paintings can be found in museums including the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  This is a painting of Samuel Humes from the Metropolitan. He painted portraits of some of the presidents, including George Washington and James Buchanan. He painted portraits of the Steele family which are in the Smithsonian, and a large number of Lancaster residents.

To introduce the Humes and Samuel Humes to Abbott cousins, the grandfather of both John Steele Abbott and Theodore Schwan Abbott was John Steele.  John Steele’s parents were James Steele and Mary Humes.  She is buried in St. Paul not in the Steele “plot” but in the Sibley “plot” because her daughter Sarah Jane Steele married Henry H. Sibley (first governor of Minnesota).

Mary’s parents were James Humes (1757-1824) and Elizabeth Hamilton (1761-1827).  The Samuel Humes in this painting is either James’ brother Samuel (1755-1836), as understood by the Met catalog, or his son Samuel (1789-1852).  The younger Samuel was a doctor (as was John Steele) and the first president of the Pennsylvania Medical society.

The older Samuel Humes was married to Mary Hamilton (1757-1822), the sister of Elizabeth Hamilton.  Her portrait was also painted by Eicholtz and here are some links (DAR Museum Facebook Page 4/22/2016 discussing linen and lace)  (will update when a better link is found).

Links to the Samuel Humes painting include (Samuel Humes & Metmuseum) , (book reference) , and (detailed blog post by Patricia Mossart)  . It is also possible to buy a Samuel Humes poster online at Walmart or Amazon (Amazon example) .

Moving away form the painting to family history,the Humes and Hamiltons were part of a group of Scotch-Irish families in the Lancaster-Philadelphia area.  The McClungs (John Steele’s wife was Annie McClung) were also Scotch-Irish. The family histories are all intertwined.

The Humes family has roots in the Borders Region of Scotland. This branch moved to the Armagh/Fermanagh region of Northern Ireland in the 1600s.  James and the older Samuel had come over from Northern Ireland with two other brothers, Thomas William (1768-1816) and John (1752-1824).  Thomas William Humes travelled down to Knoxville Tennesee and his son Thomas W. Humes (1815-1892) was the first president of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. A descendent of Thomas W. Humes wrote a detailed Humes history.

The history of the family before they came to America is fuzzy.

The family name in Northern Ireland and Scotland is Hume or Home. The tradition is that Samuel Humes of the portrait changed the family name from Hume to Humes because they were related to the famous writer, philosopher, and free-thinker David Hume and wanted to separate themselves from his opinions.

In progress…


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