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William Gilliland (1734-1796)

Object Name: Portrait
Date: 1789
Related People:
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 30 × 25 in. (76.2 × 63.5 cm)
Credit Line: Bequest of Mrs. Charlotte E. Draper
Object Number: 1910.1
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A native of Ireland, Gilliland enlisted as a young man in the British army. By 1754 he was already in the Colonies, serving in the French and Indian Wars. A few years later he established himself as a merchant in New York and began to purchase real estate, acquiring enormous acreage in Vermont where he established a settlement called Milltown. This portrait was painted in New York presumably while the artist was in debtor's prison.