Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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NEWSAM, Albert, artist, born in Steubenville, Ohio, 20 May. 1809; died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 20 November, 1864. He was born deaf and dumb, and his father, a boatman on the Ohio river, was drowned soon after his birth. The boy manifested a taste for drawing in his early childhood, and when about ten years old was taken to Philadelphia by a travelling mute who became interested in him. He reached that city in the spring of 1820, and while making a street sketch in chalk attracted the attention of Bishop White, who was president of the newly founded institution for the deaf and dumb. The bishop took charge of the boy, and on 15 May, 1820, he was admitted to the institution. His artistic taste was developed by its directors, who placed him with George Catlin, the portrait-painter, and Hugh Bridport, the miniature-painter, for instruction. When he was seventeen years old he was placed with Cephas G. Childs, the engraver and partner of Henry Inman in the lithographic business, where he remained for four years, here he learned the art of drawing upon stone for lithography, in which he became justly celebrated as the most skilful and faithful lithographic portrait draughtsman this country has yet produced. One of his earliest attempts was a portrait of his benefactor, Bishop White, for the institution that had fostered him. His most important works, for size, subject, and execution, are his portraits of Chief-Justice Marshall and William Rawle, the elder, both after paintings by Henry Inman.
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