Christopher Colles (1738-1816)

Object Number: 
ca. 1812
Oil on canvas
Overall: 12 x 10 in. ( 30.5 x 25.4 cm )
Gallery Label: 
An engineer and inventor, Colles was born in Dublin, Ireland, but came to New York in 1765. He is probably best remembered today for his "Survey of the Roads of the United States of America," published in 1789.
Colden, Cadwallader D., Memoir, Prepared at the Request of a Committee of the Common Council of the City of New York and Presented to the Mayor of the City at the Celebration of the Completion of the New York Canals, New York: W.A. Davis, 1825, pp. 20-1. Dunlap, William and van der Donck, Adriaen, History of the New Netherlands, Province of New York, and State of New York, Vol. 1, New York: Carter & Thorp, 1839, p. 475. Francis, John W., "Reminiscences of Christopher Colles," The Knickerbocker Gallery: A Testimonial to the Editor of the Knickerbocker Magazine From Its Contributors, New York: Samuel Hueston, 1855, pp. 189-208. Lossing, Benson J., "Christopher Colles," Our Countrymen: or Brief Memoirs of Eminent Americans, New York: Ensign, Bridgman & Fanning, 1855, pp. 235-6. Catalogue of the Museum and Gallery of Art of The New-York Historical Society, New York, The New-York Historical Society, 1866, p. 10. Tuckerman, Henry T., Book of Artists, New York: P. Putnam & Son, 1867, pp. 57, 621. O'Reilly, Henry, "Materials for Telegraph History: Part II, Christopher Colles and the First Proposal of a Telegraph System in the United States," The Historical Magazine, Vol. V, no. 4, April, 1869, pp. 262-9. Stevens, John Austin, "Christopher Colles: The First Projector of Inland Navigation in America," The Magazine of American History, Vol. II, 1878, pp. 340-8. Colles, Ramsay, "The Family of Colles in United States," In Castle and Court House: Being Reminiscences of 30 Years in Ireland, London: T. Werner Laurie, 1911, pp. 283-91. Catalogue of the Gallery of Art of The New York Historical Society, New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1915, p. 13. "An Outline History of New York's Water Supply," The New-York Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin, Vol. 1, no. 3, October 1917, pp. 62-70. "Easy Pipeline Projects: Christopher Colles' Water-Works," Twenty-Third Annual Report of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, 1918, Albany: J.B. Lyon Company, 1918, pp. 687-702. Bolton, Theodore, "John Wesley Jarvis," Early American Portrait Painters in Miniature, New York: Frederic Fairchild Sherman, 1921, pp. 87-9. Kelby, William, Notes on American Artists 1754-1820: Copied from advertisements appearing in the newspapers of the day, New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1922, p. 61. Harrington, John Walker, "John Wesley Jarvis, Portraitist," The American Magazine of Art, Vol. 18, no. 11, November 1927, pp. 577-84. Bolton, Theodore, and Groce, George C., Jr., "John Wesley Jarvis: An Account of His Life and the First Catalogue of His Work, Art Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 4, Autumn 1938, pp. 299-321. Catalogue of American Portraits in The New-York Historical Society: Oil Portraits, Miniatures, Sculptures, New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1941, pp. 60-1. Dickson, Harold E., John Wesley Jarvis: American Painter, 1780-1840, New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1949, pp. ix, 349, 423. Catalogue of American Portraits in The New-York Historical Society, Vol. 2, New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1974, p. 158.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group