Lot 1
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Paul Revere

150,000 - 200,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Paul Revere
  • The Bloody Massacre (Brigham Plate 14)
  • engraving with hand-coloring
Engraving with hand-coloring, 1770, the hands on the clock at upper left reading 10:20 (Brigham cites a variant with the time being 8:00), on laid paper with the watermark "W", with margins, framed


Provenance: John Fremont Hill, 45th Governor of Maine (from 1901 - 1905), descendant through the John Hill family of Dover, NH and residents of Maine since 1696 when Joseph Hill, son of John, purchased land in Kittery.


By descent to the present owner

Catalogue Note

Prior to his service in politics, John Fremont Hill established the successful Vickery and Hill Publishing Company, which quickly expanded to several major cities.  After building his capital, Hill entered politics in 1888 as a member of the Maine House of Representatives.  His political career continued in several capacities, culminating in his service of two terms as Governor of Maine from 1901 to 1905.  The Bloody Massacre is documented in estate files as having hung in the governor's mansion (built by Hill upon entering office) in Augusta, Maine.  Following his terms in office, Hill maintained a political presence, serving on the Republican National Committee from 1908 to his death in 1912.  The print was inherited by his son-in-law John Merrill and his daughter Katharine Hill Merrill, who maintained residence in the governor's mansion until the 1960s.  It then descended to their daughter, Mary Merrill of Saco, Maine, who owned it until 2005 when it passed to her nephew, the present owner.


The Hill family lineage extends back to the early New England settlers of the mid 17th century.  The John Hill family strain maintained residence in Maine from 1696 and is likely related to the Valentine Hill family of New Hampshire and traceable to this period.  Genealogical documents cite the NH Hills as prominent citizens, with descendants serving as a militia captain and a soldier in the revolution.  Unfortunately, the nature of John Fremont Hill's original acquisition of the Bloody Massacre is unknown; whether he purchased the engraving himself or inherited it through the Hill family line.  However, the strong patriotic overtones of Revere's interpretation likely struck a chord with the civic commitments of the former governor.