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Christopher Hughes, Jr.


Oil on canvas portrait painting of "Christopher Hughes, Jr.", 1823, by Martin Archer Shee. Hughes was born in Baltimore and was the son of prominent silversmith Christopher Hughes, Sr. (1745-1824). He was one of nine children that included Louisa Hughes (1787-1861), who married Major George Armistead (1780-1818), commander of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Hughes received a law degree from Princeton in 1809. In 1811, he married Laura Sophia Smith (1792-1832), who was the daughter of General Samuel Smith (1752-1839). He received a commission as a captain in 1813 and served in the Baltimore Independent Artillerists, 1st Regiment Maryland Artillery, Maryland Militia. Hughes defended Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore (1814). After leaving the militia, he was appointed to an American delegation that traveled to Ghent, Belgium in order to negotiate peace and commerce with Great Britain. This became known as the Treaty of Ghent. Upon his return, he served in the Maryland House of Delegates (1815-1816) before President Monroe appointed him U.S. Minister to Sweden from 1817-1825. It was during this appointment that he visited London and sat for British portrait painter Martin Archer Shee (1769-1850). Hughes was then appointed U.S. Minister to the Netherlands from 1826-1830 by President John Quincy Adams. He was returned to the minister posting in Sweden again from 1830-1842. Finally, his last diplomatic posting was a return as minister to the Netherlands from 1842-1845. After his replacement, he retired to Baltimore and is buried in Green Mount Cemetery.




Oil on canvas


25 x 29.875 inches

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Credit Line

Bequest of Christopher Hughes, Jr.

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.