American Revolution Museum at Yorktown Artifact Gallery
Nearly 500 objects made and used during the second half of the 18th century are on exhibit throughout the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown galleries. A sampling of the museum’s collection of more than 1,300 artifacts of the American Revolution and early national periods – including documents, paintings, engravings, military equipment, tools, personal effects and furnishings – is presented here.
Statue of George Washington
Statue of George Washington, William James Hubard after Jean Antoine Houdon. This mid-19th-century plaster copy of Houdon’s marble statue that currently resides at the Virginia State Capitol, was exhibited at the U.S. Capitol in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, circa 1733
Portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, by William Hoare, circa 1733, is one of eht eearilest known portraits done from life of an African who had been enslaved int he British colonies that became the United States of America. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation collection.
Portrait of King George III
Portrait of King George III in coronation robes, from the studio of Allan Ramsay, who served as Principal Painter in Ordinary at the royal court. The oil-on-canvas painting with the original 18th-century gilt frame is one of several done by the studio between 1762 and 1784.
Charles Cornwallis, by Daniel Gardner, early 1780s
Portrait of Charles Cornwallis, commander of British troops at the 1781 siege of Yorktown, by Daniel Gardner, 1780s.
Declaration of Independence broadside, July 1776
An early broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence printed in Boston soon after the Declaration was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, c. 1800
Portrait of Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, an American who joined the British side during the Revolution and was one of the most prominent scientists of the late 18th century, by an unknown artist, dating to circa 1800.
Frontispiece of Phyllis Wheatley Poems on Various Subjects, c. 1773
Frontispiece of the Phillis Wheatley volume, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, circa 1773, First Edition.
Benjamin Franklin Portrait Medallion
Portrait medallion of Benjamin Franklin, produced by Jean-Baptiste Nini in 1777 while Franklin was serving as an American representative in France, where he had a key role in persuading the French to aid the American cause.
Lord Rodneys flagship Formidable
"Lord Rodney's flagship Formidable breaking through the French line at the battle of the Saintes, 12th April, 1782," painted between 1784 and 1787 by Lieutenant William Elliott of the Royal Navy.
Tobias Lear dome trunk, circa 1773
Small wooden dome trunk owned by Continental Navy shipbuilder Captain Tobias Lear, circa 1773.
Wedgwood cameo medallion, circa 1790
A Wedgwood antislavery medallion, circa 1790, depicts a manacled slave surrounded by the motto, “AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER?”
Portrait of Louis XVI, King of France
Portrait of Louis XVI, King of France, attributed to the studio of Count Joseph Boze. The 16- by 13-inch portrait is a variation of Boze's original done in 1784.
Creamware jug, circa 1770s
Creamware jug dating to the 1770s decorated with the inscriptions “God Speed the Plow” and “Success to the Grain Return’d.”
Wood desk, or bureau, circa 1790s
Wood desk, or bureau, made in the 1790s in the mid-Atlantic region, featuring American eagle inlays adapted from the Great Seal of the United States on the exterior side of its fall-front.
American eagle detail on 1790s bureau
Detail of the American eagle inlay on the 1790s bureau.
Daniel Morgan miniature portrait
Miniature portrait of Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan, set in a gilt case, engraved on the back with the initials "D.M." The miniature of Morgan, renowned for defeating the British at the Battle of Cowpens in 1781, closely resembles a portrait painted about 1794 by Charles Willson Peale and was likely painted by Peale's brother James.
Iron slave shackles
Iron shackles manufactured in Africa for use in the transatlantic slave trade. Shackles of this type, called “bilboes,” have been found by underwater archaeologists on slave shipwrecks dating from the 16th through the 18th centuries.
Silver and brass gorget, late 18th century
Gorget with silver bear symbol, American, late 18th century. This gorget was made by a silversmith in Albany, New York, and probably was intended as a symbolic gift to ensure good diplomatic or trade relationships with an Iroquois leader.
A 26-inch-tall doll from Chalkley Farm in southern England, 18th century
A 26-inch-tall doll from Chalkley Farm in southern England, circa 18th century. English dolls were a popular luxury trade commodity in Revolutionary-era America and are depicted in portraits of prosperous American children.
Continental Congress Pamphlet, 1774
Extracts from the Votes and Proceedings of the American Continental Congress, a pamphlet published by William and Thomas Bradford in Philadelphia in 1774. The First Continental Congress, which met in 1774, sought the repeal of the Intolerable Acts, a series of measures meant to reform colonial government and restore British authority after the Boston Tea Party, and approved the Declaration of Rights, a precurser to the Declaration of Independence.
American silver-hilted, eagle-pommel sword, circa 1776
An American silver-hilted, eagle-pommel sword. The scabbard mount is marked by the maker, Richard Humphreys of Philadelphia, and is dated 1776. The sword belonged to Captain William McKissack, an officer who fought in the Revolutionary War.
'End of Pain' British halfpenny, 18th century
An 18th-century British halfpenny token bearing the image of a man strung upon the gallows on one side with the slogan "End of Pain," a reference to the banished political theorist and British radical, Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense.
Brass surveyor's compass, late 18th century
Brass surveyor's compass, made by Goldsmith Chandlee in Winchester, Virginia, late 18th century. Surveyors mapped small claims of land as well as huge speculative parcels that pushed the frontier west toward the Blue Ridge Mountains and beyond after the Revolution.
George Washington epaulette star, circa 1799
Silver-embroidered epaulette star, 1798-99, made for George Washington's last uniform after he left the presidency and was re-appointed as commanding general of the new United States Army.
James River Bank note, 1773
A James River Bank note adapted by the Virginia government for use as official currency. Issued in 1773, the note was signed by Peyton Randolph, the first president of the Continental Congress, John Blair and Robert Carter Nicholas.
Firing Glass inscribed ‘Success to Trade,’ English, circa 1765
Firing Glass inscribed "Success to Trade," English, circa 1765. The firing glass, often inscribed with a motto, was a type of drinking glass used for delivering toasts. "Success to Trade" was a popular sentiment on both sides of the Atlantic.
Mahogany or rosewood octant with brass fittings, circa 1750-60
Mahogany or rosewood octant with brass fittings, circa 1750-60, likely the work of English instrument makers Benjamin Cole senior or junior. The octant is a type of navigational instrument that would have been used on transatlantic voyages in the 18th century.