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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CUMMINGS, Thomas Seir, painter, born in England in 1804. He came to New York in infancy, entered his father's counting-room, studying art in his spare hours, and afterward pursued his studies with Henry Inman. He worked at his profession, that of miniature portrait painting, until the introduction of photography, numbering among his sitters many distinguished persons. He was one of the founders of the National academy in 1826, was an early vice-president, and its treasurer in 1840-'5. The schools of the academy owe most of their perfection to him, and he was the instructor of many who afterward became prominent artists. Mr. Cummings was for a long time connected with the militia, commanded a regiment for several years, and in 1838 was commissioned brigadier-general by Governor Seward. About 1866 he retired to a farm in Connecticut. He published "Historic Annals of the National Academy from its Foundation to 1865" (Philadelphia, 1865).
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