Rev. Henry Mandeville

Portrait of Rev. Henry Mandeville.

Subject: Rev. Henry Mandeville
Date of Birth: March 6, 1804
Date of Death: 1873
Artist: E.D. Brown
Location: Buttrick Hall, Trustee Room

Sitter: Henry Mandeville was born in Kinderhook, New York on March 6, 1804. He graduated from Union College in 1826 with a focus in Theology. He was a moral philosophy and belles-lettres professor at Hamilton College from 1841-1849, where he was highly regarded by students and colleagues. He “gave form and integration to the public speaking department, set up a system of Chapel ‘rhetoricals’ that lasted for a century, and made Hamilton famous for a platform manner stressing conversational ease rather than unnatural theatrics”.[1]

Mandeville later became minister at several Presbyterian churches in Albany, New York, and Mobile, Alabama. After accepting the ministry in Mobile, he caught Yellow Fever and passed away. His ashes were buried in the Hamilton College Cemetery in 1873. Mandeville’s personal Bible is in the Rare Book Room at Hamilton College.

Artist: This painting was done by E.D. Brown of Utica whose son, John Henning Brown, graduated from Hamilton College in 1950. There is not much information on E.D. Brown, but it is interesting to note that The Hamilton Alumni review did not know who the artist was when publishing a piece on the portrait in 1912.

The Portrait at Hamilton: The review talks about how this portrait and one of Elihu Root were gifted to the school in 1912. This portrait was gifted to the school by Russell Richardson, ‘05, headmaster of Pasadena’s University School, and his wife Mrs. Richardson. Some people believe the painting was done during Dr. Mandeville’s pastorate in Albany’s Fourth Presbyterian Church.

The Alumni review did not know who the artist was upon publication, but The Hamilton College Archives recorded the artist as E.D. Brown of Utica. Hamilton Literary Monthly talks about Mandeville’s portrait and E.D. Brown when it says, “Whose traditional fame with the students of Hamilton gives increased value to one of the best efforts of Mr. E.D. Brown of Utica.”[2]

This portrait is an oil painting and was a gift from Russell Richardson and his wife, Mrs. Richardson, who was granddaughter of Dr. Mandeville’s son, Dorrance Kirtland Mandeville, ‘49. Dorrance Kirtland Mandeville was a wartime surgeon in Confederate hospitals and built homes on Clinton’s “Christmas Hill.” It was always planned to be hung in the Trustees’ Room in Buttrick Hall.

The portrait was treated in 1999 after being stored for extended time before restoration funds were available. Substance grime was removed with pluronic solution to expose an uneven varnish layer. The varnish was evened, and a protective backing board was added. It was then flattened and supported with a lining. The portrait was reinstalled in Buttrick Trustee Room in 2005.

1. Hamilton College Alumni Review 15 (1950): 85.

2. Hamilton Literary Monthly 4 (July 1869): 42.


“Virtual American Biographies.” Henry Mandeville. Accessed May 08, 2019.

Hamilton Alumni Review: Volume XII (1947), p. 61, 114

Hamilton Alumni Review, Volume XV (1950), p. 85

Hamilton College Archives, Accession #0000.373, College Portraits Card Index

Wellin Archives