Henry Lewis Stimson

HENRY LEWIS STIMSON was born in New York City on 21 September 1867; lost his mother when he was eight and lived with grandparents; was educated at Andover, 1880–1884, Yale University, 1884–1888, and Harvard Law School, 1888–1890; entered the law firm of Root and Clark, 1891; married Mabel Wellington White, 1893; moved up through political circles to a seat on the New York County Republican committee; established a law partnership with Bronson Winthrop, 1899; was U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, 1906–1909; was an unsuccessful candidate for governor, 1910; served as Secretary of War, 22 May 1911–4 March 1913; enlarged upon troop and administrative reorganizations begun by Secretary Root; sponsored a peacetime Army based upon divisional rather than regimental organization; asserted the authority of the Secretary and the Chief of Staff over bureau heads by relieving the Adjutant General from active duty for insurbordination; ordered troops to the Mexican border, 1913. (For details of Stimson’s second term as Secretary of War and his later life, see page 126.)

The Artist

Julius Gari Melchers (1860–1932) was born in Detroit, Michigan, and studied art at the Dusseldorf Academy in Germany and under Jules Lefebvre and Gustave Boulanger at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, France. In addition to portraits, Melchers excelled in religious paintings, mural decorations, and genre pictures, especially of Dutch peasant life. His portrait of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt is in the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.; a mural, "Peace and War," is in the Library of Congress. Melchers’s portrait of Secretary Stimson, painted from life, represents a notable departure from traditional style.


Portrait, Henry Lewis Stimson

Taft Administration
By Julius Gari Melchers
Oil on canvas, 51½" x 30¾", 1913

page created 6 March 2001

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