Object w/out socle: 54.6 x 38.1 x 1.6cm (21 1/2 x 15 x 5/8")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the National Museum of American History; gift of Elizabeth Porter Fearing
Born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Congress’ failure to recharter the Bank of the United States and the soaring inflation following the War of 1812 led merchants and many in government to call for a new national bank. The Second National Bank was chartered in 1816. In 1822 Nicholas Biddle was selected to be the bank’s president, which made him one of the most powerful men in the nation. He was able to guide the economy through a spectacular period of growth, but President Andrew Jackson viewed him as bending the acts of government for the “rich and powerful.” Jackson vetoed the bank’s charter in 1832.
Elizabeth Porter Fearing; gift to National Museum of American History; transferred to NPG 1971