JOHN DOUGHTY was born in New York City on 25 July 1754; was graduated from King's College (Columbia University) in 1770; entered military service through New Jersey state channels, January 1776; served as adjutant general of two Morris County battalions; was appointed captain-lieutenant of the Eastern Artillery Company of New Jersey, March 1776; became captain in the 2d Continental Artillery, January 1777; served as aide to Major General Philip Schuyler; was assigned to command the New York State company of artillery, March 1777; participated in the battles of Brandywine (1777), Germantown (1777), Monmouth (1778), Springfield (1780), and Yorktown (1781); was appointed brigade major of the Corps of Artillery, 1779; was appointed fort major for the West Point garrison, 1782; was transferred to the Corps of Artillery, June 1783, and promoted to brevet major in September; became the Army's ranking officer following the discharge from the Army of all but eighty men, June 1784; was the senior officer of the United States Army, 20 June-12 August 1784; superintended the construction of Fort Harmar (1785) and Fort Washington (1789) on the Ohio frontier; was designated major of the Battalion of Artillery, 1789; was dispatched by President Washington to the frontier to negotiate with the Choctaw Nation for trading post sites, 1789; repelled with serious losses an attack by Cherokee, Shawnee, and Creek Indians while leading a detachment up the Tennessee River on a negotiating mission to the Chickasaw Nation, 1790; declined a proffered appointment as lieutenant colonel of the 2d Infantry, after which he retired from the Army, March 1791; was appointed brigadier general of artillery, 2d Division, New Jersey Militia, 1793; was appointed lieutenant colonel, 2d Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers, as war with France threatened, June 1798; resigned and returned to private life on his estate at Morristown, New Jersey, to engage in agriculture and pursue literary studies, May 1800; died there on 16 September 1826.

The Artist

In 1935 Major Thomas Bennett Woodburn (1893-1980), editor and art director of Recruiting News, drew a sketch of Captain John Doughty for the magazine's cover for a series on the service's senior officers. Woodburn worked from a tiny engraving and brief description of Doughty in an unlocated book about the Revolution. Despite a wide search, no other likeness of Doughty has been found. Thus the Army commissioned Janet Ruth Mary Fitzgerald (1949- ), a native of Lewiston, Maine, to paint a portrait after the Woodburn sketch to represent Doughty in the line of succession. Miss Fitzgerald is no stranger to the field of military art. A graduate of the Columbus (Ohio) College of Art and Design with a bachelor of fine arts degree, she served a five-year tour in the Army (1976-1981) as an illustrator and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for her work. In 1979 she was selected, in Army-wide competition, to be a member of the Army Artist Team, and executed twenty works on Army Engineer subjects and a dozen on women in the Army. Her portrait of Lt. Col. John Doughty is reproduced from the Army Art Collection.


Painting:  John Doughty.  By Janet R. M. Fitzgerald after Thomas B. Woodburn.

John Doughty
By Janet R. M. Fitzgerald after Thomas B. Woodburn
Oil on canvas, 30" x 25", 1982


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Last updated 24 February 2006