Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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DANFORTH, Moseley Isaac, engraver, born in Hartford, Connecticut, 7 December 1800; died in New York City, 19 January 1862. He became a pupil of the Hartford graphic company in 1818, where he acquired a knowledge of bank-note engraving, and three years later settled in New Haven. Here he executed a plate after Raphael Morghen's engraving of the "Parce somnum rumpere," which was so well done that the publisher refrained from printing it for years, intending to dispose of the proofs as genuine Morghens. Subsequently he came to New York and studied drawing, meanwhile continuing the practice of his art. He was one of the founders of the New York drawing association in 1825, and in January 1826, of the National academy of design. His large, full-length engraving of "Lafayette" was completed at this time, and secured him a cordial welcome by the artists of London on his arrival in England in 1827. For ten years he resided in London, studying in the Royal academy, where his drawings from the Elgin marbles were much admired, and enjoying the friendship of Thomas Lawrence, Charles R. Leslie, Stewart Newton, and David Wilkie. Several of his best-known engravings were made during this period, including the " Sentry-Box" after Leslie, portraits of Washington Irving and Sir Walter Scott by the same artist, and " Don Quixote," although most of his work while in London seems to have been given to smaller plates for books. On his return to New York he engraved vignettes for bank-notes, and subsequently became partner in a bank-note engraving firm, which in 1858 was merged in the American bank-note company, of which corporation he was vice-president at the time of his death. His work was characterized by extraordinary finish and exquisite delicacy of tint.
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