Record 17: Portrait of Benami Stone Garland
Portrait of Benami Stone Garland CRS # 17
Copyright©2014 George Caleb Bingham Catalogue Raisonne Supplement
Fred R. Kline, M.A., Editor & Director, Independent Art Historian
Kline Art Research Associates 7 Ave. Vista Grande, Ste. B7 Santa Fe, NM 87508
Artist: George Caleb Bingham, American, 1811-1879
Title: PORTRAIT OF BENAMI STONE GARLAND
Born 1809, Amherst County near Lynchburg, VA; Died 1882, Lynchburg, VA
Born in Virginia, son of James Parker Garland, a wealthy and prominent resident of Lynchburg. Benami Stone Garland lived most of his life in Missouri, likely in the St. Louis area. He came to Missouri from Virginia in early manhood and was characterized by occupation as a “Planter”. His family in America dates to the late 17th century and the emigrant John Garland (1680-1734). Married Isabella Jane Cresap, 1826; no children are noted.
There is good evidence that Garland was a slave chaser, a bounty hunter in the debt collection business which contributed to his moving to St. Louis. Garland is mentioned in the records of the notorious 1857 Dred Scott case (Dred Scott v. Sandford) in which African-Americans were denied American citizenship, a case now widely regarded by scholars as the worst decision ever made by the U.S. Supreme Court. Garland is also mentioned in the records of Joshua Grover, a runaway slave who had escaped to Wisconsin.
No record of Garland’s military service with the Confederacy or his further life has been located. Garland’s brother-in-law Charles Rice Slaughter signed Virginia’s Ordinance of Secession; Slaughter’s first cousin Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland, Jr. of the Confederacy was killed at the Battle of Antietam.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 30 x 25 inches
Date: Painted in St. Louis, 1835 (as inscribed on the note in the painting)
Condition: Conservation by noted conservator Charles Olin (1973)
Collections: By descent in the family to Katherine Garland Diggs and traditionally attributed to Bingham; donated 1970s to City of Lynchburg, Virginia and “Point of Honor” (an historic Garland home and Lynchburg museum)
Exhibitions: City of Lynchburg Museum System: “Point of Honor” Collection
Publications: George Caleb Bingham Catalogue Raisonne Supplement: CRS #17 (2014)
Note: E. Maurice Bloch was not aware of this painting and consequently did not mention or include it in his 1986 Catalogue Raisonne.