Archives and Manuscript Repository for the Continuing Presbyterian Church

Rev. Alexander McLeod : Two Portraits Compared.



Two portraits of the Rev. Alexander McLeod, both painted by the renowed firm of Waldo and Jewett, with that on the right having been engraved by A.H. Ritchie in order to be used as the frontispiece portrait in the Memoir of the Rev. Alexander McLeod (New York: Charles Scribner, 1855). The portrait used for the Memoir would seem to be one executed perhaps five to ten years later in the life of Rev. McLeod. If that guess is correct, the portrait on the left could have been painted circa 1818-1823, when Rev. McLeod was in his mid-40's, while the portrait on the right would have been painted when he was in his early to mid-50's. Rev. McLeod died at the age of 59.

The artist Samuel Waldo began his association with William Jewett in 1818 and the firm existed for 36 years, continuing up until Jewett's retirement in 1854. As Rev. McLeod died in 1833, both portraits would have been done within the first fifteen years of the firm's existence. "As a team, it is generally believed that Waldo painted the head and hands of their subjects, while Jewett filled in the clothing and draperies."