Skip to main content

Thurlow Weed

Chester Harding, 1 Sep 1792 - 10 Apr 1866
Thurlow Weed, 15 Nov 1797 - 22 Nov 1882
c. 1843
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 74.9 x 61cm (29 1/2 x 24")
Frame: 85.1 x 73 x 5.1cm (33 1/2 x 28 3/4 x 2")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Greene County, New York
From the 1830s until the Civil War Thurlow Weed was a dominant force in New York and American party politics, described by Henry Adams as "the model of political management and patient address." He entered politics through newspaper editing and writing, first becoming a supporter of New York governor DeWitt Clinton, and then rising to de facto leader of the Whig Party, signaled by effectively making William Seward governor of New York in 1838 and William Henry Harrison president in 1840. Weed dispensed favors and was not adverse to outright bribery, although he himself refused to profit from corruption. He spearheaded Zachary Taylor’s successful candidacy for president in 1848, but Taylor’s early death ruined Weed’s plans for maintaining the unity of the Whig Party. Weed then moved to the Republican Party, but his influence declined.
(Adams Davidson Galleries, Washington, D.C.); purchased 2005 NPG
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
American Origins
On View
NPG, East Gallery 136