Amos Doolittle

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Amos Doolittle
Amos Doolittle lithograph.jpg
Lithograph of Doolittle, following Ralph Earl's portrait
Born(1754-05-18)May 18, 1754
DiedJanuary 30, 1832(1832-01-30) (aged 77)
Resting placeGrove Street Cemetery
41°18′49″N 72°55′32″W / 41.31374°N 72.92556°W / 41.31374; -72.92556
Known forEngraving
Spouse(s)Sally (unknown–1797);
Phebe Tuttle (1797–1825)
An engraving of George Washington created by Doolittle in 1794

Amos Doolittle (May 18, 1754 – January 30, 1832)[1] was an American engraver and silversmith, known as "The Revere of Connecticut."[2] His engravings included portraits and maps, made in his New Haven, Connecticut studio. He became famous for his four engravings depicting the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which were based on his first-hand reconnaissance of the battlefield.

Life and work[edit]

Born in Cheshire, Connecticut on May 18, 1754, Doolittle became skilled in copper engraving through self-teaching and apprenticeship.[3] His first published experiment with the medium began when he enlisted in the New Haven company of the Governor's Guards in 1775. Under the leadership of Captain Benedict Arnold, the company arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts ten days after the Battles of Lexington and Concord at the start of the Revolutionary War.[1] Upon arriving in Cambridge, Doolittle took leave to inspect the site of the battle accompanied by Ralph Earl. Doolittle interviewed colonial militants and residents to establish the scene while Earl surveyed the site and made drawings.[4] From these drawings, Doolittle made at least four engraved copper prints of the battle, which were advertised for sale in the December 1775 Connecticut Journal.[4]

The success of these prints marked the beginning of Doolittle's artistic career. He was sought out by many early Americans eager to learn the art of engraving, including James Wilson. Doolittle established a shop in New Haven, Connecticut, on the present-day site of Yale University's Old Campus, from where he created portraits, maps, and bookplates.[1] Doolittle died on January 30, 1832, and is buried in the Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven.[2] His younger brother Eliakim Doolittle (1772-1850) was a composer and schoolteacher.[5]



  1. ^ a b c Beardsley, William A. (1914). "An Old New Haven Engraver and His Work: Amos Doolittle". Papers of the New Haven Colony Historical Society. Vol. 8. New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor.
  2. ^ a b "A Chronicle of Eminent People buried in Grove Street Cemetery". Grove Street Cemetery. Friends of the Grove Street Cemetery. Archived from the original on September 18, 2010. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
  3. ^ Beardsley notes some learning from silversmith Eliakim Hitchcock of Cheshire.
  4. ^ a b Ryan, D. Michael (June–July 1999). "Doolittle Engraves April 19th for Posterity". Concord Magazine. Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  5. ^ Fawcett-Yeske, Maxine; Kroeger, Karl, eds. (2011). "Introduction to this volume". Eliakim Doolittle (1772–1850) and Timothy Olmsted (1759–1848): The Collected Works. Music of the New American Nation: Sacred Music from 1780 to 1820. Vol. 15. Routledge. pp. xxi–xxiv. ISBN 9781135623777.

Further reading[edit]

  • O'Brien, Donald C. (2008). Amos Doolittle: Engraver of the New Republic. Oak Knoll Press. ISBN 9781584562061.

External links[edit]