oil on canvas - image: 12" x 16" - framed: 18" x 22"
Notes: Dr. Augustus C. Hamlin was a key figure in the historical Maine of the 1800s (see biography below). This wonderful painting has a stencil on the back of the canvas that dates this work between 1846-1857. The frame is original and perhaps one of the finest examples of a mid-1800s period Maine frame as you will ever find. It is constructed using tiger oak with inlaided ornate gesso bands. It is signed indistictly (lower right corner), and signed/inscribed on the back of the stretcher 'A. C. Hamlin, Bangor'. It was once owned by the Bangor & Portland Railroad and may have been a commissioned work that was done as a promotional painting. During this period Railroads often enlisted the help of artists to paint romantic scenes of the countryside through which the trains passed. This particular painting depicts the Mount Katahdin basin with several indians on horseback (lower left side). Hamlin exhibited a painting titled "Mount Katahdin" at the prestigious National Academy of Design in New York City in 1859 and this very well be that piece.
AUGUSTUS CHOATE HAMLIN (1829-1905), American
(painter, author, illustrator)
Augustus Choate Hamlin (1829-1905) was born in Columbia, Maine on August 28, 1829. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1851 and from Harvard Medical School in 1857. After studying in Europe for two years, he returned to Bangor to practice medicine. In April, 1861, he entered the Civil War as assistant surgeon of the Second Maine Brigade, was promoted in 1862 to brigade surgeon, and in 1863 became a medical inspector. He served in the army during the entire war He was entrusted with important commands in the Army of the Potomac, as Medical Director, and in the Army of Western Virginia. He was afterward promoted to one of the highest positions, that of Medical Inspector, in the staff of the regular army; and served with distinction in the Army of the South during the famous siege of Fort Wagner, and was afterwards assigned to the armies of the Southwest under the command of Major General [Henry] Thomas. Dr. Hamlin is a man of high scientific attainments, and is a member of numerous scientific societies, both at home and abroad. - N. Y. Medical Record." (May 15, 1883, Oxford Democrat).
Later in Bangor, Dr. Hamlin served as the Surgeon-General of Maine from 1882 to 1886, on the staff of Gov. Robie, and is known as one of the most distinguished medical officers in New England history. He served also as Mayor of Bangor from 1879 to 1880. In addition he was an ardent salmon fisherman, and a lover of gem minerals. He purchased the Mount Mica farm in Oxford County, Maine in order to mine the pegmatite there, and assembled the finest collection of its specimens known in the 1880's.
Hamlin was also an accomplished artist. He exhibited a painting titled "Mount Katahdin" at the prestigious National Academy of Design in New York City in 1859.
He made small watercolor paintings of many of his tourmaline crystals, and published them in two books about Maine tourmaline: The Tourmaline (1873) and The History of Mount Mica (1895), was the author of "History of Andersonville "(Boston, 1866), and "Leisure Horn's Among the Gems" (1884)..
The originals of most of these paintings are preserved in the Harvard Mineralogical Museum. The is also a small chromolithograph of his painting of a Ceylon sapphire crystal from his collection in a third book of his: Leisure Hours Among the Gems (1891). He also contributed articles on "Alimentation," "Transfusion," "Transmission of Diseases," "Tetanus," and other subjects to the medical journals.
Augustus Choate Hamlin died in Bangor, Maine November 18, 1905 and is buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Bangor, Maine.