William Joseph Williams

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For other people named William Williams, see William Williams (disambiguation).

William Joseph Williams (November 17, 1759 – November 30, 1823) was an American painter. He was born in New York City, the son of William Williams, a painter born in Bristol, and Mary Mare Williams, sister of the painter John Mare. Today, Williams is widely regarded as the first American portraitist.

Williams resided in New Bern, North Carolina from 1804 to 1823, after living in Philadelphia, Georgetown, and Charleston.

He painted portraits of Presidents Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, as well as other important figures of this time.

Williams died in New Bern and buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery.[1]


  1. ^ Survey Planning Unit Staff (September 1972). "Cedar Grove Cemetery" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places – Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 

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