American Paintings and Sculpture
Artist: John Trumbull, American, 1756–1843

William Loughton Smith (1758–1812)


Oil on wood

3 3/4 × 3 in. (9.5 × 7.6 cm)
Gift of Herbert L. Pratt

William Loughton Smith, a lawyer and planter from South Carolina, served five terms in Congress and acted as Charleston’s agent in 1792 when the city commissioned John Trumbull to paint a full-length portrait of George Washington. As a member of Congress, Smith joined other Southerners to quash antislavery petitions. In the 1790s, the arch-Federalist Smith wrote pamphlets critiquing his party’s political rival, Thomas Jefferson. Trumbull painted this miniature of Smith in Philadelphia for the unexecuted painting The Inauguration of the President.

Made in United States
On view
18th century

Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 102, no. 44, ill.

Helen A. Cooper et al., John Trumbull: The Hand and Spirit of a Painter (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1982), 141, pl. 81-85.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.