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date: 07 May 2021

Peale, Charles Willsonlocked

(15 April 1741–22 February 1827)
  • Lillian B. Miller


Peale, Charles Willson (15 April 1741–22 February 1827), artist and museum founder, was born Charles Wilson Peale in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, the son of Charles Peale and Margaret Triggs Mathews. (Charles Willson Peale added the second “l” to Wilson after 1762; the spelling became permanent after 1767 when he relinquished all expectations of inheriting the Wilson estate in England.) A Cambridge-educated member of the English gentry and clerk in the General Post Office, Peale’s father was found guilty in 1735 of the capital crime of forgery and, his sentence mitigated, was exiled to the American colonies. He became a schoolmaster in Annapolis, Maryland, married, and in December 1742 moved the family to Chestertown in Kent County, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore....

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