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British Reactions to American Independence

At the outset of the American Revolution, colonial actions evoked both derision and curiosity in Great Britain. In its 1776 volume, London current-events magazine The Remembrancer printed the text of the Declaration of Independence, annotated with an anonymous author’s rebuttals to its “false representation…of the facts.” To satisfy demand for images of American generals—largely unknown to the British public—publishers produced fictitious portraits like this early engraving of Washington, which bears little resemblance to the man himself.

Declaration of Independence
Printed in The Remembrancer; or, Impartial Repository of Public Events
London: John Almon, 1776
Courtesy of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

George Washington, Esqr.
Engraved by unidentified artist, after Alexander Campbell
Mezzotint. London, 1775
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley DeForest Scott, 1985 [SC-3]






Ink on paper, mezzotint


Overall (H x W): 13 1/4 in. x 9 3/4 in. (33.66 cm x 24.77 cm)


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley DeForest Scott, 1985


Printed below image: "Done from an Original, Drawn from the life by Alexr Campbell of Williamsburgh in Virginia / GEORGE WASHINGTON. Esqr. / GENERAL and COMMANDER in CHIEF of the CONTINENTAL ARMY IN AMERICA. / published as the Act directs, 9 Spetr. 1775 by C. Sheppard."

Object Number



Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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