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John Hanson


This three-quarter portrait, attributed to John Hesselius, features John Hanson (1721-1783) with hand in brown coat pocket. Hanson was born at "Mulberry Grove", the 1,000 acre tobacco plantation owned by his wealthy father in Port Tobacco Parish, Charles County, Maryland. He was educated and learned how to plant and manage the plantation. In 1750, he was appointed County Sheriff. Hanson later held the following political positions: Lower House, Charles County (1757-1763; 1765-1766; 1768-1769); Delegate, Continental Congress (1780-1782); Signer, Articles of Confederation (1781); President, Continental Congress (1781-1782). He married Jane Contee Hanson (1747-1781) around 1744 and they had eight children. After his resignation from the General Assembly in 1769, he sold the land in Charles County and moved his family near Frederick, Maryland. Hanson died at Oxon Hill Manor, in Prince George's County. At the time of his death, he owned over two hundred acres and eleven slaves.


circa 1770


Oil on canvas


25 x 29 inches

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Donor is Great-Great-Great Granddaughter of sitter. Sitter; his daughter Jane Contee Hanson Thomas (1747-1810; her husband Dr. Philip Thomas (1747-1815); his son John Hanson Thomas I (1779-1815); his son Dr. John Hanson Thomas II (1813-1881); to his son Douglas Hamilton Thomas (1847-1919); to daughter Alice Lee Whitridge Thomas Stevenson (1883-1972) (donor).

Credit Line

Bequest of Mrs. Alice Lee Thomas Stevenson

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.